Thursday, April 30, 2015

Graduation is in the air!

High school graduations will be held June 2-3, 2015. 

For the first time, graduations will be held at the Colonial Life Arena located at 801 Lincoln Street in Columbia. We hope these graduation tips will help you and your graduate get the most out of this special time.

The schedule for ceremonies is as follows:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015:
  • 8 a.m. - Westwood High School
  • 12 noon - Blythewood High School
  • 4 p.m. - Richland Northeast High School

Wednesday, June 3, 2015:

  • 8 a.m. - Ridge View High School
  • 12 noon - Spring Valley High School

Monday, April 27, 2015

Test-taking Tips for Parents and Students

For Parents

  • Send your student to school prepared. Check with your child's teacher to see if you need to provide any materials such as pencils, erasers, paper or a calculator.  
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest the night before the test.
  • Provide a good breakfast. Avoid sugary foods. High-protein foods like scrambled eggs are often best for aiding concentration and minimizing fatigue.

For Students

  • Follow directions exactly, and ask questions.
  • Don’t spend too much time on any one question on timed tests. 
  • Go back and review if you finish the test with time to spare.

Friday, April 24, 2015

This week (4/20/15) on YouTube!

Click the image to watch videos of Spring Valley HS Health Fair promo, Killian Elementary ES's Readers Become Leaders Day, the April 14 School Board meeting and the Polo Road Science Fair.

This week (4/20/15) on Flickr!

Click the picture to visit our Flickr photostream and see photos from: Joseph Keels Elementary School's kindergarten career day & ice bucket challenge,Superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm honored as a Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands, Inc.,  R2i2 students at SCANA STEM Day, Killian ES Readers Become Leaders Day, Sparkleberry Fair Scholarship Dinner 2015, Sparkleberry Fair 5K Run, Langford ES's 4th Grade CSFirst Club, Bookman Road ES' Maria Mayer wins WLTX Teacher of the Week, Special Recognition from 4/14 School Board meeting, Education Rocks! Teacher of the Year celebration 2015 and the 2015 Spring Valley HS Pride Assembly.

Standardized Testing Next Week

State testing for students in Grades 3-8 includes a new, timed test this school year called ACT Aspire. In Richland Two, our students will take the paper and pencil ACT Aspire tests for writing, English, reading and mathematics. They will not take the optional ACT Aspire test for science that some districts may use. Students in Grades 4-8 will continue to take SCPASS for science and social studies. Schools have the option of administering SCPASS as an online test or a paper and pencil test. Third-graders will not take any state tests for science and social studies.

Please see the testing schedule below: 

Grades 3-8 Testing Schedule
Grades 3-5 ACT Aspire  
Writing (30 minutes) and English (30 minutes) on Tuesday, April 28
Reading (60 minutes) on Wednesday, April 29
Mathematics (55 minutes) on Thursday, April 30
​Grades 6-7 ACT Aspire  
​Writing (30 minutes) and English (35 minutes) on Tuesday, April 28
Reading (60 minutes) on Wednesday, April 29
Mathematics (60 minutes) on Thursday, April 30
​Grades 8 ACT Aspire 
​Writing (30 minutes) and English (30 minutes) on Tuesday, April 28
Reading (60 minutes) on Wednesday, April 29

Mathematics (65 minutes) on Thursday, April 30
Grade 4-8 SCPASS 
Science (no time limit) on Thursday, May 7
Social Studies (no time limit) on Friday, May 8

High Schools
This school year marks the beginning of important changes in high school state testing in South Carolina. The High School Assessment Program (HSAP) will no longer be given. Instead, students in their third year of high school will take two assessments: The ACT, a college and career readiness assessment, and WorkKeys®, which measures essential workforce skills. Both assessments will be administered as paper and pencil tests.

In Richland Two and across the state, students will take:
  • ACT on April 28
  • WorkKeys on April 29

For more information about the tests, please visit our Assessments web page. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Now is the Time to Verify & Update Your Student's Information

Visit for more information about the streamlined process and to update/verify your student's information.

Friday, April 17, 2015

This week (4/13/15) on YouTube

Click the image to watch videos of Dent Middle's Women in STEM symposium, this week's School Board meeting and the Polo Road Elementary Science Night.

This week (4/13/15) on Flickr!

Click the picture to visit our Flickr phostream and see photos from: Readers Become Leaders at Killian Elementary, Richland Two Purples Up! for military kids, Kelly Mill Middle Wave Challenge Run, A Day in the Life of Catawba Trail Elementary School art teacher Nichole Luckie recap, Dent Middle Women In STEM Symposium and Teacher of the year Finalists!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Pins!

Click on the image or the links below to see new pins to: 

A Day in the Life of Catawba Trail Elementary School art teacher Nichole Luckie recap

Catawba Trail Elementary School art teacher Ms. Luckie has a busy day planned for her classes on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

First up, fifth grade. They arrive and get right to work finishing up clay coil pots.

"When you add a new coil remember to what?" she asks the class. "Scratch and attach," she tells the students referring to a method of shaping clay.

Next, third graders get to work molding lumps of clay into turtles with impressive results. Ms. Luckie circulates through the light-filled room helping students shape first the base and later head and legs of the reptiles.

Fourth graders arrive next and begin putting the finishing touches on their cupcakes. They've even used silicone cupcake wrappers to give the pieces texture. After polishing off the sweets, many students begin to work on their portfolios for the remainder of the class.

After lunch, Ms. Luckie spends the first few minutes with her kindergarten class refreshing their memories about collages and the art of Eric Carle. They gather around a table and watch her paint watercolor designs and then use salt to create texture. Then it was off to their respective tables to create their own Eric Carle-inspired works of art.

In the next class, second graders experimented with bright colors as they painted Dr. Seus's "The Lorax" inspired truffala trees.

"How did you get so good at this?" asked a student peering over Ms. Luckie's shoulder at her bright and whimsical trees.

"I've had lots of practice," she answered with a smile.

Later in the class, Ms. Luckie carefully hands each student the owls they made in a previous class.

And just like that the day is over. Ms. Luckie is substituting in the car-rider line today. Catawba Trail uses Kid Gopher, a system that uses cards and scanners to que students for pickup.

Ms. Luckie was inspired to become a teacher thanks to Ms. Casey, an "amazing" art teacher she had at Ridge View High School.

"The experience I had with her was so great that I wanted to give that to other students," Ms. Luckie said. "I love being able to spark creativity and a love of art in my students. Seeing them get excited about art makes all the hard work worthwhile."

Ms. Casey has since retired, but Ms. Luckie's students are certainly reaping the benefits.

Below is Ms. Luckie's day in photos. Visit our A Day in the Life album on Flickr to see more!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Day in the Life of Kenneth Perkins Recap

It's the day before the half-day, before the student holiday, before spring break. Say that five times fast! But it's business as usual in the music room at Joseph Keels Elementary School (JKES) on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Music specialist Kenneth Perkins begins the day with chorus rehearsal at 7:30 a.m. Students practice the songs they will perform at a nursing home, the Sparkleberry Country Fair and Richland Northeast High School's spring festival.

During his first class of the day, Mr. Perkins' fifth graders compose a song using their Chromebooks. He checks each, noting good arrangements and potential problems, "Oh, there should be a half note here," he tells one student.

His next class, third grade are challenged with the question, "How many lines are in a staff?" and "How many e's are in the word guitar?" Then it's time for Recorder Karate. Mr. Perkins brought the idea to JKES. Starting with white, students earn colored strings by mastering the corresponding color-coded songs. Students fanned out across the room to work alone or with a group to learn songs.

The guitar was the first topic in the next period with fourth grade.

"An electrical guitar needs to be plugged into what?" he asks the class.

First graders come in and settle on the music-themed rug for a little, "What's your instrument?" Mr. Perkins plays a simple melody on the keyboard and invites each student to sing.

In the next class, kindergartners played a similar version, but sang about their favorite snacks instead.

Just before the dismissal bell, several fourth graders came back determined to pass their respective Recorder Karate test.

After the bell, Mr. Perkins headed to the rear parking lot where he worked the bus rider line.

Mr. Perkins began his journey in music education at the urging of a college adviser. After student teaching at the elementary level, he realized he had found his place. He is proud of JKES's participation in the University of South Carolina (USC) Strings Project, a consortium effort that started two years ago that allows students to visit USC twice a week to learn a stringed instrument. The newly formed Recorder Ensemble was established this school year and invites skilled recorder players to veer into popular and challenging territory. The group plays popular music on their recorders and performs around the school and community. He is currently pursuing his Masters at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

"What keeps me coming back are those positive experiences I have with the children. I try to record and document as many important musical events as possible. This way, I can refer back those positive experiences when days are really challenging," he said.

Below is Mr. Perkins' day in photos. Visit our A Day in the Life album on Flickr to see more!

Richland Two names the 2015-2016 Honor Roll Teachers of the Year

Five Richland Two teachers have been selected as the 2015–2016 District Honor Roll Teachers of the Year: Megan Allen, Sandlapper Elementary; Nellie Jones, Summit Parkway Middle; Jarrette Pendergrass, Killian Elementary; Amy Walker Smith, Forest Lake Elementary; and Linda Whitcomb, Muller Road Middle.

Megan Allen is a school counselor at Summit Parkway Middle School with 12 total years in education and 10 years in Richland Two.

Nellie Jones is a school counselor at Summit Parkway Middle School with 31 total years in education and 14 years in Richland Two.

Jarrette Pendergrass is a math instructional specialist and coach at Killian Elementary School with five years in education, all in Richland Two.

Amy Walker Smith is a third–grade teacher at Forest Lake Elementary School with 20 totals years in education and 10 years in Richland Two.

Linda Whitcomb is a world cultures teacher at Muller Road Middle School with 19 total years in education and three years in Richland Two. 

These five Honor Roll Teachers will now move on to be considered for the Richland Two 2015–2016 District Teacher of The Year to be announced on May 7, 2015, at the Teacher of the Year Banquet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Day in the Life of Catawba Trail Elementary School art teacher Nichole Luckie

Meet Nichole Luckie, art teacher at Catawba Trail Elementary School. Ms. Luckie is a proud ‪Richland Two‬ product and Ridge View High School graduate. Each year, she looks forward to the school-wide art project and loves being able to spark creativity and a love of art in her students. We're following Ms. Luckie tomorrow. Follow and like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @RichlandTwo for a peek into A Day in the Life of Ms. Luckie! ‪#‎ADITL‬