Orangeburg County School District: Grant to pay for SRO; trustees discuss requiring italics | Local

The Orangeburg County School District received a six-month School Resource Officer Grant from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Under the $568,692 grant, six school resource officers will be funded through June 30.

The grant will bring SRO to Holly Hill-Roberts Middle School, Elloree K-8, Marshall Elementary School, Cope Area Career Center, Orangeburg Technology Center, and Lake Marion High School Technology Center.

SROs could be located at other schools if needed.

The grant will pay salaries, equipment, training, and vehicles.

It is renewable for five years and would total about $3.5 million over five years, if desired.

The district plans to apply for an additional year renewal beginning July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

The district currently has a total of 10 SROs.

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During the January 11 board meeting, district council members gave a unanimous first reading of the district’s instructional policies.

There was some discussion about whether cursive writing programs are offered in the district’s elementary schools in light of the fact that the district’s instructional policies stipulate that students must be able to read cursive writing by the end of fifth grade.

Currently, the district does not have cursive writing requirements at all of its elementary schools.

Several trustees expressed a desire to offer cursive writing. Some members also wanted to ensure that the district provides courses and programs as outlined in the district’s instructional policy.

“I think this is very, very important, if it’s part of our instructional policy, that we’re actually doing the things that we’re supposed to be doing and not just passing a policy to say we have an instructional policy,” he said. Dr. Deborah Brunson said.

Trustees were asked to submit policy recommendations before the second reading.

Orangeburg Advanced College

The Orangeburg Advanced College program provides ninth graders with the opportunity to enroll in both high school and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College to receive both their high school diploma and associate’s degree.

The program allows students to earn more than 19 hours of college credit while in high school.

Students can participate in their high school activities while taking dual enrollment classes.

The application window for students to enter the program ends on February 28 and any 8th grade student is encouraged to apply.

Students and parents go through an interview process to participate in the program from March 1 to April 15. Students must have completed Algebra I and English I in middle school with a C average or higher, submit a 250-word essay, and have no discipline. infractions

There is no cost to families, and officials estimate that by earning college credit early, students can save about $2,340 over a semester.

About 20 students are currently in the program. The goal is to add an additional 75 students to the program.

Students can apply at

• The district has initiated an employee benefits program that allows teachers and staff to take advantage of discounts at local and national businesses. Information is available on the district website at

• Total school district revenue for the month of December was $15.4 million, with $9.5 million in expenses.

• Board members unanimously approved the district procurement code to align with the state procurement code. The procurement code creates a set of procedures that the board must follow when bidding on multi-dollar projects.

• Trustees gave a unanimous second and final reading to a board policy that establishes and clarifies the purpose of the district’s receipt of Emergency Relief Funds for Elementary and Secondary Schools, which is part of the federal Supplemental Appropriations Act Coronavirus Response and Relief.

The district has received $53 million of ESSER funding so far.

• The board recognized Trustee Mary Ulmer for her 15 years of service to the South Carolina School Boards Association.

• Students from the Lake Marion Technology Center Masonry Department donated concrete picnic tables to board members.

Board members will be able to choose which school they would like the tables to go to and will also be able to choose a specific table for themselves.

The trustees also received a concrete planter.

There are 61 students in the school’s masonry department.

• The district recognized Cope Area Career Center health sciences instructor Adrienne Wood as Rookie Teacher of the Month for December.

• The trustees signed the board’s annual ethical commitment to the conduct, actions, responsibilities and duties of members. $5.99 for the first month

• Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster announced that he is an official resident of Orangeburg County. Foster has been commuting from Aiken County since he was named superintendent more than a year ago.

• The trustees went into closed session to discuss personnel recommendations and a contract matter. No action was taken after the executive session.

• The next board meeting is scheduled for February 8th. The meeting will be streamed on the district website at

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Great News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD


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