D19 states new vision

Barnwell District 19 has revised its mission statement, vision statement and core beliefs.

The updates were done with the help of community feedback as the district prepares for reaccreditation through AdvancED next spring. The changes were unanimously approved, although board member Ethel Faust was not in attendance.

Since AdvancED is a “continuous improvement model”, D19 Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said they made changes “based off our needs and where we are headed.”

The new mission is to “engage, empower and enable each student to achieve academic excellence and meet the goals of college and career readiness.” Meanwhile, the new vision states that “Barnwell District 19 will provide a safe and supportive environment where every student will engage in a rigorous and enriching education, and be prepared to thrive in a complex, changing world.” The new core beliefs relate to continuous improvement, community involvement, highly qualified staff, and a safe learning environment.

The board also approved an updated Student Code of Conduct that was based on community feedback and then vetted by an attorney. Some of the changes in the 32-page document relate to social media, including Facebook Live and when cell phones can be confiscated, said Johnson.

In one single motion, the first reading was approved for five policies.

Policy JLCDC along with an administrative rule are new and were recommended by the S.C. School Boards Association. They govern Food Allergies and Special Dietary Needs, including how to develop an individual healthcare plan for students with food allergies.

Four other policies include updated language, including Policy KBB (Parent Rights and Responsibilities), IHAM (Health Education), IHAC (Social Studies Education), and ILBB-R (State Program Assessments).

In other news:

• The board approved the superintendent’s monthly personnel recommendations, including the resignation of school nurse Tiffany Detrick, resignation of Coach David Berry as head football coach, hiring of LaPrecious Rivers as interim finance director, and hiring of Cynthia Martin as Accounts Payable.

• The board tabled a student’s request to transfer out of District 19 due to wanting more information. This led relatives of the student who were in the audience to speak out during the meeting.

“We’ve been giving information for a solid month. We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting,” said the child’s grandmother. “This child has been traumatized.”

Dr. Johnson spoke with the family afterwards.