Asking stakeholders to join the path forward

Photo - The future in District 56. Expanding technology access in the elementary grades and providing expanded school day opportunities for students whose parents want these extended hours are two upcoming goals of District 56 schools, according to a presentation by Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields.

Stakeholders told, D56 is proud of, aims for more accomplishments


By attending Friday’s stakeholders meeting and collaborating on student-enhancement projects, people in and around Clinton are saying, “We are with you on this” when it comes to educating the leaders of tomorrow, the District 56 Superintendent said.

Dr. David O’Shields convened the annual stakeholder’s breakfast to bring a district update, provide a look at Clinton High School, and foster a collaborative environment. He thanked Presbyterian College President Bob Staton for being the first sitting PC president to tour the district’s schools. He thanked ZF Transmission, Greenville Health System and City of Clinton representatives for initiating and continuing partnerships. He thanked the faculty - 88% of whom returned to their classrooms in the 2017-18 school year and 23% of whom are graduates of Clinton High School.

“We are one of the first districts in the Upstate to attempt and do breakfast and lunch for all students regardless of their income,” he said. “We transport a vast majority of our students - about 2,400 - each day and do it safely. ZF gave us seed money for Robotics in all schools. At Clinton Middle School, the Academic Bowl Team competed among schools in 35 states in a computer competition, and came out first in the nation.”

O’Shields said 78% of District 56 graduates enroll in a 2- or 4-year college or university, compared to a 71% state average.

Continuing and expanding on the recent successes, District 56 intends to take on these “coming soon” initiatives:

-- Continue first responders tours in every school;

-- Wireless access point in every classroom;

-- EMS certification course for high school students;

-- Computer science courses for middle and high school students;

-- Implementation of Project Lead the Way Launch at Clinton Elementary School;

-- 1:1 technology device expansion down to grades 2, 3 and 4;

-- Summer feeding site in Joanna with local churches; and

-- Wrap-around services for students.

District 56 has an enrollment of 3,022 students. It serves 6,023 meals daily, and transports 2,386 students daily on 1,797 miles covering 73 routes on 27 state-owned buses. Its average teacher salary is $48,791 a year (Greenwood 52, $50,666; Saluda, $48,514); and its expenditures per pupil are $10,939 (Newberry, $10,583; Greenwood 51, $10,225). The district operates six schools, and policy is set by a seven-member board, all of whom live in Clinton and Cross Hill. Chairman Jim Barton and member Keith Richardson represented the board at Friday’s breakfast meeting.

O’Shields told the stakeholders, over the summer, Wilder Stadium will undergo a district-financed $1.7 million renovation; and, for next school year, the board has authorized spending up to $100,000 to add a 4-K class at MS Bailey Child Development Center, a Top 5 in the state early childhood facility (an O’Shields commentary about the MS Bailey center was published in the April 18 Chronicle and is available for viewing on-line at - Opinion).


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