School briefs for April 6th-12th

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Bridges Prep among top ‘School of Distinction’

Teacher Michael Glaze conducts class at Bridges Prep.
Teacher Michael Glaze conducts class at Bridges Prep.

Bridges Prep’s academics and academic growth earned it the “School of Distinction” award from the S.C. Charter School District and is one of only three in South Carolina recognized for excellence in both student achievement and academic growth.

The State Charter School District cited Bridges for its “exemplary work” improving student academic growth and its strong performance ranking.

“We are extremely proud of this honor and we are equally proud of the hard work that went into earning it, hard work by our teachers, our staff, our students and our families,” said Dee Matthews, chair of the Bridges Prep board of directors.

Bridges Prep is one of eight schools in South Carolina to be named a School of Distinction, and is one of three in the state to be recognized for both high student achievement and strong rates of academic improvement. The other two state charter schools recognized are in Greenville and Rock Hill.

More than 62 percent of Bridges middle schoolers met or exceeded state standards in English/Language Arts and 53 percent of Bridges elementary students met or exceeded standards for ELA.

 In math, more than 56 percent of Bridges elementary students met or exceeded standards with 49 percent of its middle school students reaching that level.

As a state charter school, Bridges Prep is open to all students in the Lowcountry without tuition. 

Visit www.bridgesprep.org or call 843-982-7737.

Holy Trinity talent show set for Friday, April 7

Students, teachers and even some canine performers will show off their talents during the Second Annual Student Talent Show conducted by Holy Trinity Classical Christian School on Friday, April 7, at the Praise Assembly of God Church in Beaufort.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the curtain will go up at 6 p.m. at the church at 800 Parris Island Gateway. The Rev. Chad E. Lawrence, the school headmaster, will serve as master of ceremonies.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for students to showcase their talents outside of the classroom environment,” Headmaster Lawrence says. “I was awestruck by last year’s performances and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.”

Holy Trinity’s 275 students in grades preschool through nine study Latin, the great works of poetry, literature, art, music, history, phonics and mathematics, all within the framework of a Christ-centered learning environment. Students have come to eagerly anticipate the now annual, talent show. 

“This year’s talent show is amazing,” says Cricket Harter, the lead parent talent show organizer. “The students really understood the importance of preparing for auditions. We had 34 acts sign up and we had to narrow it down to 16 for the show. It was so difficult to choose that we had to have callbacks for the upper school students.”

Admission is $5. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Women’s group sponsors program for STEM girls

The Beaufort Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW), along with the University of South Carolina and Beaufort County Public Schools, held the first ever STEM career day recently.  

The 48 middle school girls from Beaufort County who attended had a fun day of activities with presenters from STEM careers, which include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The keynote speaker was Marie McClune who is a retired engineering geologist.

During the day each girl participated in three hands-on technical activities of her choice from STEM-related careers where they solved a crime using blood testing, built the tallest tower from paper, followed a Lego specification, built electrical circuits, learned about computer programming and developed mathematical equations with cubes. In addition, all of the technical session leaders explained how fulfilling a career in STEM could be as they gave real-life examples of their own experiences.  

While the girls were in the workshops their parents/guardians attended discussions with experts in STEM education about how they could support their daughters in pursuing STEM careers. 

Senior Scholars recognized at banquet

The Beaufort County School District recently honored 42 high school seniors for outstanding academic achievement at the 2017 Senior Scholars Banquet.

Senior Scholars have maintained a cumulative 3.5 grade-point average or higher, are ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes and have earned the equivalent of a 3.5 GPA in all quarters of their high school courses.

“These students have worked incredibly hard, they are excellent role models, their potential is off the charts, and they are outstanding in every sense of the word,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.

The banquet speaker was Jurnee Jones-Holcombe, a 2017 Senior Scholar who is May River High School’s student body president.  

The Senior Scholar banquet honorees were Sam Aerni; Matthew Ball; Isabelle Boatright; Robin Bridgers; Emily Bruce; Jonathan Buck; Sophia Bursch; Michael Caramello; Hannah Cherewko; Taylor Christie; Maxwell Crisologo; Ariana Diaz; Phillip Evans; Thomas Felver; Shae Gantt; Ashton Giammona; Walter Gnann; Trevor Guynop; Savannah Heitmann; Allison Hughes; Olivia Jackson; Jurnee Jones-Holcombe; Holly Kerr; Isabella Kimbrell; Vinit Krishna; Karah Kurtz; Isabelle Lieblein; Meleena Lin; Juliette MacMurray; Briona Millidge; Ajhia Parker; Gracie Pietz; Madeline Prince; James Roberts; Carolyn Rosenblum; Virginia Scott; Clinton Taylor; Alice Ward; Haley Weber; Jonathan Witt; Dylan Yarborough; and Jorge Torres Villalva .

Local students win science fair awards

More than 300 Beaufort County students, all top finishers at individual school science fairs across the county, competed for honors at the 2017 Sea Island Regional Science Fair.

Six Beaufort County School District students won first-place awards in their respective categories, including one middle school student who earned “Best in Show” honors:

• Jackie O’Riordan (H.E. McCracken Middle): Zoology/Medicine – “Antibiotic Resistance” earned Best-in-Show honors 

• Alora Orr (River Ridge Academy): Botony/Microbiology – “Powerful Nuts”

• Calvin Bernstein (Hilton Head Island Middle): Math/Engineering – “Building a Life-Size BB-8”

• August Rios (Bluffton Middle) Physics: “The Effect of the Water-to-Air Ratio in a Submarine to its Buoyancy”

• Luke McGuire (Beaufort High) Zoology/Medicine: “Listening to Differences: Analyzing Bat Feeding Behavior.” This project earned the Rob & Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative as well as the Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award.

• Maile Paulmeier (Bluffton High) Math/Engineering: “A Comparative Analysis of Alternative Heating Methods of an Artificial Nylon Muscle”

McGuire and Paulmeier will travel to Los Angeles in May to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. O’Riordan will also make the trip as a middle school-level observer.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, with more than $4 million in college scholarships and prize awards, is expected to draw more than 1,700 student competitors from 75 countries.  More than 7 million students competed at the local level.

Board of Education revises school calendar

The Beaufort County Board of Education has revised the 2017-18 academic calendar to change the first day of school from Monday, Aug. 21, to Thursday, Aug. 17.

By state law, no South Carolina public school can begin classes prior to the third Monday in August, which this year is Aug. 21.  

But legislation recently approved by the General Assembly allows school districts to begin the 2017-18 year on Aug. 17 because of the solar eclipse that will affect much of South Carolina on Aug. 21.

Under the newly revised 2017-18 calendar, students will not attend school on the date of the solar eclipse although it will be a work day for teachers and staff. 

The 2017-18 calendar still includes a longer winter break, a preference indicated by parents and district employees in online surveys last month. The version approved by the board adds an additional day to winter break, which will now begin on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Local students named to Dean’, Chancellor lists

Jordan Fields and Sarah Wilson, both of Beaufort, have been named to the Dean’s List at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, freshmen students must earn a 3.25 or higher and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours and upperclassmen must earn a 3.5 or higher and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours.

Matthew Morgan of Beaufort has been named to the Fall 2016 Chancellor’s List at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

To be eligible for the Chancellor’s List, students must earn a 4.0 and be enrolled in at least 12 course hours.