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District News
Batesburg-Leesville Primary School PTO will host its annual Family Movie Night on Monday, November 3 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in Leesville Park.  Cost is $4 per person and price includes a picture from the photo booth, slice of pizza, chips, drink, Blow Pop and one bag of popcorn.  Additional popcorn, pizza and drinks will be sold throughout the night.  All students must be accompanied by an adult in order to attend the event.
The movie Freebirds will be shown beginning at 6:45 p.m.  Other activities scheduled during the evening are face painting, and photo both with the B-L mascots from 5:30 until 6:30 and the “Talk to the Hands” Sign Language Club will perform songs and book read-aloud at 6:30 p.m.
For the second time, Batesburg-Leesville Primary and Elementary Schools’ teachers Johnna Harbert, Melissa Keisler and Erin McQuade have received the Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative “Bright Ideas” program grant for the schools’ “Talk to the Hands” Sign Language Clubs.  The cooperative’s “Bright Ideas” program grants provide funding to teachers who have demonstrated innovative ideas for classroom projects.
Students in grades K4 through fifth grade meet weekly with the teachers before the start of the school day to learn sign language, which incorporates another language into the students’ primary mode of communication.  The club brings awareness to deafness, not only in the schools, but in the community as well.  The original goal for the club was to make participating students aware of differences in people and promote social acceptance.  Since its inception, the “Talk to the Hands” club members have performed at local festivals, football games, school board meetings, and community club meetings.  A new goal of the club is for students to become even more comfortable with sign language in order to build lasting relationship with students in the schools who are deaf.
Money received from the “Bright Ideas” grant will be used to purchase a number of sign language teaching tools as well as prizes to reward students when they learn new skills and demonstrate proficiency in certain areas.
This year’s awards mark the tenth annual Bright Ideas program recognition.  Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative gave approximately $16,000 to 18 winners across the Mid-Carolina Electric service area.
MCEC’s CEO Bob Paulling said, “The idea behind “Bright Idea” is to help empower good teachers to provide support outside of normal public school funding for great projects that deserved to be used in the classroom, yet need that extra assistance.  (It’s) Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative’s way of ‘energizing innovative lessons’ by educators at local schools.
Veteran’s Day 2014 will be a special day at B-L Middle School this year.  The school’s teachers and staff will host numerous activities to educate their students about the sacrifices of veterans and to honor their service.
The key event of the day will be a luncheon honoring veterans to be held in the school’s cafeteria.  Students who have loved ones who are veterans have been asked to invite their veteran to school to have lunch with them and their classmates.  A special table will be set up in the school cafeteria to recognize these honored citizens.  The Batesburg-Leesville Middle School PTO will provide the resources to pay for each veteran’s lunch, as well as providing additional goodies for the veterans.
In order to accommodate the additional lunch numbers, students are asked to return a form to the school that was given to them by November 5.  Guests should enter the school and sign-in at the front desk.  Lunch/arrival times are as follows:
6th grade lunch:  11:05 a.m.
7th grade lunch:  12:25 p.m.
8th grade lunch:  11:35 a.m
Batesburg-Leesville High School JROTC Department will host its annual Veterans Day program at the Batesburg-Leesville High gymnasium on Tuesday, November 11 at 10 a.m.  All local veterans and veterans’ organizations are cordially invited to attend.  Special recognition will be made of each veteran in attendance for his/her service to our great nation.  If you are a veteran and plan to attend, please contact Colonel Jonathan Robinson or First Sergeant Tim Covington at 803-532-9251, ext. 7110 or 7129. 
The keynote speaker for this year’s program is Colonel Michael Hildreth, United States Army.  Col. Hildreth serves as the Deputy Assistant for Cyber Center of Excellence in fort Gordon, Georgia.  Veterans and guests are asked to arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. for final registration prior to the start of the program.  Additionally, citizens of the Batesburg-Leesville and surrounding communities are welcome to participate in honoring our veterans on this special day.

By Angie Rye, Chief Academic Officer for Lexington Three
Lexington School District Three met expectations on the recent ESEA score released by the State Department of Education.  The areas of assessment measure whether students have met or improved on proficiency in English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. The assessment also measured the percent tested in English Language Arts and Math and the high school graduation rate. 
The school district earned a score of 76.9 points, which is a "C." The score is an improvement from last year when the district received a score of 73.5.
For three years, the state has given school districts and schools letter grades to report academic progress to the federal government.  School scores were as follows:

BL Elementary           81.3                  ‘B’             Performance exceeds state expectations
BL Middle                  71.5                  ‘C’                 Performance meets state expectations
BL High                      79.7                  ‘C’                 Performance meets state expectations
The Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) for 2014 increased five points for elementary schools, four points for middle schools and three points for high schools (HSAP) and sometimes two points in end-of-course exams.  The AMO is a rigorous target that changes annually.  Lexington School District Three has been working for the last three years to implement reading and writing across all subject areas at all grade levels, increase opportunities for collaboration and use of technology, and implement quality classroom assessments that will prepare students for future success. 
Statewide, 62 out of 82 districts (76 percent) and 919 of 1,136 schools (81 percent) met or exceeded the state expectations by obtaining a total composite score of 70 or above on a scale of 0-100. A 70 is a "C."  The ESEA report card is one of two report cards issued by the State Department of Education to rate school progress.  The state will issue another report card to schools, later this fall, not tied to federal reporting.  Starting next year, the state will issue only one report card showing whether districts are meeting state and federal performance standards.
Thirty-two men and women from the Batesburg-Leesville community have committed themselves to serving as mentors for students at Batesburg-Leesville Primary and Elementary Schools during the 2014-15 school year.  These mentors will visit selected students on a weekly basis at school to provide encouragement, a listening ear , and a heart filled with love for children.  During these visits, the mentor and mentee will develop bonds of friendship that will last long after their mentoring has ended. 
Mentors help students in a variety of ways, such as reading to them or listening to the child read; playing games; having conversations; eating lunch together; working on homework or projects; and other needs of the student.  What the mentor and mentee do together is not nearly as important as is the fact that they ARE together on a consistent basis.
Lexington 3 Mentoring Coordinator, Elizabeth Phillips is thrilled with the large number of mentors that will work with students this year.  At the recent Mentoring Dinner and Training, Mrs. Phillips expressed her appreciation to the mentors and shared with them the important role that they play in the lives of their mentees. “Mentors play such a vital role in the positive development of our mentees and can be the difference between whether a child chooses to succeed or not, “ stated Mrs. Phillips.  “We encourage more caring adults to contact me about our mentoring program so that they too, can make a difference in the life of a child.”
Interested individuals should contact Mrs. Phillips at ephillips@lex3.k12.sc.us or call her at 803-960-1005 for more information on the mentoring program.
Bill Harbert, Director of Special Services for Lexington 3, is a champion for children, especially for children with special needs.  As Director of Lexington 3’s Special Services Department, Bill makes sure that the 345 students served by his department have what they need to succeed.  Special Education teachers and therapists know that he stands ready to provide them with materials in order to assist students.  Bill is a “hands on” director who goes into the district’s schools to meet with teachers and he knows many students by name and knows about their backgrounds and circumstances.  Since becoming the district’s school psychologist in 2005, and Director of Special Services in 2012, Bill has worked tirelessly to improve the communication between his department and the faculty and staff members who serve Special Education students, as well as other teachers in the District.  His compassion for children and his expertise in the area of Special Education are evident in his daily work with students, teachers and parents.
By Angie Rye, Chief Academic Officer for Lexington 3
The recent release of End of Course, SAT and AP Exam scores showed mixed results for Batesburg-Leesville High School students.  SAT scores dropped sharply from an average of 1373 in 2012-13 to an average of 1297 in 2013-14.   After analysis of the data, the high school guidance and administrative team are working with students to provide information that will help them choose the appropriate college or career exam and provide test prep opportunities to ensure students have the needed data for college admissions. 

The End of Course Exam results showed improvements in all four areas.  US History and English continue to be areas where improvements in the mean score need to be made.  Gains included:   English 1 Mean Score in 2012-13 – 70.4, Mean Score in 2013-14 - 72.5, 3.8% decrease in failures.  Algebra 1 Mean Score in 2012-13 – 77.3, Mean Score in 2013-14 – 77.4, 3.2% decrease in failures.  Biology Mean Score in 2012-13 – 81.7, Mean Score in 2013-14 – 85.4, 5.7% decrease in failures.  US History Mean Score in 2012-13 – 96.5, Mean Score in 2013-14 – 70.4, 7% decrease in failures.

 End of course exam scores count for 20 percent of a student’s final grade.  In the area of Biology, B-L High students exceeded the state average, and also exceeded the average of students in Lexington 1, 2, and 4, Aiken County, Kershaw County, Richland 1 and 2 and Saluda County.
The Advanced Placement exam results showed almost half (47%) of the 76 exams given in Lexington Three last year yielded scores of 3 or higher.  Students who score a 3 or higher can receive college credit towards the equivalent college course.  The number of AP exams given at Batesburg-Leesville High School nearly doubled from 45 in 2013 to 70 in 2014. 

“While we made progress in some areas and have been able to expand course opportunities in the last few years, we continue to use this data to help us make improvements in all of our classrooms so the students leaving Batesburg-Leesville High School have rigorous and engaging experiences that will help them meet the challenges of college, career, or military pathways that they may choose to take,” says Dr. Lisa Allison, Instructional Coordinator at BL High School. 
Harvest Hope Works With Area Churches to Provide BackPacks for School Children
There are currently more than 1,300 school children in Batesburg-Leesville schools who receive meals each school day on free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs, yet that is only 70% of the number of children in need of meals at each school. Throughout all of Lexington County there are more almost 14,000 children facing food insecurity.

Harvest Hope Food Bank is committed to providing the hunger relief these children need to grow and learn, and works with churches in the Batesburg-Leesville community to deliver backpacks with weekend food to children in area schools through the BackPack Program.

Saint James Lutheran Church provides backpacks for children at Batesburg Primary School and Mount Ebal Baptist Church provides backpacks children at Batesburg Elementary School. Children in these schools who participate in Harvest Hope’s BackPack Program each receive a backpack on Friday with enough food to last them through the weekend, and each backpack contains seven nutritious meals that children can open and prepare themselves. Last year the BackPack Program provided more than 10,330 meals to children at Batesburg Primary and Batesburg Elementary schools.

Both Saint James Lutheran Church and Mount Ebal Baptist Church are good stewards in their efforts to reduce the pain of hunger for children in our Batesburg-Leesville communities. They receive food from Harvest Hope specifically purchased for children’s nutritional needs, which becomes seven meals in each backpack to make sure the children have enough to eat through weekends during the school year. Congregation members at St. James Lutheran and Mt. Ebal Baptist churches then pack each backpack with the purchased food before delivering the backpacks to their designated schools, where they are distributed to participating Backpack Program children by teachers or guidance counselors.

The BackPacks delivered to Batesburg Elementary and Batesburg Primary schools by Harvest Hope’s partnering churches are essential in making sure these children have the nutrition they need to return to school each Monday ready to learn, but there are many more children who need to participate in this vital program. Harvest Hope is seeking funding to expand the BackPack Program in these schools and make sure every child facing hunger has enough meals to last each weekend. More funding will mean more food can be purchased for the dedicated congregations at St. James Lutheran and Mt. Ebal Baptist Churches to pack and deliver. Just $30 will provide 28 meals through the BackPack program.

Harvest Hope is asking the community to show their support for our children by donating to our BackPack Programs for schools in the Batesburg-Leesville area. Donations can be made at www.harvesthope.org/donate, and can be specified for the BackPack Programs at these schools. Donations can also be mailed to Harvest Hope Food Bank at PO Box 451, Columbia SC 29202, and donors can list the Batesburg-Leesville BackPack Program on the check to make sure the funds will go to these programs.

Harvest Hope is grateful to St. James Lutheran Church and Mt. Ebal Baptist Church for their ongoing dedication to bringing hunger relief to children of struggling families in the Batesburg-Leesville communities. Without their support, 300 children would face the pain of hunger each weekend. With more support and increased funds, Harvest Hope will make sure more children receive the BackPacks they need to grow, learn and thrive.
Batesburg-Leesville Middle School seventh grade Social Studies teacher Laura Carson was named as the 2014-15 Lexington County School District Three Teacher of the Year during the District’s annual Teacher of the Year Banquet on September 24 at Southern Occasions in Batesburg-Leesville. Carson was selected from the four finalists, including Erika Smith, Batesburg-Leesville Primary School kindergarten teacher; Marci Arant, Batesburg-Leesville Elementary third grade teacher; and Jim Adams, Batesburg-Leesville High School Business Education teacher.

In her tenth year as a Social Studies teacher at Batesburg-Leesville Middle School, Laura Carson has known all of her life that she was destined to become a teacher. As a child, she “played school” on a daily basis and when it was time to chose a career, there was no question in her mind as to what she would do—she would teach.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Winthrop University and a Master of Education in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University, Laura came to Lexington 3 in 2005 as a first-year teacher. Throughout the ensuing ten years, she has served on numerous school, district and state level committees and even completed a two-week residential seminar and three week study tour of China and Japan.

Striving to teach history in an exciting and thought-provoking way is one of Laura main goals. She tries to teach history in a way that helps students connect event that happened hundreds of years ago to what is happening to her students now. She believes that students need to create their own meanings and make connections rather than just memorizing facts and dates.

Although test scores and awards do matter, these quantitative measures are not what are most important in Laura’s classroom. She measures her accomplishments by students who come back after leaving her class and express their gratitude for what they learned while in her class.

Laura’s philosophy of teaching is that “teaching is a challenging and hugely rewarding profession that is built on relationships. Teachers are responsible for preparing and equipping students to be college and career ready, whatever college or career that they may choose. A teacher’s job goes deeper than teaching a specific set of standards, skills or subject matter. Teachers prepare students to be productive citizens in society, develop their identities and values, nurture them, and foster their talents all in the hope of developing well-rounded individuals. It is a huge responsibility and rewarding at the same time.”

Laura, along with the other District 3 finalists, received Chrome Books and carrying cases, engraved plaques and numerous other gifts provided by Lexington 3. A number of local businesses including: BI-LO of Batesburg-Leesville, Comporium Midlands, Oswald Wholesale Lumber, Inc., Shealy’s Bar-B-Que, Unique Image, Wiz’s Eatery and Woman’s Society of Batesburg-Leesville also donated gifts to the Lexington 3 finalists.

The South Carolina State Teacher of the Year competition will begin in January 2015. All District Teachers of the Year will submit an online application at this time and then these applications will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The top 5 Teachers of the Year will be selected and will then go through the process of determining the next State Teacher of the Year.

The following guidelines for individuals with passes entering  home football games will be strictly enforced at Batesburg-Leesville High in 2014. In order to avoid unnecessary delays or problems when entering the stadium, we ask that you read carefully the following procedures. If you have any questions feel free to contact the Batesburg-Leesville High School office at 803-532-9251.

 There will now be a separate pass gate just to the left of the main ticket booth on the home side of the stadium. Anyone with an authorized pass must enter through this gate and present their pass or ID to the gatekeeper. The following list includes passes that are approved:

 High School League
District Three School Board Member (present and past)
Senior Citizen
Lexington District Three Retiree
Band Booster
Lexington Three employees who display their employee ID badge

 Everyone else entering the stadium must have a ticket with the exception of pre-school children who are admitted free. Ticket prices for 2014 regular season football games are $7 for adults and $5 for students.
The Lexington County School District Three board of trustees prohibits campaigning in the district’s schools or on school property by individual candidates or parties for municipal, school board, county, state, or federal elections with the following exceptions.
 Schools may organize all-candidate forums for educational purposes.
  • School space may be rented after school hours by a candidate or party on a commercial basis.
  • The board prohibits the posting or distributing of campaign materials associated with elections on district property with these exceptions:
Campaign materials may be posted and distributed in that part of a school rented for a campaign meeting or being used for an all-candidate forum.  However, all political materials must be removed from school premises at the end of any such meeting.

Campaign materials may be used as classroom teaching aids on the condition that support for an individual or political party is not solicited. Anyone having questions on this policy should contact the superintendent’s office at 532-4423 during normal business hours.

 With the passage of ACT 155 by the State Legislature, there is now a procedure in place for students to receive a high school diploma who did not receive a high school diploma due solely to not meeting the HSAP Exit Exam requirement.  Below you will find Lexington County School District Three’s process for students who wish to petition for a high school diploma.  Batesburg-Leesville High School guidance secretary, Dot Minick, is the district designee and all questions should be directed to her.  Mrs. Minick’s phone number is 803-532-9251.  Mrs. Minick will handle all requests and she is also the designee who will correspond directly with the South Carolina Department of Education regarding all requests.

 Lexington School District Three

Act 155 Diploma Granting Procedure

 ·         A person no longer enrolled in a public school who was denied graduation solely for failing to meet the exit exam requirements (S.C. Code Section 59-18-310(B)) may petition the local school board of trustees to determine his or her eligibility to receive a high school diploma. Pursuant to Act 155, the local school board of trustees of the district where the person completed graduation requirements will receive the petition, determine the person’s eligibility to receive a high school diploma, and request a diploma.

·         The exit examination requirement (BSAP, HSAP) has been in place since the 1989-1990 school year, therefore, Act 155 provisions will be applicable for former students beginning with the Class of 1990. The former student receiving a diploma under the ACT 155 provision should have met all graduation requirements except passing the exit exam for the year the student would have graduated.   All petitions are required to be filed by December 31, 2015.

·         Once the petition request is received by the district, the district designee will review the academic record for each student and determine if all graduation requirements except the previous exit exam requirement are in compliance with Act 155 of 2014.

·         Each Act 155 Diploma Request submitted to the district contact person must contain complete information for each diploma request. Due to Family Education Rights and Privacy Act guidelines, all requests for students age 18 and older must be signed by the student.  Petition requests must  include: school district name, high school name, date request submitted, full name of student as appears on birth certificate, and the school year the student would have graduated from high school.

·         The South Carolina Department of Education will forward a diploma request for each person on the Act 155 Diploma Request to the printer (Herff Jones), following a procedure similar to the one currently in place for ordering initial diplomas. Completed diplomas will be mailed to the district contact person. Please allow at least three to four weeks for production and delivery to the district. The diploma issued will be a current state diploma at the time of printing.

 Please submit written petitions to:

 Batesburg-Leesville High School

Attention:  Dot Minick

Guidance Office

600 Summerland Avenue

Batesburg, SC 29006

 Questions can also be directed to Dot Minick at (803) 532-9251.


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338 West Columbia Ave., Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29006
Phone: 803-532-4423 Fax: 803-532-8000

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