Robert Ondere On ETV

Lugoff-Elgin High School math teacher Robert Ondere, a 2009 Milken Educator, will be featured this Sunday on an ETV special called “Teachers of Excellence.”  Robert will be highlighted along with several other of our state’s top teachers.  The program will air at 1:30 p.m. on South Carolina ETV.

Coming To Life….

Got a chance to drive some around the District today…Things are starting to come to life…Practice fields are lined and saw some band members practicing.  Next week, preseason practices for fall sports start in earnest.  It’s fun to watch the excitement of a new year building up!

More KCSD Athletes Recognized

It was good see two of our athletes recognized this morning in the “Neighbors” section of the State newspaper.  Cory Spaulding of Lugoff-Elgin High School was named to the All-Area 4A Golg Team and Jojo Tiller and Micah Thomas from Camden High School were named to the All-Area 3A Tennnis Team.  Congratulations!

Super Job!!!

I got to visit a number of schools for registration yesterday, and was extremely impressed with how things were going and how well things were organized.  Special thanks to Blaney Elementary and North Central Middle for piloting the automated receipt system, which I hope to have in place in all schools for next year’s registration.  Super job!

Welcome To Our New County Administrator

I emjoyed being able to attend the midday “drop-in” at the Alpha Center to welcome our new County Administrator, Mr. Vic Carpenter.  I’ve already had several opportunities to talk and work with Mr. Carpenter, and I know he is going to be a great asset to Kershaw County.  Thanks to Paul Napper and his staff at the Alpha Center for hosting this opportunity to welcome Mr. Carpenter!

DMES Student Reaches Out

I was inspired by an article I read in the Chronicle-Independent about Thomas Churchwell, a rising third grader at Doby’s Mill Elementary, who is trying to raise money to provide school supplies for 10 of his classmates.  From July 29-31, Thomas is inviting the public to visit his grandfather’s (Mr. Paul Towns) collection of trains, tractors, and other toys at 2433 Charlie Horse Circle in Elgin.  Folks can visit from 6-9 p.m.  A donation of $5 or $5 in school supplies is requested, with the proceeds going to help Thomas to help his 10 classmates.

A Job Well Done!

Over the past couple of weeks, the District has moved its offices to a new location at 2029 West DeKalb Street, the former Howden Buffalo headquarters.  To move the entire office operation and continue to do business as close to normal as possible required hard work and team work from everyone involved.  I am extremely pleased that pretty much all of our operations are now in one place, which will increase both efficiency and service to the public.  Great job by everyone!


I was honored to be asked to serve on an advisory panel for South Carolina ETV this year.  I attended my first meeting on Friday, and continue t0 be impressed with and thankful for the many services ETV provides to schools, services school districts would probably never be able to afford, especially in these times.  I look forward to working over the course of this year with folks from throughout the state on ways to enhance the many great things ETV already does for education.

Another Camp Visit

I tremendously enjoyed my visit this morning to the summer program being operated by Camden First United Methodist Church through the “Safe Schools/Healthy Students” grant.  This camp has served between 90-100 students all summer.  When I got there, the kids were hard at work on reading, writing, and math.  Other activities during a very busy day include swimming, dance, a variety of guest speakers, music, computers, field trips, and a community service project for Food for the Soul and the United Way.  This program is just outstanding!  It’s going to make a huge difference for its participants!

PASS Results Released

KCSD PASS scores exceed state averages in writing, ELA and math; local scores at grade 3, 6 and 8 outperform state averages in all subjects

 The Kershaw County School District’s 2011 PASS scores exceeded state averages at every grade level in writing, English language arts (ELA) and math in results released today by the State Department of Education.  KCSD students in grades 3, 6 and 8 outperformed state averages in all subjects.

“I am extremely pleased with these results and want to extend my personal thanks to all of our schools for their outstanding performance in times of decreased resources,” said Kershaw County School District Superintendent Frank Morgan.  “I am especially delighted with our students’ writing, ELA and math scores.”   

South Carolina and federal laws require end-of-the-year accountability tests for grades 3-8 that are based on state academic standards.  PASS results include scores in five subject areas: writing, ELA (reading and research), mathematics, science and social studies.  KCSD students outperformed state averages in meeting standards in 22 of 26 categories.

PASS has three scoring levels:

  • Exemplary – The student demonstrated exemplary performance in meeting the grade level standard.
  • Met – The student met the grade-level standard.
  • Not met – The student did not meet the grade-level standard.

“I want our elementary and middle schools to know how proud I am to see that Kershaw County students continue to show excellent achievement on these tests,” said Morgan.  “We’ve had numerous financial challenges, but our teachers, staff and students have remained focused.  This is great news.”  

The highest percentage of KCSD students passing per subject varied per grade level.  In writing, KCSD 5th graders had the highest number with 80.4 percent while KCSD 3rd graders had the highest number in ELA with 81 percent. KCSD 4th graders had the most passing in math with 80.1 percent. KCSD 8th graders had the highest percentage passing in science with 78.1 percent while 6th graders had the greatest number meeting standards in social studies with 80.8 percent.  

 The highest percentage of students scoring Exemplary varied per grade level across the subjects.  For writing, 39.2 percent of the 5th graders scored exemplary while 55.7 of 3rd graders scored Exemplary in ELA.  For math, 43.3 percent of 3rd graders scored Exemplary while 46.8 percent of 8th graders scored at that level in science and 41.7 percent of 8th graders did in social studies.

 PASS, the state’s current accountability test, was first administered during the 2008-2009 school year.  Last year, the State Board of Education adopted standards proposed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative in the subjects of English language arts, writing and mathematics.  This decision will require the adoption of a new accountability test beginning in the 2014-2015 school year for these subjects and could be administered to most students by computer.