The Liberty County School System’s Modern Dance Team helped open the regular meeting of the Liberty County Board of Education on Tuesday, April 9 with an interpretive dance performance consisting of elements of ballet, jazz and modern dance techniques. The team, is one of the new courses students can take as part of the charter system’s effort to incorporate and offer fine arts opportunities as part of a student’s education.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Susan Avant presented the LCSS Charter Update, highlighting the benefits of being a charter system.
Those benefits include a broad flexibility of Georgia State Rules, and increased funding, Avant said. That increased funding allows for a focus on innovation and student achievement, she continued.
As a charter system, LCSS has focused on increasing the fine arts opportunities available to students, including courses such as: Modern Dance; Piano; Photography, in conjunction with the Liberty College and Career Academy; Gaming and Animation, Drama programs at the high schools; and a Dramatic Writing Course, which will be offered in 2019-2020, and will let students earn an English credit and Fine Arts credit, Avant said.
The system also offers a Reading Transition Course, which targets those ninth grade students at both Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School who need remediation in reading. The program includes direct instruction and digital coursework, that needed one-on-one attention to bring students up to grade level, Avant added.
The Retired Educators Supporting Student Learning and Achievement (RESSLA), uses those retired educators as a resource for reading and math support for grades K-12. The program is incredibly data driven and provides targeted instruction in small groups or individually, she continued. RESSLA is funded through Title I and Charter funds.
The increased funding helped expand digital content-- like additional digital content in core content areas, offering online courses, purchasing devices and equipment, and providing CANVAS for all grade levels as a learning management system.
In other business, the central office staff and the board presented students and staff with certificates of recognition on recent accomplishments.
The Do Your Part for Your Heart poster contest winners were honored first. The contest was in honor of Heart Month, which is in February. Womenheart Hinesville sponsored the poster contest. The first place winner was Lyman Hall Elementary fourth grader Glorius Sykes, second place winner was Frank Long Elementary second grader Keya’Zjhnae Green, and third place winner was Waldo Pafford Elementary fifth grader Ne’Miah Alston. Their posters were chosen out of nearly 40 finalists, and each winner was given a monetary prize.
Alejandra Ulloa took home first place for District 18N in the Lion’s Club International Peace Poster Contest. Ulloa’s poster will go on to compete in the state competition, Chief Academic Officer Patti Crane said.
Both Bradwell and LCHS’s top three shining seniors were honored at the meeting with a certificate. The Top 12 Shining Seniors are featured in the Liberty Life Magazine. Each year, the students are chosen out of numerous nominations from each high school’s guidance counselors. All six students stand out for their contributions to the community, self-sacrifice, worth ethic and their ability to face challenges head on, Crane said.
“They have taken Advanced Placement courses and college courses through dual enrollment, participated in numerous clubs and sports, volunteered in the community, overcame personal challenges, and aspired to positively influence others.
Bradwell student Katherine Holandez-Lopez was recognized by CollegeBoard for performing in the Top 2.5 percent on the PSAT among Latino and Hispanic Students, according to Crane.
Daniel Futch and Marcus McFarland received second place for 3D Visualization and Animation at SkillsUSA Georgia. Both of the students work closely at LCCA as part of the Gaming and Animation course offered.
LCSS also took a moment to recognize Kathleen Nile as their Special Education Teacher of the Year. Executive Director for Division for Exceptional Learning Mindy Yanzetich presented Nile with her certificate, and both staff and friends came forward to present Nile with flowers, balloons and other trinkets of appreciation.