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As part of the District's 7Reads program, established over a decade ago, the authors of the compelling book, We Are Charleston will be in Spartanburg on Thursday, September 28. After meeting with students at Spartanburg High School during the day, District 7 and a number of community partners will host a public forum that evening and we invite you to join us. The event begins at 6:30 pm at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church and admission is free. 
We're Back in the Groove and So Excited!
The Buses Rolled in Early at McCarthy Teszler
Looking Forward to the Year Ahead
There's no mistaking the sounds of a new academic year! From hugs and high-fives in the hallways, to smiles and laughter on the playgrounds, District 7 welcomed 7400 students to school on Thursday, August 17. Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker spent the day chatting with children, parents and teachers and Tweeted greetings (at #D7backtoschool) along the way. Check out the video below for more fun pictures from the first day of school.

First Day of School Smiles
First Day of School Smiles
Teachers, Students, Staff Rally Around New Year
Hail, Hail, The Gangs All Here!
Days before students returned to school, District 7 rolled out the red carpet to welcome faculty and staff back for another year. The annual back-to-school event known as 7Shares, is part pep-rally, part-professional development and part good old-fashioned fun. Filling the gym at Spartanburg High School, more than 1200 District employees gathered on Monday, August 14 to meet and mingle, to engage in professional learning opportunities and to share goals for the new school year. Educators and administrators in the District will pay particular attention this year to the concept of Compassionate Schools and new initiatives being used to work with children who are coping with adverse childhood experiences.  The Compassionate Schools initiative is neither a substitute for nor an addition to ongoing curricula, but rather a framework for better-understanding the signs and influences of trauma and strategies for successfully mitigating those influences.  

During 7Shares, 13 outstanding teachers from each school in the District were recognized as Teachers of the Year. The award for the overall District Teacher of the Year was presented to Dr. Vern Weygandt, the Band Director at McCracken Middle School.  
District 7 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Vern Weygandt
Ms. Caroline Pruitt, a special education teacher at Chapman Elementary was honored with the Crystal Apple Award, as the induction teacher of the year.
Induction Teacher of the Year, Ms. Caroline Pruitt
New Playground Dedicated at McCarthy-Teszler
McCarthy Students Explore New Play Area

On Friday, September 8, students and staff at McCarthy-Teszler, celebrated the opening of a new playground space with community leaders, parents and donors. McCarthy-Teszler serves all seven school districts in the County and supports students ages 3-21. Thanks to many helping hands and hearts - the gift of the new outdoor recreational area will provide  a play space that's almost completely handicapped accessible. A tremendous shout-out goes to a dedicated group of partners from the 2016 Class of Leadership Spartanburg for their participation in the project!
To Houston with Love
Houston Huskies on a Mission
As the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and now Hurricane Irma, begin the tedious process of putting their lives back together, communities across the country are pitching in to help, including our own students and staff in District 7.  Students and teachers at Houston Elementary say they feel an especially close  connection to the people of Houston and have collected basic items, such as bottled water, socks and diapers. Explaining that Houston Elementary School is named after the District's 4th Superintendent, Principal Mark Hendry went on to say, "In addition to his contributions to education in Spartanburg, David Houston was President of the University of Texas and later became the President of Texas A&M. That little-known piece of history," said Hendry, "is another reminder that we're all connected in one way or another." 
All Hands on Deck at Spartanburg High School
At Spartanburg High School, student body president Morgan Jackson said her peers also participated in the relief efforts. "We asked students and their families to help us collect pet food, underwear, towels, washcloths and just everyday items that will make things a little easier for those who have lost everything." From one club or classroom to another, District 7 can be proud of the kindness of many hearts.
The Sun, The Moon and The Stars
Totally Excited about the Total Eclipse
It was a rare moment in the cosmos that captured the attention of millions on Monday, August 21, when the sun, the moon and the stars were all visible at once in a number of places throughout the country. In South Carolina, the awe-inspiring total eclipse not only altered the start of school for dozens of districts - it afforded the perfect opportunity for teachers of every subject to discuss the art and science of the solar system. From subjects ranging from English, history, science, math and art - students took note of the natural phenomenon from a variety of perspectives. At Jesse Boyd, 5th grade students immersed themselves in all aspects of the eclipse - going from one education station to the next. Meanwhile, 1st graders in Ms. Dionna Six's classroom at E.P. Todd created their own simulation of the light show and recorded their findings in writing. Though District 7 schools were closed on the day of the eclipse, many of our students and staff used the required protective glasses to peer safely into the sky.  
All Eyes on Safety
Measuring Blink Reflex
As football fans across the nation enjoy another season of competition, there's a team in South Carolina that may be stealing the headlines this year. Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina have come up with new technology to help coaches and trainers diagnose their athletes for signs of concussion. As one of only two high schools in the nation participating in the study, Spartanburg High School is a key player in this hallmark research.
SHS Athletes Working with MUSC Staff
The device is called a Blink Reflexometer, or Blink TBI, and simply uses a puff of air to trigger an athletes blink reflex. The scientists who developed the system say, once the baseline measurements of all our athletes are obtained - the machine can then assess changes in neurological function. While high school football players account for nearly 47% of all reported sports concussions, The Center for Disease Control says, girls' soccer also reports a high number of concussions. In addition to the 400 SHS athletes who will be providing baseline data, a number of college and professional sports teams will also be involved. Todd Staley, Spartanburg High School Athletic Director said, "It's exciting to think something so simple has the potential to vastly improve the safety of athletes all over the world - all of us at SHS are incredibly honored to be involved in this effort."  
D7 Building Projects Taking Shape
Latest Spartanburg High School Drone Footage
Latest Spartanburg High School Drone Footage
It's amazing the difference a day makes. In fact, every day the landscape in District 7 is changing dramatically, with the addition of two new schools under construction. The last time we updated you on the projects, steel beams were just being erected at the new elementary school and the site for the new high school looked more like a barren helicopter pad than the future home of the Vikings.  
 Check Out the Most Recent Drone Footage
At the high school, over 1121 cubic yards of concrete and 173 tons of rebar have been utilized as part of the footings being poured.  And, at the new elementary school, it won't be long before the outside of the building is complete and workers move inside.
Teachers Sign Beam for New School

As the students and staff at Chapman and Houston Elementary Schools prepare to merge together, the new Principal for Drayton Mills Elementary says there's growing excitement about choosing school colors and selecting a mascot. Mr. Thomas Webster says he's also working with the faculty and staff at both schools to develop the curriculum for the school's focus on Problem Based Learning. Drayton Mills Elementary will open in fall 2018, but until then you can follow its progress at Drayton Mills Elementary School on Facebook. 
AUG - SEPT  2017
First-Day Fun at
McCarthy Teszler
Homecoming Hugs at 
Mary H. Wright
 Hurrying into Houston with Principal Hendry
New Laptops at McCracken
Special Services Staff Ready for 7Shares
Jesse Boyd's "Love Where You Learn" Theme, is All About Heart
Pine Street and Meeting Street Students (above and below) Decked Out for 
College Colors Day

Cute Carpool Helpers at 
Mary H. Wright
Welcoming New Teachers 

The students and staff at Jesse Boyd can take a bow! Thanks to a variety of wellness efforts, JBE was once again honored by The  Alliance for a Healthier Generation for leading comprehensive health, physical activity, and wellness efforts during the last school year.  JBE is one of only 300 schools sited for empowering kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. 
And as a reminder i t's time to  REGISTER  for JBE's 4th annual  H U B   C I T C o l o r  R u n  on September 23  at Milliken Research Park.  This fun-filled event helps raise money for the school's PE Program. The cost for D7 staff and students is $20 and includes a race T-shirt. S ee this  flier  for more details. 

The next chapter of the District's 7Reads program begins with a special visit from authors  Bernard Powers Jr., Marjory Wentworth and Herb Frazier
The three co-authored " We Are Charleston", a  book that explores the tragic, hate-fueled events that occurred at Mother Emanuel two summers ago. 
"We Are Charleston" dissects what happened, delving into the history of the AME church and the history of slavery and racism in Charleston, in an attempt to provide context for the massacre.

To purchase tickets for SHS football games contact Dana Mason at Tickets are $6. They can also be purchased online for $7. Put on your blue and gold and join us in the stands!
The Viking Band knows a thing or two about  MAKING EVERY BEAT COUNT! That's why all 140 members went out of their way to promote heart health in this pumped-up video for Spartanburg Regional Foundation's Hanger B celebration. Because their video received the most Facebook "likes", the band will receive a life-saving AED device. You can purchase tickets for Hanger B on Sept 28 here  and you can catch the Viking Band at halftime during home football games at Gibbs Stadium. 

Our own District Teacher of the Year, McCracken  Band Director Dr. Vern Weygangt has been nominated for the 2017-2018 National LifeChanger of the Year Award The prestigious award  r ecognizes educators who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.  
2017-2018 CALENDAR
Worlds Apart, But Much in Common
D7 Team with Colleagues in China
When it comes to ranking the world's greatest superpowers, the U.S. and China clearly take the lead. But compare the two countries side by side, in regard to education, and the U.S. wins the prize. That was the takeaway this summer when a group of educators from District 7 traveled across the globe for a closer look at the culture of the Chinese classroom. According to Christine Horowitz, the director of instructional technology for the District, educators in China want to close that gap and are looking for lessons from America.  
In cooperation with the Chinese Cultural Exchange Center at USC Upstate, Ms. Horowitz, and technology integration specialists Joel Colon, Adam Babcock and Kim Buice were afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with D7 'sister' schools in Boading and Beijing. "While our partners in China generally place more emphasis on test preparation and memorization, there's less focus on creativity and critical thinking skills," Horowitz said. "Chinese teachers know they need to move away from their 'lecture-style' comfort zones, so we spent time modeling best practices in teaching and learning." She concluded, "Despite our differences we have a lot in common, the most important of which is bringing out the best in our students!"
Spartanburg School District Seven I  610 Dupre Drive I  Spartanburg, SC 29307 I 864.594.4400