Friday, December 26, 2014

Earn money for college over winter break!

Calling all high school seniors!  It’s time to apply for the Sparkleberry Country Fair Scholarship. Guidance counselors and College and Career Specialists at each high school have applications available. Applications can also be downloaded.

The deadline to apply is Friday, February 20, 2015. Last year, 20 seniors were each awarded $1,000 college scholarships. Money for the scholarships comes from proceeds from the Sparkleberry Fair.

Friday, December 19, 2014

High schools again give generously to charities

The holidays will be brighter for many in the Midlands thanks to the hard work of Richland Two students. Continuing in the annual tradition, each of the district’s five high schools successfully hosted student-led, school-wide service projects designed to encourage students to explore, understand and address community needs.

While district-wide totals are still being calculated, the numbers are adding up as follows: more than 136,500 non-perishable food items, 2,800 clothing items, 670 stockings, 500 toiletry items, 2,600 toys and 7,100 books; 304 units of blood for the American Red Cross; 61 blankets and 519 pounds of supplies for the Blythewood Animal Hospital and $11,600 in cash donations. Students also sponsored more than 316 families and foster children from the Midlands.

Each school held celebratory pep rallies with their own unique titles: Winter Wishes at Ridge View High School, Holiday Wishes at Blythewood High School, HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) 365 at Richland Northeast High School, Redhawk Holidays – W.O.W. Wishes of Westwood at Westwood High School and Winter Days at Spring Valley High School.

Click on image to see photos from the high school celebrations on Flickr! 

Additionally, elementary and middle schools across the district partnered with the high schools to collect donations. Their charitable giving will benefit numerous organizations including God’s Storehouse, foster children from the S.C. Department of Social Services, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, James R. Clark Sickle Cell Foundation, Palmetto Project’s Families Helping Families, Carolina Children’s Garden, Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter, Transitions, the Richland Two Backpack Program, students from Rwanda, Richland County First Steps, Tricia’s Trunk, Harvest Hope, Toys 4 Tots, Christian Assistance Bridge, Canine Angels and Hannah House.

For more information, contact Joe Burke,, 803.738.3210.

This week on Flickr!

More giving from schools, adorable holiday concerts, making puzzles and general cuteness! Click on the photo to visit our Photostream!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Join the Richland Two family!

Register Now  for the 16th Annual Certified Teacher Career Fair, Saturday, January 31, 2015. Registration closes January 16, 2015.

Friday, December 12, 2014

This week on Flickr!

Click on image to visit our Flickr photostream.

Grow Financial Federal Credit Union ribbon cutting at Westwood, high school holiday giving projects, special recognitions from the Dec. 9 School Board meeting, Hour of Code activities, A Day in the Life of Rusty Curry, Joseph Keels in the Columbia Christmas Parade and much more!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Richland Two leads the state in new National Board Certified teachers

Richland School District Two is home to 20 additional teachers who have earned the distinction of becoming National Board Certified. That’s more new teachers with the certification than any other district in South Carolina. Overall, Richland Two continues to lead the state with 693 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). The district is ranked 12th nationally in regards to teachers who have earned this distinction.

In addition to the 20 newly certified teachers, 21 teachers successfully renewed their National Board Certification for another 10 years. While certification is a rewarding professional development experience for teachers, there is also a very tangible outcome. Richland Two teachers will receive $5,000 annually from the district for the 10-year life of the certificate. Additionally, teachers who applied before July 1, 2010, will receive $7,500 annually from the state. Those who applied after that date will receive an additional $5,000 from the state.

Statewide there were 136 new NBCTs, with Charleston, Lexington-Richland Five, Richland One and Greenville School Districts following Richland Two, respectively. With a total of 8,820 NBCTs, South Carolina ranks third nationally, behind only North Carolina and Florida. Richland Two has led the state in the number of NBCTs for nine of the last 14 years.

Richland Two 2014 National Board Certified Teachers

Jason Aldridge
Spring Valley High School
Lane Laney
Ridge View High School​
Shaina Barber
E.L. Wright Middle School​
​Jill Lee
Round Top Elementary School
Tiffany Broome
Spring Valley High School​
​Nichole Luckie
Catawba Trail Elementary School
Samantha Butler
Langford Elementary School​
​Chris Nostrant
Ridge View High School
Victoria Casper
Muller Road Middle School ​
​Ryan Pearson
Catawba Trail Elementary School
Sandra Dietel
Blythewood High School​
​Elizabeth Robitzsch
Bridge Creek Elementary Schoo 
​Augusta Greene
Center For Knowledge
​Gratiana Ugro
Blythewood High School
Tiffany Hawthorne
Lonnie B Nelson Elem School​
​Amber Wagner
Forest Lake Elementary School
Aimee Hinks
Richland Two Child Development​
​Meredith Ward
Blythewood High School
Elizabeth Jackson
Pontiac Elementary School​
​Allana Weigle
Muller Road Middle School 

Monday, December 8, 2014

School Board meeting Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Richland Two School Board will convene for its regularly scheduled meeting tomorrow, December 9, 2014 at Polo Road Elementary School, located at 1250 Polo Road, 29223. The board will meet at 5:30 and move immediately into executive session. Public session is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. View the agenda.

Westwood to hold grand opening of Grow Financial Federal Credit Union office December 10

Students at Westwood High School will benefit from a new partnership with Grow Financial Federal Credit Union. Grow Financial is opening an office on the school’s campus. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 8:30 a.m.

Assistant Principal Mike Young, who was instrumental in bringing the partnership to Westwood, says this has been in the making since August 2013.

“This venture allows students and staff to open and manage accounts at our school. The partnership is even more lucrative because Career and Technology Education (CATE) students in marketing, finance, and banking areas can apply for a year-long internship with Grow Financial,” said Young.
Four students have already started their internship this school year.

“All too often you hear that today’s students are not getting the financial training they need to manage their money wisely,” said Westwood Principal Ralph Schmidt. “This is a real world experience that lets students become members of a real financial institution, using real money.”

Westwood is the second Richland Two school to have its own banking facility. Last school year, Richland Northeast opened its own branch of SAFE Federal Credit Union on its campus.

If you would like more information about Westwood’s partnership with Grow Financial, please contact assistant principal Mike Young at 803.691.4049, ext. 36362 or via email at

Friday, December 5, 2014

Terri Butts named finalist for prestigious national education award

Terri Butts

The NEA Foundation announced this week that Terri Butts, Child Development Center Curriculum Effectiveness Specialist and former Richland Two teacher of the year, will receive the Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence, $10,000, and recognition as one of the nation’s top educators at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Awards Gala to be held on Feb. 13, 2015 in Washington, DC.

The NEA Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence are presented annually at its awards gala, which attracts more than 800 national leaders from the public education, philanthropic, and business sectors.  The awards recognize, reward, and promote excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession.

“Terri has been selected for this award by her peers because she has attained the highest teaching standards, as shown by her exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, attention to diversity, leadership in professional development, and engagement of parents and community,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Honoring these educators is our way of thanking them, and all the public school educators they represent, for their excellent work.”

Butts was nominated for the award by the South Carolina Education Association, the state’s National Education Association affiliate.

Butts has been an educator for over 19 years. She had the honor of serving as the 2012-2013 Richland District Two Teacher of the year. Currently, she holds the honor of being a National Education Foundation Top Five Horace Mann awardee. Butts has taught second and third grades in both Kershaw and Richland counties. She earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from Hampton University in Hampton Virginia. Butts worked in many areas from childcare to social work before finding her true calling in teaching. In 1995, she earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina. In her years of teaching, she has served as a cooperating teacher for graduate students, an Instructional Coach, and an adjunct instructor for Winthrop University. She received National Board Certification in the area of Middle Childhood/Generalist in 2002  and recertification in 2011. Butts, and her husband Edward, have been married for 31 years. They are the proud parents of two adult children and a wonderful grandson.

The NEA Foundation will live stream video of the event on its website, enabling students, peers, and families of the awardees to join in the celebration from communities around the country. In addition to this recognition, students and educators at the awardees’ schools have produced videos of the awardees that will be premiered at the awards gala.

A Day in the Life of Blythewood High School teacher Rusty Curry December 10

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Half Day Friday for elementary and middle schools

Half day Friday for elementary & middle schools. Elementary school dismisses at 11:30 a.m. Middle school dismisses at 10:45 a.m.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Join the Richland Two family!

Register now for upcoming Richland Two recruiting events.

Learn more about opportunities at the:

  • The 16th Annual Certified Teacher Career Fair, Saturday, January 31, 2015. Registration closes January 16, 2015.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Choice season is here!

The annual Choice Fair featuring Magnet Programs is tomorrow December, 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Westwood High School located at 180 Turkey Farm Road in Blythewood. Come learn about the district's many magnet offerings including several programs that will be available for the first time this fall!

Academy of Language Immersion at Polo Road Elementary School:
The purpose of the Academy of Language Immersion (ALI) at Polo Road Elementary School is to provide Richland Two students the opportunity to begin second language acquisition at the elementary level and effectively acquire language in a meaningful social context.

Center for Achievement Expansion:
The purpose of the sixth-grade expansion of Center For Achievement (CFA) is to provide a continuum of success for students who have not been successful in a traditional classroom setting. Students would maintain gains via a small learning environment and ease the transitions to middle school.

FAME Program Expansion at Dent Middle School:
Opening the FAME application to students not zoned to Dent will allow all Richland Two students an opportunity to apply for entrance and provide a better K–12 feeder system for students with an interest and aptitude in Fine Arts areas of study. Due to Dent being at capacity for the past few years, the FAME program has not been an option for students not zoned to Dent Middle School.

The Elementary Learning Collaborative at Forest Lake Elementary School:
The Elementary Learning Collaborative (eLc) at Forest Lake Elementary School is designed to maximize the potential of students to maintain academic momentum. Students will participate in enrichment and acceleration in English Language Arts/Social Studies (Humanities) and Math/Science (STEM-G). Academic acceleration, integration of subject matter, critical thinking skills, research and leadership training will be incorporated through the use of inquiry/project-based instruction.

iMedia Program at Richland Northeast High School:
iMedia will merge the current iLink and Convergence Media programs to offer students a technology magnet program that will remain at the forefront of communication technologies while maintaining a full-time, college-prep program. The focus of the magnet will be on communication and technology with technology-centered core classes.

Expansion of the LAW Program to Muller Road Middle School:
The Leadership Academy at Muller is an innovative academic program with a strong integration and emphasis on developing and cultivating leaders. It couples the Core Knowledge curriculum with an emphasis on leadership skills. This program is an expansion of the LAW program on the EL Wright campus to better serve students and families living in the northern area of the district. The Leadership Academy at Muller will also provide the continuation of Core Knowledge instruction for students attending the Center for Knowledge north campus.

Informational sessions on all Magnet Programs will be held throughout the month of January. A schedule of the meetings, information about each school and Magnet Program and a link to district’s YouTube page where visitors can watch commercials about each Magnet are available on the Choice page on the Richland Two website.

Expanded Choice:
The Richland Two Choice Program also includes Expanded Choice. Students are traditionally assigned to schools based on their residential address. Expanded Choice offers parents and students residing in Richland Two the opportunity to apply to attend a school other than their residentially assigned school. Choice is only available to Richland Two residents.

Each school open for Expanded Choice is allowed 20 transfer slots through the process. The 20 slots may increase based on the number of students leaving that school through the Choice Program. Available slots for Magnet programs vary based on each program. Parents must provide transportation for students who choose programs that are not at their residentially assigned school.

To apply for Choice programs parents must complete an online application. Applications will be available on the district’s website beginning January 6, and the deadline to apply is January 30. Beginning in March, parents and students will be able to log back into their application account to see whether students have been accepted into the Choice Program.

For additional information on Magnet programs, contact Dawne Whitley at 803.738.3230 or on Expanded Choice, contact Roger Wiley at 803.738.3265.