Plagiarism software, retention bonuses among Georgetown school department requests | News

GEORGETOWN – Retention of staff both current and future was a recurring theme throughout the Georgetown County School District’s department budget requests on April 5.

The district’s principals made their requests at the school board’s March 22 meeting. Departmental requests affect staff both in and out of the classroom and included annual stipends for maintenance workers with certain licenses and college degrees, and teachers who sponsor student council or join the district straight out of school.

District human resources director Doug Jenkins asked the board to consider a $ 1,500 bonus for teachers to be paid at the end of three years’ service at one of the district’s rural schools, with the first payments coming in 2024-25.

“As you know, in our high-needs rural schools, which would be the Carvers Bay area, the Andrews area to include Sampit, there traditionally has been a higher turnover,” Jenkins said.

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Jenkins further suggested a $ 1,000 signing bonus for student-teachers in the district who accept a full-time district position, an idea he said the Charleston County School District previously used.

He also asked for a $ 1,500 scholarship for teachers who sponsor student council at their schools.

Superintendent Keith Price’s lone request was for $ 80,000 for four high school elective teachers through the Jobs for America’s Graduates career readiness nonprofit. The three-year program, targeting students not “projecting on-time graduation or a four-year college future,” would fund all expenses for the teachers with the exception of $ 20,000 per year per teacher.

District elementary education director Fedrick Cohens asked the board to consider adding diagnostic program i-Ready for use in grades 1 and 2. Cohens also asked the board to include kindergarten through grade 2 in the district’s math screener test, which he said is mandated by the state.

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David Hammel, the district’s secondary education and athletics director, noted to the board that the district’s $ 110,000 contract for digital instructional software, used as a learning supplement, expires this year and asked for a renewal. The renewal is expected to cost somewhere between $ 102,000 and $ 130,000.

Hammel also asked the board to consider purchasing the paid versions of anti-plagiarism program TurnItIn and writing assistance program No Red Ink.

“Writing right now is all being done on the computer in a digital platform and student plagiarism has become more of a problem than back in the days when I was in school and you wrote your paper by hand,” Hammel said.

Special services director Michael Caviris’ presentation included a request for special education teachers – one each at Georgetown High, Sampit Elementary and Waccamaw Intermediate / Middle – with each position costing $ 51,385 per year plus benefits.

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“We have been creative this year in serving our students and I think we did a fine job,” Caviris said. “But in order to make sure we keep up with the changes that are going on in that area, it is our recommendation , our ask, that we look at that position, as well. “

Caviris also requested an additional occupational therapist, costing $ 63,512 plus benefits.

Genia Smith, who runs the district’s innovations and special programs, requested an instructional coach for the district’s English to Speakers of Other Languages ​​program. To justify the latter position, worth $ 50,500 to $ 75,692 a year plus benefits, Smith noted that the district’s “multilingual” subgroup is performing below their peers due to unfinished teaching and learning over the past two school years.

LaPariscena Singleton, director of career and technology education, asked that the board award $ 1,500 annual scholarships to advisors for career and technology student organizations, such as Future Business Leaders of America and SkillsUSA.

J. Tyronne Davis, assistant superintendent of operations and facilities, suggested $ 1,000 stipends for maintenance workers with herbicide or pesticide licenses, $ 1,500 for certifications or licenses, such as welding or locksmith, and $ 2,500 for those with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees.

The plan placed limits on how many scholarships could be given for each level of education: three for herbicide and pesticide, 10 for certifications and five for college degrees. Davis said the district already employs at least one individual with each of the certifications or degrees.

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