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Trustees look at options for creating swim teams

Posted: September 22, 2011 4:47 p.m.
Updated: September 23, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) could consider partnering with the county’s recreation department for the use of its pool to expand athletic offerings to include swim teams.

 KCSD Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan suggested the idea to school board members in light of reports that a proposed city of Camden-built, YMCA-run sports complex may not include an aquatics facility.

The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees discussed the potential of offering swim teams and of using the county pool during a wider discussion Tuesday evening of additional instructional and operational goals.

One goal is to use information gathered from a student interest survey to increase athletic opportunities for girls -- a goal Morgan said he would like to work on after reviewing results of the school district’s recent Title IX investigation.

“The issue is that when you start looking at the number of kids, football and wrestling have huge numbers. So we’re going to have to figure out a way to offset that and increase the number of girls involved,” Morgan said. “I was hoping that track would help, now that we have tracks at all three schools, but there are still other areas that we have to look at. So that’s the basis of the goal.”

Trustee Jim Smith added that one of his “major” personal goals since being elected has been getting an aquatic center so that students could find another avenue to get college scholarships.

“It’s a great place to pick up a sport for girls. I’ve been sitting back listening, watching and reading about this YMCA fiasco, and now they’re talking about not having the pool,” he said. “I think that the school district should step in -- and I don’t know if that’s a good place to get a partnership right now or not -- but I think that if they’re not going to do it, we should look into trying. I hope they don’t drop that if they’re going to do this thing -- I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, I don’t want to know.

“I want to know if we’re going to get a place for our girls to get an equal opportunity to pursue scholarships that are everywhere.”

Morgan acknowledged the addition of an aquatics facility could be included in the discussion of potential construction/renovation projects for the second phase of the school district’s facilities equalization program. He also said the board could consider entering into a partnership with Kershaw County Council for the use of the county’s aquatic center on Battleship Road in Camden.

“The county has a pool and I understand that it’s uncovered. The district that I came from before, the YMCA built a pool that basically had a bubble over it,” Morgan said, adding that the “bubble” covered the pool during the winter months and was taken off during summer months. “I think there’s still some potential there. The YMCA where I came from has been open for 10 years, and they’re still using the same bubble.”

And placing a bubble over the county pool, Morgan said, is something he’s talked about publicly during the past several years.

Friday morning, Morgan said he will take the list of additional goals, incorporate them with existing instructional goals, and create timelines regarding how long it would take for each to be accomplished.

Morgan said he will then bring the list back to the board to vote on during the next board meeting.

Also included in the board’s draft goals:

• Establishing a protocol to assess the impact of technology on student achievement and on instructional strategies utilized by teachers.

• Develop a five-year plan to increase the use of online textbooks at the high school level.

• Develop a proposed list of projects for Phase II of the Facilities Equalization Program.

• Develop a three-year strategy to increase the fund balance to two to three months’ operating costs.

• Work with county government and other local public entities to implement shared operational functions.

• Develop a three-year strategy for preventative maintenance and reduced energy consumption.

• Develop a policy for the use of school facilities by for-profit entities to deliver services and programs to students.

• Develop a set of legislative priorities and meet with the local legislative delegation.

In other news, the board unanimously granted a reduced-fee waiver to The River Church for use of Camden High School’s auditorium and two classrooms. Trustee Nissary Wood was not present.

Morgan said that KCSD staff reviewed the per square foot operating cost of the facilities, leading them to grant the waiver based on a fee of $24,440 per year for two years.



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