Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Day in the Life of Tim Swick: Recap

The day starts early in Mr. Tim Swick’s classroom at Pontiac Elementary School. Mr. Swick’s students trickle in one-by-one as they arrive to start their day. They open their Chrome books to get a head start on projects, or they silently read to themselves as they wait for class to start. During this time, Mr. Swick visits with each student to touch base.

“Did you finish your Social Studies projects?” He asks one student, who proudly shows Mr. Swick his projects on his Chrome book.

Mr. Swick, a teacher for 15 years, teaches at Pontiac Elementary’s Montessori Magnet Program. This “school within a school” features five primary, four lower elementary and three upper elementary classrooms serving students from three years old through fifth grade. Fourth- and fifth-grade students fill Mr. Swick’s multi-aged classroom. Montessori is a hands-on, interactive learning approach that allows students to learn in an enriched, supportive environment through exploration, discovery and creativity, with guidance and encouragement of a guide or teacher. Each child learns and develops at his/her pace through the use of materials and lessons introduced by the teacher. The program is child-directed, where students pursue interests, make responsible choices for themselves and direct themselves to constructive activities.

The first thing you might notice when you walk into Mr. Swick’s classroom is the lack of desks. Instead, the room is filled with book cases stacked with books, science projects and lessons — all accessible to students to help foster independence. There are group tables, rugs and a small library area where students can sit and read or work on projects. These areas allow students to work together as a group or work independently. The room is cozy, warm and welcoming. This enforces the Montessori idea that students learn best in a homelike setting, with materials provided that allow self-exploration and independence.

Once the school day starts, Mr. Swick asks his students to put away their materials and gather on the large area rug by the window for morning announcements. After morning announcements, students head off to “Global Time” — which, on this day, happens to be art. While the students are in art, Mr. Swick meets with Principal Katie Barber and Assistant Principal Jennifer Gillespie to discuss end-of-year data.

After “Global Time,” students file back into the classroom and take their seats on the rug for their daily morning meeting. Mr. Swick uses the time to help the students focus on the tasks ahead, which allows them set up their day for academic success.

“Let’s talk about what we are going to work on today, our plan of action,” Mr. Swick says. A big part of Mr. Swick’s job is keeping track on individualized work for each of his students.

“Fifth-graders, I would like you to write your own commencement speeches. I want you to have one final chance to say something about your school,” he says. The students watch a video of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford on the SMARTBoard.

Afterwards, students grab their writer’s notebooks. “What are some of the ingredients for a good speech?” asks Mr. Swick.

“Good quotes.” said one student. “Memories,” says another.

“You want to develop a theme,” says Mr. Swick. “And make it funny,” says a student.

“Keep adding to what you think makes a good speech as you work on your speech,” says Mr. Swick.

After the morning meeting, students move to uninterrupted work time, which allows them to work at their own pace on assignments. Mr. Swick walks around the classroom, posing questions to students as they work and offerings suggestions and encouragement.

“Try to use Scratch to make a presentation. Do you think you can do that? Give it a shot. You may surprise yourself,” he says to a student working on a social studies project.

While Mr. Swick acts as a guide in the classroom, he also steps in to offer a little extra help to those struggling with a task. “Bring your Chrome book, and let’s work on it together,” he says to one student.

During this uninterrupted work time, Mr. Swick also moves students into other tasks: spelling assignments for fourth-graders or a lesson on speed for a small group. After completing assignments, students are also encouraged to mentor a young student on different lessons. This is a win-win situation: one student learns new material while the other student masters old material through teaching. Mr. Swick can also determine if the student needs more practice in a lesson when they are unable to teach it to another student.

In the room, one fifth-grader mentors a fourth-grader on pre-algebraic equations.

“Are you going to use materials with that lesson? We are in a Montessori classroom,” Mr. Swick says with a laugh.

A highlight of Montessori education is its hands-on approach to learning. Students work with specially designed materials that they can manipulate until they master the lesson. Each material or lesson teaches a single skill or concept at a time.

To stay on track, students fill out a Work Time Choices sheet. This sheet lets them log their lesson or project, the time they spent working on it, as well as a description.

After two and half hours of uninterrupted work time, students gather on the rug for guided reading. Mr. Swick spends 30 minutes reading aloud The Fourteenth Goldfish, a book about coping with change and growing up. As he read, he notes important items. “There has been a foreshadowing in this book. Do you remember what foreshadowing means?” Mr. Swick asks the class.

After lunch the students return to the classroom for more independent learning. His fourth-graders stay working with his Teacher Assistant Lala Bowman while Mr. Swick takes the fifth-graders outside for fresh air and some spelling work.

Next, all the students spend time outside for recess, running laps or playing a friendly game of soccer. Mr. Swick joins in as a referee, coach and sometimes even as a player. Back inside, the class watches their favorite webcast and conducts an afternoon meeting before dismissal for the day. Mr. Swick ends his day with helping afternoon dismissal.

For Mr. Swick, the best part of his job is the 11 fifth-graders and 6 fourth-graders that make up his class. “I get the most out of being a part of helping my students learn to challenge themselves and accomplish new things they never thought they could accomplish.”

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Intervention Services Grant to Improve Success for Students Returning From Alternative Placement

Richland Two's Family Intervention Services is the recipient of an Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) funds for the Preparing College and Career Ready Graduates grant. The grant will be worth $ $375,000 over the next two-and-half years and will be used to fund the Building Bridges to Success program and other support and enrichment services at our two alternative academies.

Building Bridges to Success is a six-week multi-family group program that was developed specifically to meet the needs of the students and their families at Blythewood Academy and Anna Boyd School.  Participation in this or another family counseling service is required in order to transition back to their home school. Over the course of the grant, approximately 750 students will be impacted.

"We provide services to families because we see the family as the key to improving outcomes for children," said Dr. Karen Cooper-Haber, Family Intervention Services Coordinator.

Based on 2014-2015 school year data, participation in the program should result in decreased truancy, absenteeism (reduced 3 percent), discipline infractions (reduced 3 percent), and  drop-out rates (all participants complete an individual graduation plan). This will result in students' increased achievement, graduate rate (80 percent of participants will graduate on time) and positive attitudes about school and learning.

The money will fund add two “intersessions” during the summer. During these 4 day-long sessions, students will receive remediation as well as participate in learning and leadership activities. The grant also pays for three part-time positions: two case managers and a program coordinator. Case managers Ebony Langhorne and Taylor Davis develop plans for each student prior to their return to their home school. The plan includes linking students with a teacher, social worker, counselor or other appropriate adult who will assist in the student’s transition and success upon return to the home school.

Housed on the campus of Richland Northeast High School, the staff of Family Intervention Services provide individual and family counseling, multi-family groups, community service opportunities and ongoing dialogue with the school and other community representatives. Building Bridges to Success, recognized as an evidence-based intervention by the National Drop Out Prevention Center, focuses on family engagement, one of the 15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention, according to National Dropout Prevention Center/Network at Clemson University. Family Intervention Services is the only school district program in the Midlands that employs family counselors who provides on-going counseling services to families.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Coming tomorrow: A Day in the Life of Tim Swick

Step into the shoes of Tim Swick, fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Pontiac Elementary’s Montessori School, during this week’s A Day in the Life. Mr. Swick has held a variety of jobs, including baker, frame carpenter and newspaper journalist, before finding himself at home in the classroom for the last 15 years.

For Mr. Swick, his students are the best part of his day. "I get the most out of being a part of helping my students learn to challenge themselves and achieve new things they never thought they could accomplish," he said.

We're following Mr. Swick tomorrow. Follow @RichlandTwo on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook for a peek into A Day in the Life of Mr. Swick! ‪#‎ADITL

Friday, May 6, 2016

Thank You, Teachers

2016-2017 Richland Two Teacher of the Year
Kaitlin Manchester
Muller Road Middle School
Each year, National Teacher Appreciation Week is observed during the first full week of May. In Richland Two, we take this time to thank teachers for their dedication and hard work to reach and engage every child, every day. We're not shy about saying that our teachers are nothing short of amazing. As one speaker at the 2016 Richland Two Teacher of the Year Banquet put it, "What you do is magical."

So to each of our teachers we say, we are thankful for your magic and for you.

Take a moment and click on the following blue link for a message from U.S. Secretary of Education, John King: Thank You, Teachers

So much to see, so much to do! This weekend (May 6-8, 2016) in our community!

Visit the Richland Two Community Events Pinterest board for flyers and links to events this weekend! 

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Day in the Life: Daniel Murphy Recap

Special Education teacher Daniel Murphy begins Thursday, April 14, 2016, like most other days. He meets a student at the bus and walks him to class. Before the bell rings to signal the start of the day, several students from other classes stop by to wish him and his students a good day. The classroom is warm and inviting to visitors and the eight to 12 students who learn, engage and (often) dance there.

Mr. Clark, a teaching assistant from the classroom next door, stops in with a birthday gift Mr. Murphy's student. When the school year began, the boy had recently immigrated to the country and did not speak English.He had been diagnosed with autism in his home country but had not received services and did not have an IEP (Individualized Education Program), a written document developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. Less than nine months later, the student speaks English to his teachers and classmates without hesitation.

"It's really amazing," Mr. Murphy said. "He's absorbed so much in just this short amount of time."

Back in the classroom, Mr. Murphy takes a few minutes to check overnight folders for permission slips for upcoming field trips. Soon, seven students have arrived. They choose their incentive, which include, fruit snacks and iPad time, for the the day.

April is National Autism Awareness Month. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. In Richland Two, the number of students with autism receiving services has grown steadily. The district currently serves just under 500 such students in a variety of settings. The district has grown from seven classes for students with autism in 2000 to 23 this year. In just the past five years, the number of students served has increased by 132.

Mr. Murphy's classroom is self-contained for students in grades kindergarten through second with autism. Throughout the day, some of Mr. Murphy's students will leave occupational and speech therapy or join general education classes for related arts classes with  as well as for . They settle in a row of chairs near the front of the room to choose lunch and  watch the school's morning news show.

The class has been working on learning to tell time. On the SMARTBoard, Mr. Murphy draws hands on the clock and asks students to tell him the time. Then it's their turn.

"How would this clock look if it was 3 o'clock?" he asks a student. "Make sure your little hand is smaller than the big hand."

Next, it's on to counting money. Students follow along, counting by five as he points to nickels on the board. Then, it's time for a brain break. A second grader requests "A-moose-ta-cha," her favorite GoNoodle song, and the class breaks into a happy dance singing along.

The students spend the next chunk of time rotating through several centers including: fine motor, computer, reading and independent work. At one table, students examine small plastic animals and discuss their habitats. They play a memory game at a large table. At another, they work on counting. At each station, they work one-on-one with Mr. Murphy or teaching assistants Ms. Dana and Ms. Joy. The group of adults is rounded out by graduate student teacher Ms. Emily and substitute teacher Mr. Trevor. Throughout the day, the team works together seamlessly to keep students engaged and on task. Next, the class takes a trip to the computer lab. After they've practiced typing their vocabulary words, students are free to play an educational game.

After lunch, students practice their handwriting until recess. Back in the building and after a snack, it's time for some spelling work. One of the students is having trouble staying focused. Mr. Murphy is as patient as he is firm. "Hey," he says to the student. "Come back to me. You need to write this word."

Mr. Murphy loves his job, and it's evident in the care and attention he shows his students and staff. It's funny because he never planned on being a teacher at all. He enrolled at the University of South Carolina as a business major. After quickly discovering he had no passion for it, he changed his major to psychology. His mother found him a job working as an instructional assistant for children with autism, a job he kept for almost three years and the rest, is history. He student-taught at Forest Lake Elementary before teaching for six months at Rice Creek Elementary. Since 2009, Mr. Murphy has called Polo Road Elementary home. He met his wife Courtney when they both worked as teaching assistants at Bookman Road Elementary School.  She currently teaches a preschool inclusion class at Bookman Road. They have two children.

As the day winds down, students have some free time to play educational games, read to themselves or enjoy the incentive item they've been working towards. Mr. Murphy takes a few moments to answer emails and prepare for an upcoming IEP meeting. After school dismisses, he waits with a kindergarten student until her bus arrives, and he's done for the day.

"The best part, I would say, is getting to directly impact not only my students lives but the lives of their parents as well," he said.

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

Be sure to follow @RichlandTwo on Twitter and Instagram. On May 12, 2016 we'll follow Pontiac Elementary School Montessori teacher Tim Swick!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Update: Elementary 20

Despite steady rain and the natural disaster caused by flooding last fall, construction is moving along at a steady pace at the Elementary 20 site. A report submitted to the Richland Two School board at the April 12, 2016 meeting noted that the building pad was 100 percent complete, which meant that underground and foundations through the remainder of the building could continue.

To date, approximately 45 percent of the building slab has been poured with remaining slab pours tracking on schedule. Load bearing masonry is complete in the physical education area, 90 percent complete in the kitchen, and 70 percent complete in a special education classroom. Masonry will continue with completing the load bearing portion in these areas and then move throughout the remainder of the building. Primary steel has completed in Learning Hub 1 and began in the Media Center. Metal roof decking has been installed in the physical education area and has started in Learning Hub 1.

Crews have worked steadily to get the project back on schedule after weather delays in the fall. During and after the flooding in October, the erosion control structures performed as designed and kept all materials on site, while piping and containment structures held and controlled the water. Keeping in mind the sensitive site conditions, collaborative inspections have continued with Richland County and third party inspectors to ensure the work is in compliance with the plans, specifications and county standards. Foundation work will soon be completed in several areas where the pad has been brought to grade. Underground utilities are tracking along in conjunction with foundation progress. Walls are up completely erected in several areas and in progress in more.

The school, located between Trenholm Road Extension and O’Neil Court, is scheduled for completion in May 2017 and will receive its first students when school starts in August of that year. See more photos of construction in our Elementary 20 Flickr album.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Coming Tomorrow: A Day in the Life of Daniel Murphy, Polo Road Elementary School Special Education Teacher

Meet Daniel Murphy, award-winning special education teacher at Polo Road Elementary School. After student-teaching at Forest Lake Elementary School and witnessing the support Richland Two gives its special education teachers, Mr. Murphy decided he was here to stay.

During his second year of teaching, he was awarded the Council for Exceptional Children's Rookie Teacher of the Year. After Forest Lake, Mr. Murphy taught at Rice Creek Elementary School for a year and half and has been at Polo Road for seven years.

"I love my job, and the best part, I would, say is getting to directly impact not only my students' lives but the lives of their parents as well," he said.

We're following Mr. Murphy tomorrow. Follow @RichlandTwo on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook for a peek into A Day in the Life of Mr. Murphy! ‪#‎ADITL‬

Friday, April 8, 2016

Guest Blogger: Patrick Kelly: The Value of Classroom Diversity

Originally posted on HOMEROOM
The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education

I am in my eleventh year teaching but often find my greatest educational epiphanies as a parent. One such moment occurred last spring when my daughter’s first grade class discussed de jure racial segregation of American society during the first half of the 20th century. When she came home, she shared what she had learned and asked this poignant and powerful question, “Daddy, does that mean I couldn’t have gone to school with my best friend?” At that moment, as she contextualized the reality of segregation in her head and heart, the power of classroom diversity became crystal clear.

However, the value of diversity is currently being unrealized at a rate unseen in the last 50 years. Abundant data points to resegregation of America’s schools, such as a 2012 report from The Civil Rights Project at UCLA that noted, “80% of Latino students and 74% of black students attend majority nonwhite schools.” As an educator, these statistics are alarming, since I’ve seen the value of a diverse classroom in three key ways.

First, as my daughter experienced, classroom diversity promotes student growth and reflection. In the most recent edition of Educational Leadership, Peter Levine noted that, “by talking and listening to people different from ourselves, we learn and enlarge our understanding.” This claim has proved true in my class numerous times, such as a recent discussion of an article on the demographic composition of Congress. The students’ diverse backgrounds and experiences clearly enhanced conversation and analysis of the role of gender, race and life experience in representation.

Second, diverse classrooms play an essential role in career preparation. Students are entering job markets with diminishing concern for community or national boundaries. Integrated classroom environments are important in helping students learn to collaborate and communicate with the different cultures and backgrounds found in the 21st century work environment.

Finally, diversity prepares students for citizenship. My collegiate alma mater’s motto is, “Emollit mores necsinit esse feros,” which means, “Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel.” In my classes, I have seen how diversity enhances this ‘humanizing’ effect of education as students learn to engage in civic discourse. My students routinely discuss politically charged issues ranging from wartime civil liberties to affirmative action, and diverse views enhance learning to defend and explain opinions in a civil fashion. In a recent op-ed, former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Trent Lott stated democracy requires, “mindfulness and tolerance,” and integrated classrooms enhance the ability to learn these essential traits.

Of course the value of classroom diversity is not a new concept. Next week, my students will read Brown v. Board of Education, where the Supreme Court noted, “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life,” without a quality education.

Both research and my experience show the link between quality and diversity in schools. Obviously, reversing racial and socioeconomic resegregation is a task without simple solutions. However, difficulty is not justification for failure to act, and that is why programs such as the Stronger Together Grants proposal in the President’s budget are essential steps forward in providing diverse classrooms.

It has been more than sixty years since the Court decreed separate educational environments to be “inherently unequal;” it remains for us to ensure all students are receiving the full promise of a quality education.

Patrick Kelly teaches at Blythewood High School and is a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education. You can follow him on Twitter at @plkelly27.

So much to see, so much to do! This weekend (April 8-10, 2016) in our community!

Visit the Richland Two Community Events Pinterest board for flyers and links to events this weekend! Have a safe and fun Spring Break!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Diversity Spotlight: Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle took the internet by storm in 2009 when she sang a rendition of Les Misérables’ “I Dreamed A Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent. After that performance, Boyle became a singing sensation, selling more than 14 million records worldwide.

Boyle is now using her success to speak out about her diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, a form of autism. Boyle was recently diagnosed in 2012.

“Asperger’s doesn’t define me. It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself,” she said in the interview. “People will have a greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.”

More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. April is National Autism Awareness Month, which is an opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

So much to see, so much to do! This weekend (March 25-27, 2016) in our community.

Visit the Richland Two Community Events Pinterest board for flyers and links to events this weekend! Have a safe and fun Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ridge View High School students push for passage of teen domestic violence law

Ridge View High School students are raising awareness of teen relationship violence and pushing for the passage of legislation that would provide their peers with protection. On Wednesday, students will participate in a news conference organized by Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott to encourage the legislature to pass Sierra's Law, which among other things would allow restraining orders to be filed by minors who are 16 years of age or older and create teen dating violence education programs within South Carolina schools. The news conference will be held at 2 p.m. at the front entrance of Ridge View High School, located at 4801 Hard Scrabble Rd, Columbia, 29229.

As they embarked on the 2015–2016 school year, students from Ridge View High's Scholars Academy for Business and Law were in search of an issue to promote. Sierra Landry's story resonated with the group because she was like them. Landry was an 18-year-old who liked to have fun, enjoyed her friends and had her entire life ahead of her. Her ex-boyfriend shot and killed her in 2013 after she broke up with him. As students learned more about the case, they were shocked to discover that not only were teens often victims of violence in relationships, but that there was little protection for them.

Their efforts to educate their peers about the dangers of teen dating violence have been covered by the local media. In February, the group received a resolution from the Richland County Council sponsored by Councilwoman Julie-Ann Dixon in support of their work and in recognition of February as teen dating violence education month in Richland County. That same month they held a public form on the topic at a local church.

From the End Teen Relationship Violence website: Our objective is to raise awareness of Teen Relationship Violence and advocate for the passage of Sierra's Law. We also promote healthy relationships and tips to maintain healthy relationships. We are here to represent teenagers around South Carolina, nationally, and the world. 

Visit the End Teen Dating Violence website for statistics, victim stories, resources and to sign the petition to pass Sierra's Law. Follow the group on Twitter at @EndTRViolence.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Watching you, watching me. Recently on R2TV! Week of March 15, 2016

Watch the latest R2TV videos whenever you want, where ever you are on YouTube! Click the image above or the following link to see what's new on R2TV.

So much to see, so much to do! This weekend (March 18-20) in our community!

Visit the Richland Two Community Events Pinterest board for flyers and links to events this weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Whooping Cough (Tdap) Immunization Requirement

The Tdap immunization, commonly called the Tetanus and Whooping Cough vaccine, is a
requirement for all students entering 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grades for next school year (2016-2017). Pertussis immunity wears off over time, so students in the targeted grade levels are required to have the vaccine to prevent the spread of Pertussis/ Whooping Cough.

Pertussis/ Whooping Cough is highly contagious and is spread via droplets from a simple cough. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a "whooping" sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age. (http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html)

The best way to protect against pertussis is immunization. By state law, students must show proof of receiving the Tetanus shot/ Tdap vaccine at the start of their 7th grade school year or they will be subject to suspension. The deadline for compliance for next school year is Wednesday August 17, 2016.

Richland School District Two is partnering with DHEC to provide Tdap immunizations in the middle schools for current 6th graders so they can meet the 7th grade requirement. Parents, you should have received a consent on home Monday March 14, 2016. They are due back to the school nurse as soon as possible. Please contact your school nurse for questions or concerns.

Here are the dates and locations of the Tdap vaccination clinics:

Dent Middle
Longleaf Middle
Blythewood Middle
EL Wright Middle
Muller Middle
Kelly Mill Middle
Summit Middle

Friday, March 4, 2016

Updated location for March 10 Community Conversation

We've been learning a lot and enjoying discussing diversity with the community at the Community Conversations. The next one on March 10 is geared toward students.

We want to hear from you! #CommunityConversations #DiversityMatters.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Culture of Excellence Award: Ann Johnson and Deryl Keith

(L-R) Transportation Manager Wayne Norton, Ann Johnson, Deryl Keith, Bookman Road Elementary Principal Kendra Hill and Bookman Road teacher Paige Malone
Ann Johnson and Deryl Keith are a dynamic duo indeed! Bookman Road Elementary School Principal Kendra Hill's nomination says it all.

For several years now this pair, the driver and monitor on Special Needs Bus No. 7, have contributed so much to the Bookman Road and Richland Two communities. They are patient and kind and bring great joy to the students who ride on their bus each day. Patience and sense of humor are two life skills they share with their students. They are invested in ensuring that the students have a good start to their day, and they understand the significance of the role they play in making sure that happens. It is very rare to encounter either in a bad mood.These two laugh with the students and staff and take the time to get off the bus to greet others within the school building.

Mr. Keith is affectionately known as "Papa Duck," because he personally gets off the bus and walks each of his preschool students to their classrooms  on the other side of campus each and every day. They cling to him like a grandpa. He leads the way, holding some by the hand and with others following close behind like his "little ducklings." A proud military veteran, Mr. Keith also participates in Bookman Road's annual Veteran's Day breakfast and celebration.

Ms. Johnson and Mr. Keith's presence was missed when they were temporarily reassigned to a group of students who could find their own way and didn't necessarily want to be escorted to class. Our little preschool students were assigned to another bus and no longer had their special guide. Thankfully our prayer was heard, and this year they are back with their babies.

A special thanks to Mr. Keith and Ms. Johnson for a job well done and for continuing to contribute to the sense of community and joy at Bookman Road!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Next Community Conversation March 10!

We've been learning a lot and enjoying discussing diversity with the community at the Community Conversations. We want to hear from you! #CommunityConversations #DiversityMatters.

Diversity Spotlight: Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland

"I would want a younger child looking at me on the cover (of Time Magazine) to see themselves, to see endless opportunities, to see possibilities that maybe they never even thought they could attain. I want them to be able to see dreams through me," Misty Copeland. - Time For Kids Magazine

In June 2015, Misty Copeland became the first African-American woman to be a principal dancer­ in the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), one of the world’s leading ballet companies. It is an unlikely story of a girl from a single-parent household who stumbled upon a free ballet class at a Boys and Girls Club at the age of 13. During Black History Month, Richland Two celebrates the achievements of ground-breaking men and women like Copeland.

She has written books about her experiences and works to bring top ballet training to communities where it has not been available. Watch Copeland talk about her life in dance and the impact she hopes to have.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Community Conversations begin February 17. Come talk to us!

Sign up today to be Principal for a Day!

Fill out the form below to participate in Principal for a Day on March 8, 2016! Feel free to check other boxes for ways to get involved with Richland Two. #R2PFAD16

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New 5K enrollment begins February 1!

4K Information Sessions happening now!

Spring is around the corner, and it's time to register some of our youngest students for school! Parents must attend one of the three remaining Richland Two community meetings for 4K Child Development Classes. All of the following meetings begin at 6 p.m.:

  • Jan. 28, 2016 at Richland Two Conference Center at Columbia Place Mall
  • Feb. 1, 2016 at Conder Elementary
  • Feb. 4, 2016 at Killian Elementary

Children who will be 4-years-old on or before Sept. 1, 2016, may be eligible for the program. Parents must bring to the meeting the child’s long-form birth certificate and immunization certificate; three proofs of residence (such as utility bill, lease/mortgage, phone bill, etc.); and proof of income (last two pay stubs or W2). Applications can be completed and turned in at the meeting or submitted by Feb. 26, 2016. During the meetings, parents also will schedule a screening appointment for their child with a child development teacher.

What is the value of 4K?
4K builds skills and abilities in cognitive, language, social-emotional and motor development by providing balanced experiences for the whole child. Through listening, speaking, developing positive relationships with others and working collaboratively to learn and solve problems, children are able to meet the challenges of growing and to thrive.

How's the new program better?
At the beginning of this school year (2015-2016), 4K became a needs-based, tuition-free program. The new program maintains the high quality classrooms and valuable experiences of previous programs. Through re-organization, there is now a pre-K classroom in every elementary school. Children qualify based on broader criteria which enables more children who need 4K to attend and receive all the benefits of an excellent child development program.

The district provides free 4K Child Development Classes to students who qualify based on developmental readiness, free- or reduced-price meal status or other risk factors. Child development classes are held at the Center for Child Development, previously known as Clemson Road Child Development, located at 2621-A Clemson Road on the campus of Killian Elementary School, as well as at all elementary schools throughout the district. Students attend their zoned elementary school, and bus transportation may be provided if there are available spaces on school buses.

For more information please visit the district’s website at www.richland2.org or contact Debbie Brady or Quinne Evans at 803.699.2536. See the flier below!

Friday, January 15, 2016

3 Reasons You Should Follow Richland Two on Pinterest

Watching you, watching me. Recently on R2TV! Week of January 11, 2016

Watch the latest R2TV videos anytime on the R2 YouTube channel! Recent videos include Round Top Elementary receiving a Book House from the new Chick-fil-A on Killian Road and Blythewood High and Blythewood Middle school's amazing gift to one Midlands family for Holiday Wishes.

Only 7 days left to apply to Choice, so be sure to check out several new Magnet commercials!

Have you seen the video of our student interpreters, yet? Prepare to be impressed!