November 2022A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENTGreetings Laurens County School District 55 Community, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Among the blessings forwhich I am thankful is being part of the amazing LCSD 55 team. Our schools continue to work diligently on building their community, settinghigh expectations for staff and students, focusing on data to ensure high-quality instruction, and providing resources and opportunities for improvingacademic achievement for all students. Our district has shown a resilience torebound and make progress as we have faced the challenges brought aboutby living through the disruptions of a global pandemic. While we celebrate ourgrowth that outpaced the state in many areas, we are very aware that thereis much work to be done. We all must be fully committed to do the workneeded in order to continue making progress and meeting the needs of allstudents. I encourage parents/guardians to be active participants in the education oftheir student. Learning opportunities are not only available while in theclassroom; teachable moments abound in day-to-day life. It is importantthat students feel supported in their educational endeavors while at schooland at home. As we approach the winter holidays, let's not coast through the coming fewweeks. Instead, let's go full throttle and finish 2022 strong! Should you have questions about matters of your school or the district, pleasealways feel free to reach out to your principal or me. We are here to help you.Laurens County School District 55 Administrative Office301 Hillcrest Drive Laurens, SC 29360864-984-3568 www.laurens55.orgThis is a publication of Laurens County School District #55 (LCSD 55) to share information from themonthly meeting of the LCSD 55 Board of Trustees. While this information may not be all inclusive ofmatters discussed, we strive to provide that which is deemed most informative for district stakeholders. Board meetings are livestreamed and can be watched in real time via a link on the district website. VISION STATEMENTEmpowering and Inspiring All to be Educated and InformedMISSION STATEMENTLaurens County School District 55prepares students for success inlearning and careers throughengaging, challenging, andpersonalized learning experiences. Students are curious, confident intheir own abilities, and competitive inthe local, national, and globalenvironment. Students are safe,valued, and support in their learningby highly effective staff, families, and community. Ameca C. Thomas, Ph.D. Superintendent Sincerely, Ameca C. ThomasAmeca C. Thomas, Ph.D. Superintendent
Collaborative planning to articulate the "what" and "how" ofinstructionTeacher training for new curriculaUse of data to enhance instructional practicesIndividualized instruction and assessment of specific skills fortargeted studentsProfessional development to enhance instructional practicesand promote shared governance21st Century After-school ProgramGuidance lessons focused on strategies for test-taking, andcoping with anxiety and depressionGoal 1: Provide world-classsafety and a positive schoolcultureReunification training for staffReview of schoolwide safety proceduresDaily safety inspections School safety and security meetings Emergency drillsLAURENS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL REPORTPRESENTED BY DR. CARLOS LITTLEJOHN, PRINCIPALThe theme of Laurens Elementary School is, "It Still Takes a Village!" Based on aphrase originating from an African proverb, the school theme conveys the messagethat it takes many people (the village) to provide a safe and healthy environmentfor children. The village provides the security that children need to develop andflourish and be able to realize their hopes and dreams.SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHICSExamples of Laurens Elementary School's focus on the district's 2022-2023 goals include the following; Goal 2: Provide world-class,high-quality instruction toincrease studentachievement FOLLOW THIS LINK TO VIEW THE LAURENS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AT A GLANCE VIDEO
RECOGNITION Aligning to Goal 1 of the district strategic plan,various new curriculums have been launchedin the district. Some of these include the areasof reading, math, science, writing, and socialstudies. Academic interventions are also offered forstudents based on their strengths and needs. With a focus on acceleration and remediation,LCSD 55 is committed to work diligently toimprove and enhance achievement for allstudents to prepare them as world-classchampions. IMPACT FEES Looking to the future and the projectedgrowth in the LCSD 55 community, steps arebeing taken to study the current facilities anddemographics of the school district. Some ofthe buildings currently in use are in need ofmuch repair. Some are experiencingovercrowding and with the anticipatedgrowth in the coming years, plans must beset in motion to accommodate students whowill be educated in LCSD 55. One of the majorconcerns is funding for maintenance andfacilities needs. Carson Bise of TischlerBise (a fiscal, economic,and planning consulting firm) joined theschool board meeting via Zoom. Thediscussion was focused on the process of thedistrict possibly pursuing implementation ofschool impact fees on new construction in thedistrict attendance zone. INSTRUCTIONAL FOCUS April 1999-April 2003 - Vice-chairJune 2007-December 2021 - Vice-chairFebruary 2013-December 2018 - ChairAfter nearly 30 years as the representative forSeat 6, Susan Calhoun-Ware is leaving theLCSD 55 Board of Trustees. She did not file asa candidate for the seat in the November2022 election. First elected to serve in April1993, Calhoun-Ware was the first African-American to serve as a school board trustee inLCSD 55. During her seven consecutive terms as atrustee, Calhoun-Ware held the followingofficer positions: By consistently participating in trainingopportunities, Calhoun-Ware attained Level 6- the highest level possible - in the SouthCarolina School Boards AssociationBoardmanship Institute. Calhoun-Ware was presented with gifts inrecognition and appreciation of her years oftireless service to the school district andcommunity.
The LCSD 55 Safe Return to In-PersonInstruction and Continuity of Services Planwas developed in June 2021. This was inaccordance with federal requirements ofthe American Rescue Plan Elementary andSecondary School Rescue Plan (ESSER III),that all school districts in South Carolinadevelop a plan outlining specific areas for asafe return to in-person instructionfollowing the shutdown resulting from theCOVID-19 pandemic. School districts arealso required to update the planperiodically. Revision #6 of the district planwas presented to and approved by theLCSD 55 Board of Trustees. The revisedplan is available at www.laurens55.org. PLAN APPROVED ESSER FUNDS UPDATE Amendments to the district's remainingESSER funds were presented for review. CENERGISTIC UPDATE A Cenergistic implementation team hasbeen in the district observing anddocumenting the energy usage habits indistrict facilities. The data gathered will becompiled and analyzed for use indeveloping the district plan for energyconservation. Interviews will be held in the coming weekfor the position of Energy Specialist. LEGISLATIVE LUNCHEONOn November 21, district administratorshosted a luncheon for local and statelegislators and community leaders. Thisprovided an opportunity for discussion ofdistrict accomplishments, goals, and needs.
10/31/2210/31/21Balance withTreasurer$10,180,402$2,704,453Revenues$11,468,056$10,621,336Expenditures$12,915,836$12,386,351Difference($1,447,780)($1,765,015)Total TaxCollections$1,227,325$770,774DISTRICT POLICIES NEXT BOARD MEETING The next monthly meeting of the LCSD 55Board of Trustees will be held on Monday,January 23, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. The meetingwill take place in the large training room ofthe LCSD 55 Administrative Office. Cathy Little Board Chair Seat 2Todd VarnerBoard Vice-chairSeat 1Bubba RawlBoard SecretarySeat 7 Susan Calhoun-WareSeat 6Anthony CarpenterSeat 5 Mike Hughes Seat 4Neal Patterson Seat 3BOARD OF TRUSTEESMONTHLY FINANCIAL REPORTBBBD Board Member Removal from Office IMDA Patriotic Exercises IMDB Flag/Motto DisplaysJQ Student Fees, Fines, and ChargesThe following policies were approved by trustees onsecond reading: The district policy manual can be accessed here. Newly-elected trustee Peggy Nance, and re-elected trustees Mike Hughes and Cathy Littlewill be sworn-in and take office on December 1.
DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLANWith the current Laurens County School District 55 Strategic Planset to expire in 2023, the process to update the plan is underway. Administrators and principals met in November and will meetagain in December to develop implementation plans and strategicindicators for the plan. SOME KEY POINTS ABOUT IMPLEMENTATION PLANSImplementation plans identify tangible actions for each of the Priorities and Objectives.Implementation planning is the key to strategic plan success; without it, strategic goals remainunactionable and the strategic plan is not likely to create changes in the system orimprovements in student outcomes. Implementation plans are developed for each objective and will include strategies, timelines,persons responsible, and budget implications.Implementation plans also consider the impact of current initiatives and if the cost/benefitanalysis indicates that specific strategies should be discontinued. Implementation plans are developed at the district level first and then each school will align itsschool improvement plans to the district plans. Implementation plans will be shared with the Board of Trustees once they are near completion.SOME KEY POINTS ABOUT STRATEGIC INDICATORSStrategic indicators are measures of performance that quantify the progress of the schoolsystem and the strategic plan. Strategic Indicators are created for each Priority area and are used to communicate progressto the board and community. Strategic Indicators have three parts: a definition of what we want to measure, the tool used to measure it, and a benchmark that states where we are now and our goal for the future. Development of strategic indicators is a technical process that educators engage in based onthe study of past data and the understanding of the potential impact of strategies identified inimplementation plans. Strategic indicators will also be shared with the Board of Trustees before finalization.