March 2020
Love Was In the Air Across D7 During February
Valentine’s Day was the perfect opportunity to spotlight the love our students have for one another and for their teachers and staff across D7!
Drayton Mills Elementary School  students spent time on Feb. 14 making Valentine’s Day cards for the senior citizens at The Waterford At Dillon Pointe, a senior living community near the school.
March 16 Women's Symposium to Headline International Women's Month Celebration
Come experience the power of "7"! Join us to hear seven trailblazing women from our Spartanburg community discuss economic mobility for women and girls during District 7's first annual Women's History Month symposium. This free, public event is sponsored by the District 7 Diversity and Inclusion Alliance. It will be held on Monday, March 16 from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center at Spartanburg High School. 

The symposium will focus female empowerment and upward educational and economic mobility for women and girls of all ages.
Renovation Plans for the New McCracken
Construction work on the new McCracken Middle School is moving at a rapid pace. Get an inside look at the exciting new facility scheduled to open in 2020 through the video slideshow above! T he McCracken Middle School conversion is a major renovation of the existing Spartanburg High School campus. The majority of the architectural scope is upfitting the ‘D’ Wing building with new floors, ceilings and interior finishes including eight new collaboration spaces for students to meet and work. New electrical life safety upgrades and a new fire alarm system will also be added. The gym will get a fresh look with new flooring, graphics and signage with McCracken's branding and the Eagles logo.

Demolition of "A, B and C Wings” will begin later this spring and will happen in stages, ultimately making way for beautiful new green space and additional parking. The main entrance to McCracken will be at the former Freshmen Academy entrance. We will share more as the project progresses. Make sure to follow us on Facebook for updates!
District 7 has been closely monitoring and planning for the potential arrival of the coronavirus in our community. We are educating our faculty and staff on this new virus and preventative measures to reduce acquisition and spread. To that end, we have released and shared important information about COVID-19 with our families and a special web section has been developed .

Awareness is key. The most important role you can play is to insure all members of your household follow  everyday precautions . These include:

  • Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Staying at home when you are sick.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces.

We will remain in communication with our families via email, social media, and our website as there are more developments to share. Thank you for your partnership at this important time as we work together to keep our community healthy and safe.
Growing Together As We Celebrate
Black History Across District 7
Across the District throughout the month of February, African American role models and mentors shared stories to underscore the importance of Black History Month. We grew together through poetry competitions, school-wide assemblies, quiz bowl competitions, guest artist performances, and more. C ommunity leader
Luther Norman, whose dedication to preserving the history of the Negro Baseball League here in Spartanburg, significantly contributed to our headlining event at Spartanburg High School - the film screening of “The Other Boys of Summer” documentary, which was attended by the entire SHS student body. Norman, filmmaker Lauren Meyer, and historian Ed Epps (left to right, bottom left) were panelists for a discussion following the film screening. Mr. Norman also coordinated a collection of memorabilia from the Negro Baseball League for a month-long exhibit displayed at Spartanburg High School and Mary H Wright Elementary.
Check out our Scene Around Seven section below to see how our schools celebrated Black History Month.
D7 Principals Bring Heart and Soul to Ballet Spartanburg's Competition
Our FABULOUS principals brought down the house at Ballet Spartanburg’s annual fundraiser, "So You Think You Can Dance, Spartanburg" ! In their typical “above and beyond” fashion, our District 7 principals along with Drayton Mills 4th grader Justice Dove put on their boogie shoes and worked up a routine to compete. The team’s proceeds support our spring production of Memphis , which provides students from across the district with the opportunity to participate in a professional level, fully staged production. You can catch their fancy footwork in the video below.
New Middle College Program Partnership Creates Teacher Pipeline
Spartanburg High School students can now get an early start on their dreams of becoming teachers, thanks to a new program in collaboration with Converse.

The Valkyrie Middle College will enable SHS students to take up to 30 hours of transferrable college credit toward a bachelor's degree in education. Students will apply for the co-ed program during the spring of their sophomore year and will take courses during their junior and senior years of high school. Applications are being accepted now for Fall 2020.

Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for priority acceptance into Converse College’s teacher education program and will receive priority consideration for teaching jobs with District 7 after earning their teacher certification.

“We are thrilled to partner with Spartanburg School District Seven for this innovative approach to developing high quality K-12 educators through the Valkyrie Middle College program,” says Converse President Krista Newkirk. “Students selected for this program will be welcomed into the Converse family and benefit from undergraduate level instruction and mentorship from Converse’s full-time faculty members. As our community aims to retain workforce talent through initiatives such as ONE Spartanburg, this partnership between Converse and District Seven will lend support by inspiring and equipping teachers we hope will reinvest their talents right here in Spartanburg.”

For more information on the program and to apply, visit .
(l to r) Sophomores MunTaiya Dillard and Kamoree Hill, freshman Katie Reynolds, and sophomore Melonda Sullivan are excited about the Valkyrie Middle College Program! Take a look at what they have to say:

“It’s like a stepping stone. You know, you go to preschool to go to elementary school to go to middle school to go to high school to go to college, and this is a bridge - it gives you the best of both worlds and allows you to transition smoothly instead of just like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to college, I don’t know what to do!’ It gives you this kind of a starter,” said Kamoree.

“I was excited because it opens more opportunities. For those who think they might want to go into education, it gives them an idea of what it is to be a teacher,” said Katie.

Kamoree and Katie both said they hope to become history teachers, while MunTaiya is interested in teaching at a Montessori school like she attended when she was younger, and Melonda wants to be a guidance counselor.

“When I heard about it, it was kind of hard to believe because it’s a lot that it’s offering, opportunity-wise, at our age. A whole year of college,” said MunTaiya.
JBE   Recertified as an Apple Distinguished School
Representatives from Apple visited Jesse Boyd Elementary in February to award the school's recertification as an Apple Distinguished School During the visit, they shared insights with the faculty on what this designation means and reinforced the message that it is not the technology that creates the spark of learning but the teachers who use the tool of technology to bring learning to life for students.

“You could give every student a device – you could give every student ten devices – it’s not going to make a single bit of difference. All the research in the world shows the learning environment matters, the technology matters, the curriculum matters, but what matters most? RAISE YOUR HANDS. IT IS YOU," said the Apple representatives. "The classroom teacher is the conduit to unlocking all the creativity and all the learning for every individual you interact with…Not every school leverages technology in the same way, so being part of the distinguished schools means, moving forward, you are part of 470 global elite schools who say ‘we will share our story’.”

We congratulate JBE for being renewed as an Apple Distinguished School for 2019-2022. The commendation salutes the school's technology-rich environment and its innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment along with documented results of academic accomplishment.
32 Exceptional Students Named Junior Scholars
We tip our hats to the 32 District 7 middle school students who were honored during the Spartanburg County Junior Scholars Awards Ceremony at Converse College last month. These students were named South Carolina Junior Scholars for receiving high scores on the PSAT (Preliminary SAT).

The honorees are: Theo Atance, Anna Beeson, Julia Brantley, Benjamin Brough, Robert Chapman, Christopher Curtis, Lillian Delaney, Luke Duncan, Ruben Falcon, Sean Foote, Gabriel Gilstrap, Kennedy Gordon, John Hall, James Howlett, Mary Mac​Hurst, Brady Johnson, Victoria Jolly, Rachel Jones, Daniel Lin, Claire Mahaffey, Will Manello, Ingrid Marsh, Roberto Mendez Cortes, Layla Mitchell, Liam Nettles, Alexander Newman, Dorothy Salley, Taylor​Smith, Payson​Valinski, Samuel VanHyning, Spencer Waugh, and Gaozheng Wu.

To become a South Carolina Junior Scholar, eighth grade students must earn a score of 550 or higher on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing portion of the PSAT or a score of 530 or higher on the Mathematics portion of the test. Additionally, a student who earns State or Grand Recognition in the Duke TIP program is recognized. These students become eligible for a variety of summer enrichment opportunities offered by local and regional colleges, and receive special recognition and awards from the South Carolina Department of Education.

We salute these students along with our teachers, administrators, and families for their dedication to excellence in education. It truly takes a village, and we are very proud of ours!
SHS Baseball Team Helps with Storm Cleanup
Members of the Spartanburg High School baseball team assisted with cleaning up damage from the tornano, working on five houses near McCracken MIddle School.
Carver Middle's AVID Program in the Spotlight
In case you missed the feature article published by the Spartanburg Herald Journal on how our Carver students are developing high aspirations for their future through the AVID program, you can read it here:
SHS Recognized for Being Energy Efficient
Another recent media story spotlighted the energy efficiencies and environmentally friendly aspects of our new high school that earned Two Green Globes certification. Read it here:
Cyber Vikings on Top in Spartanburg County!  
Meet tomorrow’s superstars - our up and coming cybersecurity pros! As you may know, D7 is a member of the prestigious League of Innovative schools – one of only 114 districts in the nation invited to join this elite organization. Four years ago, the League prompted D7 to design a curriculum at SHS to offer the fundamentals of cybersecurity and coding to students who are interested in technology. Out of that initiative, and under the leadership of Dennis Roberts, was born the Cyber Vikings - a group of students who come together to explore the basics of securing online and hardwired systems, commonly known as cyber security.

Led by Roberts and Adam Babcock, the Cyber Vikings have been recognized in nationwide competitions and have now expanded to form teams at McCracken and Daniel Morgan Technology Center. McCracken’s Cyber Eagles are coached by Lesa McGarity, and the Daniel Morgan Technology Legion Team is coached by David Thornton. 

Earlier this month, our teams were recognized by the Spartanburg County High School League during their Cyber Patriot Banquet at Spartanburg Community College . The SHS team (above) of Emmett Baymiller, Matthew Beyer, Lily Boucher, Jack Foster, Jonah Grinder, Skylar Hawkins, Mason Kellam, Mack Kimbrell, Daniel Lo, Jonathan Lun, Takeira Miller, Earth Patel, Witou Prak, Jonathan Tate and Caleb Thompson, earned First Place in the High School Open Division. The Daniel Morgan Legions I Team (bottom right) came in Second Place in the High School Open Division with SHS students Javon Spruill and Hunter Warren. McCracken’s Cyber Eagles (bottom left) earned a special recognition for their 7th and 8th grade teams advancing to the National Semifinals. Those students are Sean Foote, James Howlett, Dylan Prus, Spencer Waugh, Sam Foster, Omner Grinder, Tyler Strickland, Gray Howlett and Myles Klosterman. All of our teams were recognized with a resolution from Spartanburg County Council Chairman Manning Lynch during the banquet.

SHS Advisor Adam Babcock said, “Much of our success is due to partnerships that continue to grow. Our team sponsor, Pivotal IT; our camp sponsor; Spartanburg Community College; and the Spartanburg County Foundation continue to support our students and the future of cybersecurity in the Upstate. Spartanburg is well on its way to becoming a cybersecurity center of excellence if we continue to invest in these unique and talented young specialists.”

Dennis Roberts was also recently recognized as the SC Business Educators Association Teacher of the Year. A shining star in D7 for more than 16 years, he is the Department Chair for the Business & Technology Department at SHS.

We are proud of our amazing Cyber Patriots teams and their coaches! Congratulations!
Everett Stone Soars at Regional Spelling Bee 
Pine Street Elementary recently celebrated 4th grader Everett Stone’s win in the District 7 Spelling Bee held in January. His District win earned him a spot to compete in the 16th Annual Regional Spelling Bee was held at USC-Upstate on February 15. More than 70 students from Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties in 3rd through 8th grades competed for the title of the 2020 Regional Spelling Bee Champion. Everett tied for 3rd place.

Everett told us that he won the Pine Street Bee with the word “Equator” and snagged third place at the Regional Bee with the word “Sacrament." Congratulations, Everett, for being the best speller in D7 and for representing us well at the Regional Bee!
Students Win Big at Annual Black History Bowl
On Feb 22, District 7 students put their historical knowledge to the test in the 4th annual Black History Bowl, which was sponsored by the Center for African-American Studies at USC Upstate. Nineteen teams competed from churches, schools and community groups. A junior division included grades 6 - 8, while the senior division included grades 9-12.

After several rounds of questions, our teams from McCracken earned 1st and 3rd places in the junior division. In the senior division, a team from Mt. Moriah Baptist Church – which was made up of Spartanburg High School students - claimed the senior championship title.
Katie Dogan, Mikiya Fowler, Joseph Broadus, and Cameran Gist make up the ” Be the Change” senior championship team.
Corin Caldwell, Kaylene Gonzalez, Kenneth Jackson and Dori Johnson of McCracken Team II earned 3rd place and Bianca Basurto-Perez, Myles Klosterman and Jamaria Tinsley from McCracken Team I were junior division champions.
The Black History program at Cleveland captured the essence of our culture and our experiences! Our students truly put on a show with singing, dancing, and reciting poetry.
The SC State University band helped E.P. Tigers celebrate during their annual Black History Program.

49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel returned to Spartanburg at the CC Woodson Center to greet fans from his alma mater, Carver.

SHS rounded out a month-long series of lunch and learns for Black History Month - here Lee Smith, SHS graduate, photographer & filmmaker speaks with students.
Guest Reader Leslie Sainz shared a story and display about Jackie Robinson and the Negro Baseball League with Mary H Wright 2nd graders.
Mrs. Rhode and Mrs. Jackson, SHS Black History Club advisors at SHS, taught line dancing during lunch in Valhalla. 
A parade of Historically Black College and Universities inspired our  Drayton Mills Elementary School  students for their Black History Month program!
District 7 is pleased to announce that it will be the first school district in South Carolina to support the new International African American Museum in Charleston, SC. As a charter member, we look forward to being a part of and supporting what is expected to be one of the country’s most significant museums and memorials. Learn more about this initiative at
You could feel the love over the pride lands of Jesse Boyd for The Lion King Kids. The African savannah came to life with this unforgettable cast of characters.
We are super proud of Mrs. Dale Fischer and the JBE students who were selected for the S.C. elementary honor choir. Their concert in Columbia tin February was amazing.
Carver Middle held a Book Character Day to promote interaction between what their students are reading and take part in activities to explore character traits. Everyone enjoyed the fun!
Each year, students in grades 3-8 from some of the best schools in the country participate in the WordMasters Challenge. The WordMasters Challenge™ helps students to think both analytically and metaphorically. In this year’s first Gold Division WordMasters Challenge, a D7 eighth-grade team tied for first place in the nation among 52 teams. This team earned a perfect score of 200 in the first challenge meet, with each of the team members earning a perfect score.

Members of the first-place team, coached by Rachel Rhodes, Kellie Matheson, and Caroline Graham, were caught celebrating above. They are: Theo Atance, Julia Brantley, Andrew Byars, Luke Duncan, Sean Griffin, Jackson Hall, Ingrid Marsh, Foster Neely, Dorothy Salley, and Samuel VanHyning
Congratulations to all of our students and teachers on a very successful WordMasters!
As an Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) School, PIne Street Elementary held workshops and sessions for students during Arts Advocacy Week in South Carolina . Six artists in residence spent a week with students culminating in an Evening of the Arts event. Pine Street has been an ABC Model Site since 1989!
District 7's Choral Extravaganza, "Why We Sing," showcased the amazing talents of over 400 elementary, middle, and high school students. The crowd was equally amazing by our brand new Fine Arts Center.
Save the Dates
Friday, March 27
Staff Exchange Day - Student Holiday
Wednesday, March 11
Johnny Appleseed Day

Friday, March 13
Best Singer in the District Competition

Saturday, March 14
Pine Street Fun Run

Monday, March 16
Women's History Month Panel Discussion: Economic Mobility for Women & Girls
6pm D7 Fine Arts Center
Tuesday, March 17
St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 23
Report Cards
Kindergarten Registration Opens

Friday, March 27
Holiday/Exchange Day

Monday, March 30 – April 3
Spring Break Holiday
Best Singer in the District Starring D7 Students Hits the Stage on March 13!
Welcome Spring By Putting a Spring in Your Step at Pine Street's Fun Run on March 14

Pine Street Elementary School 's 7th Annual  5k  and Fun Run is March 14! Funds raised help to supplement PTO's efforts to engage and enrich the student's experience at Pine. The 5K course runs through Spartanburg's historic Converse Heights neighborhood and is USATF certified (SC14018DW). Registration includes a short-sleeve performance blend shirt if registered by March 6. Learn more about the  PSS 5k and one-mile Fun Run and how to register here.

It's Almost Time to Register for Kindergarten!
Kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year is right around the corner. It will begin on March 23 and end on April 24.

With an emphasis on early learning, District 7 offers, 4-year-old kindergarten programs at the Early Learning Center, Cleveland Academy of Leadership, and the Franklin School; and both 3- and 4-year-old programs at Meeting Street Academy. Eligibility screening is required and class sizes are limited. Families residing in the District with children who will turn 3 or 4 on, or before September 1, 2020, are also eligible to register for the Montessori Program at E.P. Todd School. A tuition fee is charged for the Montessori program and class sizes are limited. For preschool information, visit our  website  or stop by your neighborhood elementary school, Monday-Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. beginning March 23.

For additional more information, call:
  • Early Learning Center (864) 594-4465
  • The Franklin School (864) 327-4913
  • Meeting Street Academy (864) 253-1800
  • Cleveland Academy (864) 594-4444
  • E.P. Todd School Montessori (864) 594-4475
Don’t Miss "Memphis The Musical" at the New District 7 Fine Arts Theatre in April
Join us April 16 for the opening night of Memphis, the Broadway Musical at our new D7 Fine Arts Center. Set in the turbulent south in the 1950s, Memphis is the story of Huey Calhoun, a white radio DJ whose love of good music transcends race lines and airwaves. Thanks part to his passionate persistence, "race" music reaches the center of the radio dial, quickly exploding throughout mainstream America. The musical is by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro and originally ran on Broadway from 2009-2012. The show won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2010. Memphis the Musical is full of great times, smooth moves and over 20 original musical numbers. It’s not a show to miss. Tickets go on sale soon.
Alumni Spotlight: BBQ and Golf Tournament Benefits D7 Student Scholarships
One of the hallmarks of District 7 is the legacy that each generation feels compelled to leave for those who follow. There are shining examples across our alumni classes of efforts that aim to support current students and to create a lasting impact for the future. In our alumni spotlight this month, we share an upcoming event hosted by the Class of 1967 designed to bolster scholarships for District 7 students. All SHS faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends are invited to participate in the Class of 1967 golf tournament raising money for their scholarship, which is given every year to a deserving graduate from SHS. Not a golfer? You can join them for the BBQ dinner and auction. They hope all SHS alumni will participate. For all the details visit D7's Reunion Page page .

610 Dupre Drive Spartanburg, South Carolina

P: 864.594.4400