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Bells groundbreaking, wanted mill increase big stories in local district

The ground breaking of the new Bells Elementary School will be held on June 2.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the current school site. The new Bells Elementary, which is being funded through a 2014 bond referendum, is being built on the same campus of the current elementary school. The new school will be built behind the existing one, with plans to keep the current elementary school open this summer during construction. According to Colleton County School District Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster, all of the district’s summer and migrant programs will continue this year while the new school is being built.

Once the new school is complete, the existing school will be demolished.

The new Bells Elementary School is projected to house 306 students and will have an allocated operating budget from the district’s funds of $26,010.00. This budget is based on a cost of $85 per student.

In other school board news:

School board wants to increase mills

The school board passed a resolution authorizing Foster to approach Colleton County Council for an increase in the county tax millage for school operations. The school board’s request is to increase the school operations millage rate by 6.11 mills. The millage increase is wanted to help balance the school district’s budget for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. The district is currently in a budget shortfall of about $600,000. The county, however, is also in a budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year: according to county officials, the county is facing a $900,000 deficit.

A look at how the district will run

In preparing for the coming school year, school district officials are reorganizing how the district runs. In a proposed organization chart, district leaders told the school board last week that newly-named Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster would oversee the district’s Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations. This is a new position that is combining the HR Director with an assistant superintendent role. Currently, the district’s HR role is vacant and must be filled. In his proposal, Foster says he would also oversee the director of building and grounds, the director of food services, the director of technology and the director of transportation. The director of food services is currently vacant, and must also be filled. The district would also have an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, who would work with all of the directors of the district’s different programs, including adult education, student services, elementary education, secondary education and special services.

Teachers resigning, new teachers coming in

Several teachers have resigned their posts from the Colleton County School District for the upcoming instructional year. According to district records, Colleton County High School’s Assistant Band Instructor Ervin Manigo has resigned, along with CCHS’s NRJOTC Instructor August Thornton and two Colleton County Middle School teachers. Finally, an Early Childhood Education teacher from TCTC has also resigned, with Cottageville Elementary School teacher Deborah Hardwick retiring this year.

Additionally, several new teachers from across the country are being recommended for employment in the Colleton school district, including new graduates from The Citadel, the University of Kentucky, Valdosta State University, the University of South Carolina and the University of Massachusetts. These teachers are slated to go into all area schools, from Colleton County Middle School to Forest Hills Elementary and CCHS.


Heather Walters (529 Posts)