News

  • As the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) works to track cases of COVID-19 across the state, there is an understandable delay in reporting confirmed cases in public schools. Berkeley County School District is committed to providing stakeholders with accurate and timely information so the BCSD COVID-19 Case Dashboard has been updated to reflect the number of confirmed cases reported directly to Berkeley County School District. These numbers will be updated every business day to provide our community with a more accurate accounting of confirmed cases in Berkeley County schools.  

    The content of this database is general information for each location. Any necessary contact tracing is conducted by SCDHEC. This information is updated at the close of each business day. Please note the numbers provided are numbers of confirmed cases reported to the Berkeley County School District and are 14-day cumulative counts.

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  • At the regular meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday, October 27, the Board approved revisions to the Berkeley County School District (BCSD) instructional calendar to add four half-day virtual instructional program (VIP) days for students. Teachers will use the second half of those four days as workdays. 

    On these VIP days, students will be learning from home independently for half of the day. All student assignments will be loaded to Google Classroom and/or other learning management systems by 7 a.m.

    BCSD half-day VIP/teacher workdays

    • Thursday, November 12, 2020
    • Monday, December 7, 2020
    • Tuesday, December 22, 2020
    • Monday, May 10, 2021

    To further support students, each teacher will set office hours that are posted or will be posted in Google Classroom and/or other learning management systems.

    Much like the eLearning days of the 2019-20 school year, teachers will have the flexibility to use time not spent assisting students to work in their classrooms, with their teams or participate in personal professional development.

    Again, this is a remote learning day, and all students will be learning from home independently. 

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child's school. 

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  • Berkeley County School District’s (BCSD) learning pathways portal will open Monday, November 2 at 8:30 a.m. for families to begin making their final learning pathway update for the year. At the regular meeting of the Berkeley County Board of Education, Dr. Kelly Wulf, BCSD Chief Academic and Innovation Officer, presented the district’s plan to encourage and facilitate a return to the traditional classroom for blended distance learning students who need it most, while preserving choice for students and their families. 

    “We looked at courses for students who were failing and students with more than 10 days of absences to compare the traditional and distance blended learning pathways,” said Dr. Wulf. “Looking at that data, we have continued to be flexible and fluid in the decisions we have been making but are confident that providing the option for students to return to the traditional classroom is the best model we can provide.” 

    Even as the district encourages a return to the traditional classroom, especially for primary students and students who are struggling academically, families will still have the option for their student to remain in or transition to the distance blended learning pathway and select a reason to support that choice. If a student is currently enrolled in the traditional pathway or the virtual pathway (eligible students in grades 7-12), no pathway update is necessary.

    Primary and elementary students will have the choice to: 

    • Return to the traditional classroom on November 11, 2020 (First day of second nine weeks)
    • Return to the traditional classroom on January 4, 2021 (First day following winter break)
    • Remain in distance blended learning due to a medical need, hardship, to include extenuating circumstances, demonstrated academic progress or a personal reason offered as explanation by the parent or guardian
    • Transition to blended distance learning due to a medical need, hardship, to include extenuating circumstances, demonstrated academic progress or a personal reason offered as explanation by the parent or guardian

    Middle and high school students will have the choice to:

    • Return to the traditional classroom on November 11, 2020 (First day of second nine weeks)
    • Return to the traditional classroom on February 1, 2021 (First day of second semester)
    • Remain in distance blended learning due to a medical need, hardship, to include extenuating circumstances, or demonstrated academic progress or a personal reason offered as explanation by the parent or guardian
    • Transition to blended distance learning due to a medical need, hardship, to include extenuating circumstances, demonstrated academic progress or a personal reason offered as explanation by the parent or guardian

    District and school leaders recognize that many blended distance learners have been successful, and are supportive of parents and guardians retaining their choice to decide the best learning pathway for their child(ren). Plans presented before the Board on Tuesday night have been modified to best meet the needs of students and their families. 

    “We received feedback following Tuesday’s meeting requesting additional choice options for students in distance blended learning,” Dr. Wulf said. “In response to the feedback, we have expanded the choice options for parents who would like to keep their child in blended distance learning. Those options will be reflected in the learning pathways portal.”

    The learning pathways portal will close for primary and elementary requests at midnight on November 10. The portal will close for middle and high school requests at midnight on November 20. These dates were updated following the board presentation to allow more time for schools to adjust master schedules and plans for second semester. 

    “We have a responsibility to do what is best for children and modify our plans to meet their needs,” said BCSD Superintendent Dr. Eddie Ingram. “I applaud the Board for their support and willingness to shift, sometimes rather quickly, as we continue to support student learning during a pandemic.”  

    Parents and guardians should contact their child’s school if they need assistance accessing the learning pathways portal or if they need assistance determining the best path forward for their child beginning Monday, November 2.

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  • The goal of Melissa Ankersen’s lesson was for students to design their own emoji for the purpose of communicating about a current event.

    Ankersen teaches sixth-grade Gateway to Technology at Philip Simmons Middle, and wanted her students to consider how texting is a form of a communication.

    Ankersen said with the ever-increasing use of digital platforms and social media, "meaning is often misunderstood".

    So she had her students create their own emoji.

    Students worked through the design process to create, design, describe and share (via a digital platform) an emoji that explains their thoughts and feelings about a current event. Most of the students’ emojis represented the pandemic and depicted would be a smiley face – except they are wearing face masks instead of smiles.

    One student wrote that the face mask emoji could be used as a way to say “remember to bring your mask” via text.

    Students came up with other ideas too – like a pile of trash as a way to protest pollution, a “stop killing whales” sign and a circus tent crossed out as a way to voice a concern about animal cruelty.

    Ankersen’s traditional learning students and blended distance learning students were able to share the emojis with one another.

    “Students loved the ability to create something and then share it out where the whole class could see them,” she said.

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  • About 85 percent of textile waste ends up in landfills where it occupies unnecessary landfill space.

    These were textiles that had the opportunity to be recycled but were not.

    The reason they do not get recycled is because of a lack of a convenient place to donate textiles.

    Residents might notice bright green bins on the property of some schools in Berkeley County School District, provided by a franchise called Clothes Bins, where families can actually recycle old textiles.

    The result is threefold with Clothes Bins: textiles get reused as inventory at local businesses, the recycling efforts actually raise money for BCSD schools, and the overall initiative produces a greener option for what residents can do with old clothes.

    Textiles include clothing, outerwear, footwear, undergarments, accessories, handbags and linens – these are all things that can go into the bins.

    Chad Boariu, director of marketing and training for Clothes Bin, said the franchise is the first clothing/textile recycling franchise in the nation.

    The bins are unlike anything else out there. They are equipped with sensory technology inside the bins that alerts Clothes Bins when they are about to be filled up and need servicing – very similar to a vending machine, he said. This technology is called BLIP – Bin Location Information Program – which monitors each bin and alerts the franchisee whenever a bin approaches its capacity and needs to be serviced.

    Clothes Bins is in about 15 states, and there are individual schools as well as full districts that have contracted a bin.

    BCSD schools with a bin receive multiple benefits: one is it shows the district believes in a green program, and another is individual schools being able to show the overall impact of recycling as a whole.

    “You are able to show how you give back to the community,” Boariu said.

    Boariu said Clothes Bins’s biggest takeaway is just from the landfill – “we’re trying to make that smaller,” he said.

    The schools get paid per pound of everything recycled in the bin, and that is where the fundraising comes in; they receive seven cents per pound that goes back into the school. The bins can hold 600 pounds, so a school could potentially make about $42 every time the bin reaches capacity.

    Schools use the money for different items; some of the money is used as “cushion” money while others may go toward the school’s PTO (see the full list of schools with a bin below).

    The clothes provided into the Clothes Bins go on to provide inventory for local thrift stores – which is where the recycling part comes in.

    “Our biggest thing is there’s always another use,” Boariu said. “Once it goes into a landfill, that’s it.”

    Many of BCSD’s schools fall into the territory of Mary Anna Lewis, owner of Lowcountry Textile Recycling. A majority of the schools within the territory were offered a bin, and the first set of bins were set up in May 2019.

    Lewis stressed that these clothes are recycled to help local businesses.

    “It’s recycling. It’s (being) stewards of the community, it’s fundraising for the schools,” she said.

    Boariu and Lewis said they are not discouraging residents from donating used clothes to charities of their choice, but the Clothes Bins model is one that results in a direct effect on the students and administration in that particular school.

    A lot of the clothes collected also go to impoverished areas of other countries, like the Dominican Republican and Uganda, where locals can sell the items in their own markets.

    “It’s going to third-world countries to marketplace vendors who are feeding their families off of reselling this stuff,” Lewis said.

    Clothes Bins has also previously gone into schools to promote the educational aspect of it to students, to show them how they can create business partnerships to help the earth and also provide jobs for families.

    BCSD schools use the funds they receive for different items. Hanahan High Principal Tom Gallus said his school puts it in its miscellaneous activity account and use it for supplies for staff and students.

    “If there is a student in need, we will use this account to supply them with supplies,” he said.

    Whitesville Elementary Principal Katie Taie said her school has been very happy with Clothes Bins. The school uses the funds to supplement field trip costs for parents, and for providing arts performances and enrichment activities for students. The PTO receives the funds and then provides financial support for those experiences.

    Whitesville reminds parents through social media and Blackboard to “clean out” their closets when school administration notices upcoming teacher requests.

    “Clothes Bin has benefited our school the most by allowing us to decrease the amount of money that we ask parents to spend for additional activities,” Taie said. “Over the past couple of years, we saw a substantial increase in the cost of buses for field experiences and needed to find a way to supplement that burden for our parents.”

    Sangaree Elementary Principal Tara Baker said the school has raised a little less than $100 and all funds right now are in the school’s business partner account. She plans to put out a blurb to remind families to provide textiles if they can.

    “We would love to raise more (money) to purchase additional personalized learning materials,” she said.

     

    Schools with a bin

    Berkeley Elementary

    Berkeley High

    Berkeley Middle

    Boulder Bluff Elementary

    Bowens Corner Elementary

    Cane Bay Elementary

    Cane Bay High

    Cane Bay Middle

    College Park Elementary

    College Park Middle

    Foxbank Elementary

    Goose Creek Elementary

    Goose Creek High

    Hanahan High

    Hanahan Middle

    Nexton Elementary

    Philip Simmons Elementary

    Philip Simmons High

    Philip Simmons Middle

    Sangaree Elementary

    Sangaree Middle

    Westview Elementary

    Whitesville Elementary

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  • We are excited to highlight another a BCSD Innovative Educator, Suzette Coors, a 7th grade ELA teacher at Philip Simmons Middle! #BCSDinnovates

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  • The purpose of this site is to share information for parents to understand the different technologies being used for instruction as well as provide tips for troubleshooting when tech challenges arise.

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  • The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) educational approach is growing in Berkeley County Schools.

    While STEAM is the hot acronymn in many school districts across the country, BCSD educators understand it's more than a collection of disciplines and a schedule of activities. STEAM is a mindset.

    When it comes to putting STEAM practices into place, experts say BCSD educators are among the best.

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  • Join the professionals on our transportation team. As a team member you will be an important part of the education process. If you are 18 years of age and have a high school diploma/GED you can become a bus driver or assistant. Make a difference in education. Bus drivers and bus assistants are key to our students’ success. We are focused on safety, and we’ll train you!

    School bus drivers must pass a rigorous background investigation including a SLED check and a DMV records check. School bus drivers must obtain and maintain a commercial driver’s license with passenger and federal school bus endorsements. They are also required to complete 20 hours of classroom instruction and pass a State Department of Education certification exam.  As a part of their training, drivers also complete many hours of on the road training and pass a rigorous driving evaluation. Each driver must pass a physical performance test and is subject to random monthly drug screening. Annually, drivers attend a minimum of 15 hours of training to maintain their proficiency.

    For employment information contact Ms. Lachell Griffin at (843) 899-8725. Applicants can fill out an online application.

    Berkeley County School District is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, handicap or disability in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities. 

    For bus driver training information contact:
    Lachell Griffin - Training and Safety Supervisor

    PO. Box 608
    Moncks Corner, SC 29461
    Office: 843-899-8725
    Fax: 843-899-8723
    Email: griffinlachell@bcsdschools.net

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