WINNSBORO — School Superintendent J.R. Green hosted a Superintendent’s Breakfast at the district office on Thursday morning. Attendees included local elected officials, district staff and community members.
Fairfield Central senior Williams Gregory sang two songs to kick the breakfast off. Gregory has recently focused on his musical gifts since competing as a bull rider. One of the songs that Gregory sang was dedicated to his grandfather, who died in December 2013.
Green joked about the first time he met Gregory.
“He’s decided he wants to transition to a little safer profession,” Green said with a laugh.
Green noted that the school district’s goal is to cultivate every student’s talent.
Special Project Coordinator Jennifer Ethridge discussed the upcoming accreditation process, which occurs every five years. Ethridge noted that it is a special time for Fairfield County schools.
“This is just a wonderful place to be and wonderful time to be here, we are in some exciting places with out school, our children and our community,” she said.
Some of those “wonderful” successes include:
• Bring Your Own Device policy: “It has been an absolute success,” Green said.
Despite a couple stolen phones, Green noted that each device was able to be located via a GPS locating system, which made would-be thieves apprehensive. Students can bring any device including a phone, laptop or tablet to assist with school work.
• Off Campus Lunch privileges: The procedure was adopted for the first time this year and allowed all seniors that had met graduation requirements and zero discipline to go off campus for lunch. In addition, regardless of classification, students who achieved an 1,100 SAT score or an 24 ACT score were allowed off campus privileges as well.
“You could be a freshman with off campus privileges,” Green noted. “We want there to be some incentive to doing well on standardized tests.”
There were approximately 50 underclassmen that achieved the feat. Green said despite a couple students coming back late there were no discrepancies and that Fairfield Central students had been very responsible.
• S.T.E.M. Early College Academy: Set to begin the third Cohort, Green said the district would be enrolling 44 students, which is the largest class to date, in the rigorous course schedules. There were 27 students admitted in Cohort 2.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to expand the program and give everyone an opportunity,” Green said.
The early college academy gives students the opportunity to earn a two-year associates degree through Midlands Technical College upon receiving their high school diploma.
Green said his second year on the job closed out even better than the year before.
“We had a great year in 2012-2013, but 2013-2014 was even better,” he said.
The process of accreditation will culminate in December 2014 with the first visits.
Ethridge conducted a group project with those in attendance by separating the room into four groups and having each group finish the sentence: A Fairfield Central High School graduate is …
The four groups wrote down skills and characteristics on post it notes and then aligned them into major categories on a larger sheet of paper with the purpose of creating a Fairfield Central graduate profile.
Green emphasized the district’s motto “Excellence through Teamwork,” and cited that group efforts like the one previously mentioned are indicative of that motto.
“We understand that we can’t maximize the academic and personal skills of all of our students unless we have the support of every single person in the community,” he stated. “There is a role to be played for every single person. As we go through the process of evaluating where we are as a system, we understand that everyone’s perspective can be helpful.”