Report from a new school year
District 56: Early enrollment at 2,958.
District 56 officials are encouraged that “so many are choosing us” with the opening this summer of two new schools in the Clinton area.
Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields said the district is a living example of “school choice” now that Thornwell Charter School and Summit Classical School have opened. Initial enrollment for District 56 is 2,958 in pre-K through 12th grade, meaning that number of students has attended district schools at least one day since classes began Aug. 19. O’Shields gave the report Monday night to the District 56 Board of Trustees.
Early enrollment figures by school are:
-- 113, MS Bailey Child Development Center;
-- 309, Joanna Woodson Elementary;
-- 464, Eastside Elementary;
-- 524, Clinton Elementary;
-- 688, Clinton Middle; and
-- 860, Clinton High School.
“The students have chosen to be with us,” O’Shields said. This academic year is marked by the highest number of new faculty in several years, O’Shields said, and the new teachers have “fit right in”.
“Our school district is as good as any in the state, and we are proving it daily.”
District 56 had the chance yesterday morning (Aug. 27) to show off Clinton Elementary School and Clinton High School to visiting State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “We had a very, very good opening of school,” O’Shields said, “from the principals and faculty, to technology, transportation, maintenance, and food service. It was smooth and seamless.”
“It was a wonderful start to school for all of us,” said board member Tammy Stewart, a teacher at Ford Elementary in Laurens. “We are tired, but we are so blessed with an amazing opportunity to serve our children and families each day.”
In the operations report, Assistant Superintendent for Operations Dr. David Pitts said the district has received a conditional certificate of occupancy for Wilder Stadium. That clears the way for the renovated stadium to host the Clinton-Laurens JV football game today (Aug. 28), and the Clinton-Broome varsity game on Sept. 6 – when a ribbon-cutting will be held.
A Game Ball Run will be held at 4 p.m. this Thursday, starting at Wilder Stadium, handing off at the Professional Park, and ending at The Square in downtown Laurens – for this Friday’s Clinton-Laurens varsity football game. Cross-country teams from both high schools will run the game ball.
This is the 3rd annual game ball running event.
Pitts also reported on the board’s role in meeting the Accreditation Standards of the State Department of Education, and the district’s continuing Capital Projects Plan. Priority 1 capital projects will be prioritized and set before the Board of Trustees for approval, O’Shields said.
Finance Director Lynn Lawson said the district will have about $1.1 million to work with - $650,000 from a bond approved by the school board, $160,000 in left-over “Abbeville money”, and reserves. Not all the Priority 1 projects can be accomplished for that amount, Pitts said, and some can be carried over a year, then a new set of priorities can be developed.
Pitts said improving safety at the elementary schools (having visitors come through an office upon entering the building) and developing a new buses parking lot at Eastside Elementary will be future projects to be examined.