Gordon Godfrey opened his last school board meeting with prayer. Mr. Godfrey has served on the board for 20 years and has chosen to retire.
The meeting began with guest speaker Judith Tanzola, a retired South Carolina teacher and proud grandparent of Woodruff students. Tanzola commended District 4 for its positive impact on her grandchildren’s education. She highlighted the vibrant community spirit witnessed in events like the Woodruff Storybook Parade, where children celebrate their favorite books, and various school programs that instill pride in America.
Tanzola shared personal experiences, emphasizing the strong sense of community and patriotism within the district. She urged the board to recognize and support the efforts of teachers, administrators, and staff who organize these events.
In conclusion, Tanzola expressed gratitude for the opportunity to address the board, commending District 4 as an embodiment of American values. As a side note, it was revealed that every current board member is a graduate of Woodruff High School, reinforcing the sense of continuity and community pride within the district.
- We celebrated Red Ribbon Week during the week of October 23rd through the 27th. The students especially enjoyed wearing Orange clothes for “Orange you Glad you’re Drug and Bully Free.”
- The Veteran’s Day program is at 9:00 on November 10th in the Activity Center.
- Mrs. Parris and Mrs. Dover attended two teacher recruitment fairs, one was at Anderson University and the other was at USC Upstate.
- Mrs. Wallace’s class won the pumpkin decorating contest hosted by Ms. Bostdorff, our librarian. Her students will receive one free item from concessions for their creativity.
- Professional Development-Emily Rhodes attended “Introduction to Text- Dependent Writing on SC READY
- We are collecting items for the Agape Homeless Shelter of Woodruff. This community project runs through November 21st.
- Reading Buddies are up and running.
- CogAT and Iowa tests for second graders have been completed. These assessments determine eligibility for SOAR in third grade. Students who don’t qualify for the gifted program based on CogAT and Iowa may qualify to take Performance Task Assessment as an additional opportunity to become eligible for SOAR.
- Teachers met with parents during the month of October to review students’ progress. Teachers at WPS hold conferences with parents of all students.
- Red Ribbon Week was observed October 23rd – 31st. Students and staff participated in dress-up days that represented a positive message about keeping our bodies healthy.
- Mrs. Dover recently attended educator career fairs at Anderson University and USC Upstate. She was able to meet and speak with potential teaching candidates in many areas of certification.
- WPS’s first family night at Scoops in Woodruff was a success! We had a great turnout and enjoyed seeing everyone!
- Preschool students attended field trips to Stewart Farms. The farm provides an exciting experience for our little ones including a wagon ride, lessons on growing pumpkins, a trip through the corn maze, and opportunities to see a variety of farm animals.
- Kindergarten and second grade students learned about fire safety from Trinity Fire Department. Firefighters brought the truck and smoke house to the school for students to explore.
- First grade classes are taking a field trip to Publix. The children get to tour the store, learn about each of the departments, and see some things going on behind the scenes.
- WPS staff and students are collecting canned goods for the Woodruff Soup Kitchen during October and November. So far, we’ve collected over 1,700 items! We will continue to collect items until Nov. 17th.
- Student Council representatives were elected by their peers to represent each second grade class. These students will work, as a group, throughout the year to learn about leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and other important skills. They will participate in leading community service projects and school spirit activities.
- Family Literacy Night in “Candy Land” is planned for November 16th from 5:00 – 7:00. Susan Richard, kindergarten teacher, and a committee of teachers has planned and prepared for a “sweet” night of fun for kids and their families.
- All students learned about what it means to be a veteran and the reason for observing Veterans’ Day. A variety of lessons and activities will be completed on November 8 – 10.
- Current enrollment figures:
6th – 234
7th – 222
8th – 236
- 2nd Nine Weeks interim reports were sent home Nov 15.
- Beta Club installation was held October 24 with 74 students being inducted. Coach Steve Ramey served as guest speaker.
- WMS basketball tryouts began October 30.
- WMS wrestling began Monday, October 30.
- A WMS school improvement council meeting was held October 30.
- An appreciation breakfast for veterans was held November 10.
- Woodruff High School held basketball cheer try outs. We are excited to have cheerleaders this season. They will cheer at all our home games. Corey Newsome is the sponsor and is doing a great job with WMS and WHS.
- Guidance held College Application Day on Friday, October 6. We had 118 seniors participate in the College Application Day.
- WHS held a fire drill on Wednesday, October 11. Everyone did a great job exiting the building. Issues that were discovered were reported to the DO.
- On Tuesday, October 17, several students participated in the PSAT/ASVAB testing.
- On Wednesday, October 18, students completed their second SEL lesson and report cards were sent home.
- Guidance held another Lunch and Learn on Thursday, October 19. The topic was Communicating with Adults and Others.
- Jostens held a meeting with our seniors on Friday, October 20. They received information on ordering graduation supplies. They came back the following Wednesday.
- Our self-contained students participated in the Mayors Walk on Wednesday, October 25. It was a time to celebrate them as individuals and to remind them they have a bright futures.
WHS GOOD NEWS
*The WHS cafeteria participated in National School Lunch Week and 3 “Lucky Lunch Goers”
won a free ticket to the Clinton football game. They did a drawing Mon-Thurs of that week.
*Future Teachers of America club is underway, and students have observed at WMS and WPS.
*During Red Ribbon Week students had an opportunity to Bust Up Drugs/Drunk Driving, by
busting up an old car during their lunch.
*WHS Marching Cadets placed runner-up in Upper State and in State competitions. We are
beyond proud of their accomplishments this season.
Dr. Liston congratulates newly elected board members and acknowledges the success of the incumbents. They mentioned the upcoming oath of office for the new members and encouraged family attendance.
Dr. Liston discussed the importance of constant improvement and expressed gratitude for the hard work of schools, especially acknowledging the efforts of athletic and band-boster clubs. He emphasized the board’s commitment to providing opportunities for all students, regardless of financial constraints.
The Superintendent addressed upcoming events, including the delegate assembly and in December. He encouraged board members to attend the February workshop meeting for networking and learning opportunities.
The Superintendent also provided updates on the construction of a new school, commending the progress made by Harper, the construction management team. He mentioned plans to showcase drone footage in the next meeting to keep the board informed.
Regarding tax relief, the Superintendent clarified the board’s commitment to taxpayers and discussed the rollback millage to keep the tax rate in check.
The Superintendent touched upon infrastructure projects, including running a sewer line, and discussed potential developments in the area. He mentioned the need for a traffic light at Miller Rd. for safety reasons and explained the process of lobbying for it.
The Superintendent highlighted the positive impact of the Teacher Foundation program on increasing teacher salaries and hinted at the board’s plans for the upcoming year.
Dr. Liston is the superintendent’s state representative to the South Carolina High School League. Dr. Liston addressed the school board meeting with concerns about the dominance of charter and private schools in 1A and 2A state championships, winning about 80% of the time.
The main issue raised is the unfair competition when private and charter schools compete against public schools in the same classification, affecting various sports beyond what was traditionally considered “Country Club sports.” Dr. Liston highlighted the need for action, stating that an outcry from superintendents at both local and state levels has prompted discussions on realignment.
Dr. Liston mentioned a proviso in place preventing separate treatment of private and charter schools, emphasizing the legislative hurdles faced in proposing collaboration and a separate state championship. Realignment, a process undertaken every two years by the High School League, is the current focus.
A motion will be presented at the upcoming meeting, proposing a multiplier of three for schools outside their zoned attendance area during realignment. Dr. Liston argued that this multiplier is essential for fair competition, even if it means moving certain schools to different classifications.
Dr. Liston also emphasized the importance of accurate data reporting and suggested that superintendents sign agreements ensuring correct information to avoid probation.
Dr. Liston concluded by requesting support and prayers for this initiative, expressing the belief that this is a crucial opportunity to bring about positive change in the state’s high school sports landscape.
The school board meeting addressed various topics, including the second reading on four subjects: paid parental leave, graduation requirements, administration of homeless students, and the use of life-saving medications. The paid parental leave policy, effective since June 26, 2023, allows all employees, regardless of tenure, to be eligible for six weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. The board approved all four recommendations unanimously.
The meeting also discussed new business, specifically the first reading for two additions to the policy manuals: Gavin Law’s sexual extortion of staff and students. The county is forming a committee to determine age-appropriate educational materials for students in compliance with the law.
Later in the meeting, the board approved bids for athletic turf care and grass cutting, both awarded to Harrison Landscape Management.
The board faced unexpected challenges during the bus loop repair at the high school and costs related to soil conditions, leading to a total bill of $514.857.20, significantly higher than the initially approved amount of $158,000. The board expressed frustration over the lack of prior communication about the escalating costs. Concerns were raised about the procurement process and the need for better oversight of projects to avoid such surprises in the future.
Despite the challenges, the board acknowledged the work’s quality and the need to address safety concerns related to the deteriorating bus loop. The realization of the additional costs left board members feeling uneasy, prompting a reflection on the decision-making process and a call for improved communication in the future.
The meeting concluded with an executive session to discuss property-related matters.
On Tuesday, November 14, an announcement was sent out that the School Board would have a special called board meeting on November 17 at 3:00 pm. The entire meeting will be held under executive session.
The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be held Monday December 4, 6 pm at the District Office. The address is 118 McEdco Road, Woodruff SC.