Back to School: Blackville-Hilda Junior/High schools

There’s a new way for parents and the community to connect with Blackville-Hilda’s junior high and high schools – social media.

The schools recently started Facebook and Twitter accounts. Principal Dr. Sterling Harris encourages parents, students and community members to like and follow their pages to keep up with school events and information.

Harris said there are three main goals for the 2015-16 school year at the two upper schools: differentiated instruction to increase student engagement, embracing and infusing technology, and enhancing literacy through embedded intervention.

“We want our parents and community to know that we will be looking to elevate student achievement and motivation for learning by increasing our use of technology and students availability to technology during the instructional day,” said Harris. “We feel that our students are engrossed in technology and we want to capitalize on their passion for technology to increase and motivate learning.”

As part of the new literacy goal, the schools are adjusting their bell schedule in order to institute a new intervention that is designed to have students read at least four hours a week during the school day. This initiative will involve a period of 40 to 45 minutes built into the regular school day where students will be required to read. Harris said teachers will also be reading so they can be an example to students.

“We will use this to enhance our students’ ability to read and general comprehension of what they have read,” said Harris.

Over the summer, the schools partnered with Job Corps interns to provide much-needed improvement to various areas of the campus. Some of the work included landscaping, re-tiling area, painting and general maintenance work “designed to provide a better atmosphere for learning for our children,” said Harris.

The schools welcome several new staff members this year. At Blackville-Hilda Junior High, Cody Webber joins the staff as a physical education teacher while Kimberly Barnes is a new English teacher.

At the high school, Eric Wisham and Timothy Thomas are new Social Studies teachers. Thomas and Webber are also new assistant coaches with the Blackville-Hilda High School Hawks football team.

While Harris and his staff are committed to improving academic achievement, “We invite our parents to come out and be a part of our movement to improve student success this year,” said Harris.