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KCSD chosen for eLearning pilot program

Posted: August 9, 2018 4:34 p.m.
Updated: August 10, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) has been chosen to participate in a statewide eLearning pilot program.

KCSD is one of five districts chosen by the Education Oversight Committee to participate in the program.

KCSD Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins announced the news to the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees during the board’s meeting Tuesday.

The idea is to give KCSD students a platform by which they can continue, largely uninterrupted, with school work and classes in the event of severely inclement weather, Robbins said.

In Indiana, he said, school can be interrupted by such severe weather events as tornadoes and heavy winter weather. However, while South Carolina may not have the harsh winter weather Indiana experiences, Robbins noted the state does have its share of weather-related disruption, most notably hurricanes and flooding.

Robbins said he is pleased to be part of a program that seeks to overcome challenges presented by inclement weather, he said.

 “I’m excited that we have been selected for this pilot program,” Robbins said.  “I have had experience with eLearning in two other school districts, and the students really enjoyed it. This program provides us with flexibility so that students’ learning will not be disrupted, and families won’t have to change plans to make up days on the calendar missed for bad weather.”

In fact, South Carolina’s program is modeled after one implemented in Indiana, where Robbins previously served as a school district superintendent.

“One of my goals, of course, is that I want our district to lead, not follow, which is one reason why I submitted the application,” Robbins said. 

Robbins said he had not heard any news regarding a decision, so he reached out to the committee. As it turned out, not only was KCSD selected, it is  one of only five in the state and the only one in the Midlands.

One advantage of the program is that KCSD does not have to implement it immediately, Robbins said.

“The nice thing about the pilot program is that we have the time to get ready,” he said.  “We will work with our teachers and families to be sure that we are prepared. If we have inclement weather early in the school year before we are ready to implement the eLearning program, we will follow our traditional make up schedule. We will make sure that everyone feels comfortable and understands the procedures before we move forward.”  

Robbins said that teachers will be trained on how to create virtual assignments using the current platforms already in place.  

KCSD uses Google, which allows students to work offline if they do not have web access and then upload assignments once internet access is available. All KCSD students have access to a device and will have additional days to complete eLearning assignments. 

Other business discussed:

• Communications Director Mary Anne Byrd reported that 681 graduates in KCSD’s class of 2018 earned more than $14 million in scholarships, the largest amount recorded since KCSD started tracking those numbers in 2007. This surpassed the class of 2017, which had 671 students earning around $12.4 million in scholarships. 

The breakdown for the class of 2018 was as follows: Lugoff Elgin High School – 394 students received $7.083 million in scholarships; Camden High School – 203 students received $4.017 million; North Central High School – 84 students received $1.282 million.

• The board received information regarding proposed policy revisions. These include proposed revisions to the Summer School fees, Credit Recovery and Employability Credential policies. The board took no action on these policies.

• The board approved a request from Highway Church Camp to use Blaney Elementary School for a benefit concert on Aug. 25 and a request from New Life Temple of Praise to use the Continuous Learning Center on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings for church services.

• The board heard a construction update on schools throughout the district.

The Kershaw County Board of School Trustees meets at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the KCSD district office. Meetings are open to the public.

 

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