by Octavia Mitchell
Nearly six -thousand students are back in school in Colleton county. From new bell schedules, to security efforts, we talked to the district’s superintendent about what’s ahead this new school year. Today we head to Walterboro.
Colleton County School District has 57-hundred students in nine schools. “We are Team Colleton,” says Colleton County Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster. “Things are going well. We’re excited for the new year. It’s going to be a great year for our school district, as we are working to prepare every child today for tomorrow.”
This is Dr. Foster’s fourth year as the leader of CCSD. This year brought a big change in bell schedules. Dr. Foster says, “We implemented a staggered bell schedule approved by the board last April. This year instead of all of our schools starting at the same time, we will be starting elementary school at 7:30, and starting middle at 8:30. With this change, we were able to reduce our routes from 88 routes to about 75, so that of course will take care of some of the bus driver shortages that we were experiencing. We are putting plans in place to help with some parents after school, with some after school child care we never had before. We are piloting that to see how that works to see if we have the interest there.”
Colleton County School District is expanding their New Tech program. “Palmetto New Tech, which is an extension of our commitment to being a K-12 high school that has the New Tech practices in all of our classrooms. Last year, we brought Bells on board. This year, we’re starting Palmetto New Tech at the middle school,” says Foster.
Colleton county has seven teacher vacancies.
The district spent a lot of time training and examining safety protocol and procedures. The superintendent says, “In our budget this year, we included the additional SRO to help at our elementary schools. Right now, we don’t have a full time SRO at our elementary school, but our hope is we can use the two that we’re going to have to rotate between those schools, and be more in place for longer periods of time. We’re committed. We’re going to be focused as a team, and we’re going to make sure that everything we do from our custodians all the way up to myself, that everybody knows we are committed to making sure our students have the best possible year that they can have in Colleton County School District.”