DCSD countering ‘COVID slide’ with afterschool sessions

By Bobby Bryant, Editor

editor@newsandpress.net

The Darlington County School District is planning about two months of twice-a-week, perhaps three-times-a-week, afterschool programs to help students who may have fallen behind because of the COVID crisis. The programs, slated to begin this month, are focused on math and reading, are open to all students on all grade levels and are voluntary. The district’s goal is to help close gaps in learning caused by what officials refer to as “COVID slide.” “We want to do small-group instruction,” county Education Superintendent Tim Newman told the school board March 8. “ … The smaller the group you have, the more individualized you can be.” Newman acknowledged that it’s not easy to get students “to do extra work,” but he said this is what’s needed after a year of COVID-19. School board chairman Warren Jeffords called it a very important initiative: “Our students need it and the district needs it.” Officials emphasized that the overall program – called the Academic Enhancement Plan – will not simply be a “homework center.” The district would like to extend it into summer school as well. Newman said the district will strongly recommend these afterschool programs to parents and will put out the word on social media. He said teachers also will contact parents of students who they feel would benefit. “What our (test) scores look like, we’ve got to find some way to get these kids in,” said school board member Jamie Morphis. He mentioned the possibility of extending the school day, but noted that this would not allow for small groups. In other matters, the board recognized six DCSD high school students who earned first-place honors at recent high school Beta Club competitions through the S.C. Chapter of the National Beta Club. The club is the largest independent, nonprofit educational organization in the nation dedicated to promoting academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students. The DCSD’s first-place student winners are: — 9th Grade Math: Ashley Niu, Hartsville High School — On-Site Drawing, Division II: Colby Parrott, Hartsville High School — On-Site Painting, Division II: Stella Tew, Hartsville High School — Digital Art, Division II: Colby Parrott, Hartsville High School — Painting Comp., Division II: Stella Tew, Hartsville High School — 10th Grade Math: Mabel Brown, Mayo High School for Math, Science & Technology

Author: Rachel Howell

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