SC State and OCSD 5 team up to train future teachers

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 and South Carolina State University are teaming up in hopes of getting more students interested in the field of education.

Interim S.C. State Dean of Education Dr. Gail Joyner-Fleming gave the OCSD 5 board a rundown of their joint venture, called the Bridge Project, during a board meeting last week. The project will allow students in OCSD 5 and other school districts along the Interstate 95 corridor to take part in summer workshops.

It will also allow students to take the first part of the Praxis exam in high school. Aspiring teachers must pass the two-part Praxis exam to gain teacher ce.jpgication in the state. Joyner-Fleming said she hopes 100 students will pass the first part of Praxis and enroll at S.C. State.

"It will be expanded if successful," she said.

The state-funded program will begin this summer.

The board also recognized two students for winning the Lt. Governor's Writing Award Program for the district.

Desarie Hooks won the fifth-grade award while Pressley Stevens took home the eighth-grade honors. Both will take part in the S.C. Young Writer's conference later this year.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Nancy Ford reported a S.C. Department of Education external review team found the district met all standards.

Teams are sent to districts that receive an unsatisfactory rating on the state report card. OCSD 5 received unsatisfactory absolute and improvement ratings last year.

"The district displayed a sense of urgency to ensure student success by the adapting and pacing of the district curriculum," the report said.

It also commended the district for its leadership team's continuity and longevity.

"We do try to make it our business to do the best for OCSD 5," Ford said to the board.

Trustee Susan Gleaton said it will be nice when the state report card reflects the strong effort of the district.

Board Chairman Julius Page said he wants to strengthen the district's dress code policy in the future.

In other business:

* English/Language Arts Specialist Judith Johnson and Math Specialist Teresa Battle gave the board updates on the direction of the district's ELA and math programs.

* The board gave second reading approval to a policy revision regarding district employees suspected of misconduct or poor performance. It authorizes the administration to place an individual suspected of such actions on paid leave while an investigation is conducted.

* Sheridan Principal Xennie Weeks gave the board an update on the school.

* Assistant Superintendent for Finance Donnie Boland said the actual 2007-2008 budget was in line with the projected budget through the month of January.