School briefs for January 5th-11th

10 mins read

Students take second in stock market race

Bridges Prep’s fifth-grade girls earned $10,500 in simulated profits – enough for runner-up status – in the statewide Stock Market Game this fall sponsored by the S.C. Council on Economic Education and the Moore Business College at USC.

As part of the project, students in grades 4-12 received lessons in finance, economics and research as required by the S.C. education standards.

Student teams learned about the stock market and each team was given a fictitious account with $100,000 to invest. Final team standings were based on each team’s profit and loss as compared to the Standard & Poor 500 Growth.

The Bridges team will visit Columbia in the springtime for an awards ceremony. Team members included Bailey Bates, Kayle Brown, Madeline Cook, Riley Gowen, Emma Mendenhall and Payton Mullen.

“While it was a game, we took it seriously, and as a result our Fifth-Grade Girls Team placed second out of 149 teams in the South Carolina competition,” said John W. O’Connell Jr., the team’s leader and a Bridges Prep gifted and talented program teacher.

District offering two school choice events

The Beaufort County School District is gearing up to accept school choice applications for the 2017-18 academic year, the third year of the district’s expanded choice initiative.

More than 2,300 students currently attend schools outside their zoned attendance areas.

Two regional information fairs will give students and their parents opportunities to learn about the district’s choice programs and how to apply for them.

The first fair, which will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at Beaufort Middle School, will feature choice programs in Northern Beaufort County.

The second fair will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at H.E. McCracken Middle School and will feature choice programs in Southern Beaufort County.

After the two regional fairs, individual schools will host their own meetings between Jan. 17 and Jan. 31 so students and parents can get more detailed on-site information about the choices they offer.

“Parents know that every child has different strengths and every child learns differently,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “Our school choice program is designed to accommodate those different learning styles and put children in the best possible position to succeed. Instruction is customized to their talents and interests, which increases their knowledge and builds their confidence.”

Beaufort County students who attend choice programs do not pay extra tuition, although families are responsible for their students’ transportation if they live outside of their schools’ attendance zones.  All choice schools also serve children who live in their attendance zones, in addition to students from outside the zone who apply to attend.

School choice applications will be posted to the district’s website on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and must be turned in by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.  Paper copies of the application will be available in all school offices.

Complete information on the district’s programs, including access to application forms and key dates, is available online at the School Choice Headquarters website.

At, click on “Parents’ in the main menu bar and scroll down to “School Choice Headquarters.”

Local students graduate from universities 

A total of 719 students were eligible to walk in Coastal Carolina University’s fall 2016 commencement, compared to 595 in 2015 and 590 in 2014. Two ceremonies were held in the HTC Center on campus on Dec. 16-17.

Speaking to Coastal Carolina University’s largest class of fall semester graduation candidates, commencement speaker Susan O’Malley advised the graduates to follow their passions.

Candidates for graduation were Caitlynn Chavis and Torrance Legare, both of Beaufort, and Muhammad Abdul-Malik and Janiecia Mitchell, both of Bluffton.

In other local student news:

• Patrick Taylor-Wells of Bluffton was among some 2,270 students at University of Alabama who were awarded degrees during winter commencement on Dec. 10.

• Christopher Cleary, of Bluffton, was named to the Fall 2016 Honors list at Pomfret School.

• Rachael Sutton, of Bluffton, was among approximately 490 Bob Jones University students named to the Fall 2016 President’s List.

• University of Mount Union recently released the recipients of its financial awards for the 2016-17 academic year. Roberto Olivera, of Bluffton, was one of 355 students to earn a financial award from Mount Union.

Riverview Charter offers commemorative bricks

Riverview Charter School invites you to honor a loved one, thank a special teacher, market your business or simply commemorate your commitment to the school with a personalized, engraved brick to be set in the courtyard between the new middle school and original building.

The Pave the Way fundraising campaign helps to enhance the schools educational experience for students and provides a lasting reminder for all to see.

The school’s goal is to sell 1,500 personalized bricks, with 100 percent of the net fundraising proceeds to be used for the benefit of the students and teachers.


Beaufort, Jasper boards reach agreement on ACE

After an affirmative vote by the Jasper County board of education, the Beaufort County board of education recently voted to replace the 42-year-old agreement on operating the Beaufort-Jasper Academy of Career Excellence with a new arrangement that will continue through June 30, 2019.

The technical school is jointly owned by both counties and has about 475 students and a budget of $2.8 million. Two-thirds of the students and funding come from Beaufort County. The new agreement approved by the two school boards will maintain career and technology education programs at ACE that currently include automotive repair, barbering, building construction, cosmetology, law enforcement services and plant and animal services.

Beginning Jan. 1, ACE will be supervised by the two district superintendents, with members of the ACE board becoming ex officio non-voting committee members who meet quarterly with the superintendents.

For the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years, the superintendents will determine student enrollment, with up to two-thirds being Beaufort County students and up to one-third being Jasper County students.  If either district doesn’t fill its quota, the other district can enroll additional students.

The Beaufort County School District will continue to pay two-thirds of ACE’s operating costs until June 30, 2019, and the Jasper County School District will pay one-third.  When the two-year agreement terminates, the Jasper County School District will have the option to purchase the Beaufort County School District’s 50 percent share of the property for half of its appraised value.

As discussions between the two districts have continued over the past two years, Beaufort County has dramatically expanded its own career and technology offerings and built new cutting-edge CATE facilities at Battery Creek and May River high schools.

AAUW-Beaufort branch plans STEM program

The Beaufort Branch of AAUW along with the University of South Carolina and Beaufort County public schools, is planning a hands-on, fun day of activities for middle school girls to explore the opportunities in STEM careers, which include Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The STEM day for local middle school girls will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Lunch will be provided.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend with their daughter to support her and to learn about jobs in the STEM areas. Information about the program will be distributed through the middle schools.

AAUW(American Association of University Women) is a national organization dedicated to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

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