HomeroomThe latest on issues relevant to Beaufort County public schools, as well as local private schools and colleges.
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Rachel Heaton covers education in Beaufort County. She is an Oklahoma native and Missouri transplant. She graduated from the University of Missouri and previously worked at a local news website in suburban St. Louis. | Email Rachel
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Members of the board for Riverview Charter School spent hours late Monday night developing a plan to accommodate additional minority students to meet requirements set last month by the federal Office for Civil Rights.
The board of directors met Monday for the first time since reaching an agreement with OCR and the Beaufort County Board of Education allowing the county’s first charter school to open Aug. 17.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropic organization devoted to helping disadvantaged children, has released its 20th annual Kids Count Data Book, a national and state-by-state look at the well-being of U.S. children.
The report shows South Carolina ranks 45th nationally in overall child well-being, ahead of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. Last year, South Carolina ranked 46th.
Riverview Charter School received approval from the federal Office for Civil Rights and the Beaufort County Board of Education to open this school year. It will open Aug. 17.
Here are some general facts regarding Riverview Charter School, the Beaufort County School District and laws governing how charter schools can be run and their racial composition:
• Riverview Charter School will open in a temporary site at 302 Burroughs Ave., where the district once housed its student services offices and a humanities school. Riverview still seeks a permanent site in the Burton area.
The Beaufort County Board of Education hopes to reach an agreement Saturday with the federal Office for Civil Rights and Riverview Charter School that will allow the school to open as scheduled, board chairman Fred Washington Jr. said Friday evening.
The board will consider the future of Riverview Charter School at its annual summer retreat Saturday, according to an amended agenda released Friday afternoon. The board meets at 9 a.m. in the district office board room at 1300 King St. in Beaufort.
Fred Washington Jr., chairman of the Beaufort County Board of Education, urged local legislators and Beaufort County Council members Tuesday to come together to discuss how to address the issue of illegal immigration and its effect on county schools.
Washington — as well as state Sen. Tom Davis and state Rep. Shannon Erickson — attended the county council committee meeting to review the county’s legislative priorities. Washington introduced two issues he hopes officials and community and business leaders continue to discuss this year.
An ongoing investigation of the diversity and recruitment efforts of Riverview Charter School by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights has delayed funding for the school.
Riverview supporters anticipated the Beaufort County Board of Education would write its first check to the charter school Wednesday, the start of the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
Members of the Beaufort County Board of Education committee charged with recommending a new location for a central school district office met Friday with superintendent Valerie Truesdale to hear her thoughts on the project.
“The more central, the better,” Truesdale said. “It does need to be very easily accessible.”
The district’s main office is now at 1300 King Street in Beaufort. Committee members are exploring other locations, such as Okatie or Robert Smalls Parkway in Beaufort.
The company that has been the Beaufort County School District’s maintenance contractor for 10 years might be replaced this summer if the Board of Education follows the recommendation of the district’s bid evaluation committee.
The evaluation committee — primarily composed of district office administrators — recommended that GCA Services Group be awarded the maintenance contract after the district’s contract with Sodexo, Inc. expires June 30.
A lawsuit filed against the Beaufort County School District by an 18-year-old who claimed he was sexually abused by a Spanish teacher at Hilton Head Island High in 2003 was dismissed by Master-in-Equity Marvin H. Dukes III in March.
The suit stated that the district and school board members were negligent because they did nothing to prevent the abuse from occurring and under-reacted afterward.
The school district requested dismissal of the lawsuit, which was filed in December 2007, based on statute of limitations. Dukes’ ruled in the school district’s favor March 17.
Relocating the central school district office is once again on the Beaufort County Board of Education’s agenda.
Chairman Fred Washington Jr. appointed a committee of board members Tuesday to discuss plans for a new office. The main office is now at 1300 King Street in Beaufort.
Washington said the committee will evaluate where the office should be located and which school departments should be housed there. The committee will first meet early next month and eventually report back to the full board with recommendations.