Back to School: Barnwell High

Barnwell High School is starting the 2015-16 school year with a new class scheduling system and new courses.

Principal Jon Burdge said the implementation of a semester block schedule offers several advantages to all students that the old A/B schedule did not.

“Students are more likely to gain momentum in learning by having the same classes and teachers every day. The semester block schedule, by reducing the number of classes that students must attend and prepare for each day, can improve their focus and concentration in assigned classes,” he said.

It can also increase the number of students who move at an accelerated pace in completing core course requirements and elective course requirements. This provides more opportunities for students to take more courses their junior and senior years. “This can provide more time for students to seek AP course offerings, CATE opportunities, and dual credit opportunities,” he said.

The semester block schedule has also been proven to increase the graduation rate because students can enroll in courses each semester for initial credit based on individual needs and programs of study. “Under our previous A/B schedule, students had to wait until the next school year or had to take virtual school courses in order to enroll in courses for initial credit,” Burdge said.

The school will continue the implementation of Project Lead the Way, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program. Math teacher Jason Browning will join Steve Andrews, industrial technology teacher, in the implementation.

Burdge said they are also adding a new advanced placement course, AP English Language and Composition, which will be offered at the Barnwell County Career Center. All county high school students will have the opportunity to enroll in the class, which will be taught by new English teacher Richard Stanton.

In addition to Stanton, Burdge said they are excited to announce the following new faculty members: English-Jody Truesdale; Science-Ali Godrawala; Science-Herman Thompson; Science-Alice Medidi; Social Studies-Jared Thrasher; Math-Warren Wintrode; Math-Chase Bell; Math-Alan Brenner; Special Services-Sudharani Alamanda; Art-Ashley Lemon; CATE-Travis Morehead; PE/Social Studies-Dwayne Garrick; PE-Heath Corley; PE-Emily Coble. Renee Owens has been appointed as interim band director.

“These individuals will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our students and school community as they have a combined total of 212 years of teaching experience,” said Burdge, who invites the community to meet new and current faculty members at the first semester Open House on Monday, August 24, at 6 p.m.

“The Barnwell High School faculty, staff, and administration looks forward to working with our students, parents and community in order to make this a rewarding school year for all,” said Burdge.

Burdge encourages all stakeholders to sign up to be a part of the School Improvement Council, which can be done during open house or by calling the BHS Guidance Department at 541-1398.

He encourages parents and guardians to let them know if their contact information changes during the school year.