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School board to discuss ‘occupational diplomas’

Posted: March 5, 2018 5:01 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees will receive information about and discuss “occupational diplomas” during its meeting tonight. According to a copy of tonight’s proposed agenda, trustees will learn more about what are officially known as South Carolina High School Credentials (SCHSC) from Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Director of Special Services Tarrance McGovern.

An SCHSC is, according to a preview of McGovern’s presentation, a credential for students with disabilities from whom an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team has determined is the most appropriate way for those students to demonstrate they have mastered skills in a career-based educational program.

The “IEP team must identify this SCHSC as the student’s expected outcome and inform the parent annually, in writing, that SCHSC is not a standard diploma,” McGovern’s presentation notes. “The decision must made only after an IEP team considers a continuum of program options that may allow a student to obtain a standard diploma.”

Trustees will also consider approval tonight of a list of elective courses, that would apply to all three district high schools, as required by the State Board of Education. The courses on the list are Global Connections, High School 101, Hospitality Management and Operations 4, Newspaper 3, Newspaper 4, Secondary Literacy, Secondary Math Strategies, Seminar in AP Human Geography, Seminar in AP Biology, Yearbook Production 3, Yearbook Production 4, and Zoology.

Also tonight, trustees will consider a change to the upcoming 2018-2019 district calendar, to accommodate S.C. State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman’s instruction for schools to be closed on Election Day, Nov. 6. The district will have to declare that a school holiday and, therefore, choose another day as a regular school day. According to a memo to the board from KCSD Director of Communication Mary Anne Byrd, the board has four choices:

• Make Wednesday, Nov. 21 a school day instead of part of the Thanksgiving break, keeping the first semester at 86 days and the second semester at 94 days, as originally planned.

•  Make Monday, March 18, 2019, currently a Teacher Work/Weather day, a regular school day, shortening the first semester to 85 days and lengthening the second semester to 95 days. The district would also have to make either Oct. 19 an Early Dismissal/Teacher Workday, and make May 30 or 31, 2019, a half-day Teacher Workday.

• Make Monday, April 22, 2019, currently a Teacher Work/Weather day, a regular school day, with the same outcome and other modifications for the March 18, 2019, suggestion.

• Make Monday, May 27, 2019 -- Memorial Day -- a regular school day, which would still make the first semester one day shorter and the second semester one day longer than originally planned.

In other business tonight, the board will consider changing the date of its second meeting this month from March 20 to March 27; hear a referenda-approved construction update; discuss its self-evaluation process; hear a report from the joint county/board growth/SRO funding ad hoc committee; receive a legislative update from KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan; and enter executive session to discuss undisclosed “employment matters.”

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the conference room at the district office, 2029 West DeKalb St., Camden, and is open to the public.


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