Aiken County school board to vote on suspending high school semester exams | Education | #Education

High-schoolers in the Aiken County Public School District might not take semester exams this year, depending on the school board’s vote Tuesday night.

The Aiken County Board of Education will hold its first regular scheduled meeting after last week’s vote to transition schools into five-day classes over the next month.

Semester examinations count for one-fifth of the semester grade, according to the meeting agenda.

The statewide online school program, VirtualSC, has eliminated all semester exams for the school year. VirtualSC designs the majority of high school courses in the school district’s all-virtual Aiken Innovate, according to the meeting agenda.

“To ensure equity for all ACPSD students enrolled in both the hybrid and virtual models, it is the administration’s recommendation to suspend semester exams for all high school courses for the current school year,” reads the meeting agenda.

For high-schoolers, the hybrid model will end over the next month in the school district’s current plan.

High-school students, along with middle-schoolers, will start attending four-day classes on Oct. 26, then five-day on Nov. 4.

COVID-19

The school board will discuss voluntary COVID-19 testing for employees, an agenda item submitted by board member Cameron Nuessle.

Also related to COVID-19, the board will vote on a request for funding for PPE items for the school district.

Through a combination of district purchases, donations and state-supplied items, the school district has stocked and distributed PPE items like face masks, backpack sprayers, sanitizers, thermometers and more, according to the meeting agenda.

“We are still awaiting delivery of certain items including a supply of desk partitions and additional stock of gowns and sprayers,” reads the agenda.

Last week, communications director Mike Rosier said the school district ordered about 8,000 shields for students’ desks, but will not receive the first shipment of 3,000 shields until at least Oct. 19.

Additionally, the school board will receive a COVID-19 update as an information item, which does not require board action.

Grants and donations

The school board will vote to approve donations and grants for multiple schools.

Aiken High received a $2,000 donation from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The foundation also donated $3,850 to Redcliffe Elementary.

Frank and Dorothy Heckendorn donated $1,000 to North Aiken Elementary.

Midland Valley High’s PBIS/Youth Development Team received a $5,000 donation from Napleton Infiniti of Augusta.

The South Carolina Arts Commission awarded grants of $7,500 to New Ellenton STEAM Magnet Middle and $7,305 to Schofield Middle.

The school board will vote on a change to the Head Start/Early Head Start Grant. The amendment would eliminate the cost for three small buses and reallocate those funds.

Other business

Dr. Corey Murphy, chief officer of operations and student services, will provide construction status reports about Belvedere Elementary, Midland Valley High, Millbrook Elementary, North Augusta High and Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary.

Murphy will also report unused allowances of $19,940 in the flooring project at A.L. Corbett Middle/Busbee Elementary, a change to the final contract that the board will vote on.

The school board will vote on personnel appointments and out-of-district transfer requests.

In executive session, board members will again discuss hiring in-house counsel, a topic introduced at the Sept. 22 meeting and continued at the board’s Saturday morning meeting on Oct. 3.

The Aiken County Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at 1000 Brookhaven Drive. To watch the livestream of the meeting, visit acpsd.net.


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