Excavation site coming to career center

A temporary excavation site will soon be installed at the Barnwell County Career Center.

Jessica Phillips, the outreach coordinator for Savannah River Archaeological Research Program, requested use of the school’s property for a hands-on excavation program for local elementary school students.

“This activity allows students to experience the field work aspect of archaeology as well as encourages them to use their critical thinking skills,” said Phillips in her letter to the board.

The site would include four excavation units set up in a sandy area between the school and a nearby church. A unit would have artifacts buried that relate to a particular room or area of a settler home site for the students to excavate. Students will then describe the artifacts they find and which area of the home site they believe they were digging in.

Phillips also requested use of an outdoor classroom that is currently unused by the school.

The school board unanimously approved the request, which comes at no cost to the school.

BCCC Director Sam McKay said he thinks the program is a good idea because he wants younger students to experience the career center.

Budget Amendments

The board also approved budget amendments after a change in some state funding.

Due to a surplus the past couple of years, the state had given the career center EIA funds to be used for equipment. Last year they received $24,000 more and were told they could use that to purchase disposable supplies. Since each program annually receives a supply budget, this saved the school from using its own money last year.

However, earlier this month the school found out that extra money was not available this year. This led the school to use $24,282 of its own money to fund the cost of supplies that are needed for each program.

The other amendment was moving $24,282 originally earmarked for capital improvements to the program supply money category.

In other news:

• Due to wanting more information, the board tabled a field trip request for the FFA students to go to the S.C. FFA Equine Camp Nov. 30 until Dec. 3.

-McKay said five sets of new doors should be installed within the next month. This was a capital improvement project the board previously approved.

• All BCCC students took the Gallup Student Poll survey recently, which measures engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspiration, and career/financial literacy. McKay said students typically score above the national average.

• Barnwell High School has identified 33 of its students who attend the career center as being eligible to earn a S.C. Enhanced Technical Diploma upon graduation. They must complete 26 units of credit, have five units in one career and technology area, and have at least an 86 average in their career and technology field of study. They also must collaborate with the career center to develop a senior project, which McKay said is in the works. He said the other high schools are welcome to identify any of their eligible students as well.

• The entire freshman class of Williston-Elko High School will visit the career center on Oct. 26. All area ninth graders typically visit each year as a way to see what the school offers.