April 2020
District 7 is Ready to Finish Strong
In the midst of such difficulty, it is almost as though the universe has conspired to give families the gift of time together.

In the first few lines of Dina Loomans's poem, If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again , she reflects, "I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less. I’d do less correcting, and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I would care to know less and know to care more. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.” Her calming and insightful words in these uncertain times remind us of the importance of spending quality moments together. 

As we prepare to shift from school lessons to summer break over the next few weeks, District 7 is dedicated to continuing our support of families in numerous ways. Please continue to visit the eLearning Guide on our District and school websites for resources and activities to keep your student engaged with learning until school resumes. We will add content to this page over the coming weeks with summertime enrichment in mind.

For closing out the school year, D7 has posted an informative guide covering a wide range of operational procedures. Each school has developed a plan for distributing student belongings and collecting MacBooks and other school property. Look for communications from your school with this information.

If your family is still adjusting to a new normal and looking for work-life balance strategies while working remotely, as well as the psychology behind parenting expectations during the pandemic, you’re not alone. We have a wide variety of social and emotional health tips and community resources available here .
Celebrating the Class of 2020
In the strangest of circumstances, our seniors have shaken off a series of disappointments to finish the year strong! To celebrate our seniors and give them the chance to show off their Viking pride in style this entire month, SHS kicked off May by giving each senior a yard sign. It was one of several gestures the school is making to honor our seniors as they have missed the final months and milestones of high school because of the coronavirus pandemic.

District 7 also introduced three Facebook profile frame options: one for members of the senior class, one for their parents, and one for any community member who wishes to congratulate the Class of 2020. We encourage you to join us in using the community frame to wish them well! You can f ind it here   to add to your profile photo. On Friday, May 15, the school invited seniors to pick up yearbooks and participate in a spirit drive through around the school.

Perhaps the most exciting of all the plans is the commencement ceremony for students and their immediate families that will be held on Saturday, May 30. The format is tailored to carefully follow social distancing guidelines. The event will also be live streamed beginning at 8:30 a.m. Graduation starts at 9:00 a.m. You can watch the livestream on D7's YouTube Channel or on the SHS website. After the livestream, the ceremony will continue to be available in its entirety on YouTube and our website. You can read more about graduation plans here .

Yes, we love our seniors! As a salute to the Class of 2020, we are proudly displaying that message on the billboard next the high school. We send a special thanks to SHS's PTO and to Lamar Advertising for enabling us to share the special message for our seniors on both sides of this board. Congratulations, Class of 2020!
The Resilience of A Family
Jeffrey and T’Shekia Shippy and their four children, Chloe (a second grader at Drayton Mills), Jaylen (a fifth grader at Drayton Mills), Jessoria (a seventh grader at Carver Middle), and Timya (a sophomore at SHS), have an extra special story to share about their dedication and resilience during this unprecedented time. For all of us who are working across District 7 to remain connected with students and to support our families during this pandemic, stories like this warm our hearts and reaffirm that our work is truly a calling.
Telehealth Steps Up to Provide Care
So much has changed since the arrival of COVID-19. With recommendations stay at home and socially distance, District 7 is sharing with families the concept and practice of telemedicine. Within reach through a District 7-issued MacBooks or other digital devices, Telehealth programs through the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System or Prisma Health (which includes Pediatric Associates of Spartanburg) enable members of your family to get many types of medical care without leaving your home. Whether you are a current patient of a doctor within one of these networks or need care as a new patient, both health systems offer options for your family. More information on these services is available here .
Staying Active
Our playgrounds, fields, tracks and tennis courts are temporarily closed for social distancing measures, but in the meantime Spartanburg High School has walking trails that are open for you to explore. Walk the half-mile trail and pedestrian bridge around the wetlands and pond, explore the outdoor classroom, and admire the beautiful old white oak that was preserved during construction and is being cared for by the Noble Tree Foundation. The campus of Spartanburg High School is open to the public and we welcome our community to visit while adhering to social distancing guidelines. There are future plans to connect the SHS campus with the Daniel Morgan Trail, a.k.a. “ The Dan ,” a 32-mile system that will connect multiple neighborhoods throughout our community. In the meantime, you can access "The Dan" behind the old Spartanburg High School (soon to be the new McCracken Middle School) via the Lower River Birch Trail and near Drayton Mills Elementary via the Lower Drayton Mills Trail . Our school's walking paths are open to the public from sunrise to sunset and we invite you to explore them in order to nurture your mind, body and spirit through active living!
Construction Projects Underway,
Some Near Completion
Gone Swimming
Recreation centers are closed during COVID-19, but construction is nearing completion at the T.K. Gregg Community Center. The indoor aquatics area will feature two pools - one for competitive and exercise swimming, and a handicap-accessible pool for water therapy and swim lessons. Most importantly, the competition pool will serve as home to the Spartanburg Viking swim teams. And something most exciting to the entire District 7 community is that swim lessons will be FREE to any child in the city and/or in School District 7, which has been made possible by a generous donation from Bank of America! There is no set date on the center's opening but the project will be completed by the summer.
A New Home for the McCracken Eagles
Construction work for the new McCracken Middle School is moving at a rapid pace, and the facility will be ready to welcome its first students this fall. T he McCracken Middle School conversion is a major renovation of the former Spartanburg High School campus. The majority of the work to upfit the ‘D’ Wing building with new floors, ceilings and new collaboration spaces is complete. Demolition of the former "A, B and C Wings” will begin soon and will happen in stages, ultimately making way for beautiful new green space. The main entrance to McCracken will be at the former Freshmen Academy entrance with an address of 500 Dupre Drive. We will share more on the project over the summer. Make sure to follow us on Facebook for updates!
A Field Day for Carver
The athletic field serving our Wildcats will have a different look when sports return to the Carver Middle School in the fall, thanks to the support of an NFL grant! Work is nearly complete on a new turf field and resurfacing of the track with the addition of a sprint lane. The former facility had become outdated, and the grass field was struggling to withstand the heavy use by our active Wildcats. Turf is becoming much more prevalent as the technology has improved, and the Carver field includes an extra shock absorbing pad underneath to ensure safety.
Kindergarten (3K, 4K and 5K) and new student enrollment is NOW OPEN. Visit the homepage of our District 7 website or any school’s website and click the  enrollment button to complete this process via email or via printed forms submitted to your school.  

Enrollment of current students for next school year is expected to take place the last week of school with a goal for all D7 families to enroll by June 1! Enrolling online through Powerschool Registration can be done right from your smartphone or other device, and our schools will be available by telephone to assist anyone who needs help. Families will receive specific instructions for the enrollment process as Powerschool Registration opens.
Norse News Garners State Accolades
A Superior rating and several individual student awards from the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association put Spartanburg High School's student newspaper among the best of the best once again! The Norse News has kept students and friends of SHS up-to-date on school news, sports and human interest stories all year. It also provides experience in journalistic writing, editing, and business management for students. The dedicated Norse News staff won a number of awards at the association's first ever Virtual Spring Conference. The specific awards are listed here. Congratulations to the entire Norse News staff for these high achievements. We applaud (p ictured above from earlier this year, front row) Elle Naylor, Grace Till, Sarah McMeekin, Sharon George, Ella Grace Barry, Clara Maultsby, (Back row) Liza Boyd, Jackson Edwards, Mary Lovett Pye, Violette Franke, Florence Cope, Jack Foster, and Zack Strehl. C ongratulations also to advisors Lisa McCulley and Angela Eaton for this impressive state recognition.
Teacher Appreciation Week Highlights  
Ozzy Osbourne has nothing on Drayton Mills Elementary School Principal Thomas Webster, who rose to challenge of writing and performing a quarantine rap for his students and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week. Mr. Webster, along with his son Finch, media specialist Brian Gregory, and m usic teacher Adena McDaniel , reunited as The Car Line band. You don't want to miss this!
Bobcat Best and Nothing Less! Mary H. Wright put together a video celebrating their teachers. You can view all the smiles here.
These kiddos from Drayton Mills think their teachers are second to none!
E.P. Todd School is Todd Together, and their teachers received bracelets made by students.
McCracken Middle's PTO showered teachers with a daily drawing for prizes!
Some of our littlest angels at the Early Learning Center shared their love with teachers through artwork.
JBE kicked off the week with Imitation Monday and students jumped in to pull off their best teacher impersonations.
During Thankful Thursday, students from Jesse Boyd took to Facebook with video messages for their teachers.
Teachers from Pine Street School were greeted by student cheer patrols who delivered yard signs reading "A Hero Lives Here."
The sweetest message to teachers and to the world from Carver Middle School: The World Needs Your Light!
To bridge the distance, SHS Teacher Cadets wanted to do something special for their Viking teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. Please enjoy their interpretation of “The 20 Qualities of Effective Teachers.” 
Our own Mr. Todd White, SHS teacher and golf coach, wrote this insightful article - Finding New Appreciation as a Teacher - about what he has learned during the COVID-19 school building closures. It was published in the  United States Golf Association - USGA 's Golf Journal. We know our families will enjoy reading this and congratulating Mr. White for helping to shine a national spotlight on teachers and on Spartanburg High School.
Count Us In
Social distancing at home is the perfect time to complete the United States Census, available online for the first time this year. You can  fill it out yourself in about 10 minutes by following this link . Each person counted ensures critical Federal resources for our community.
Joshua Reeder from Mary H. Wright Elementary is a finalist for the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year 2020! Bravo, Joshua!
Getting the numbers straight: Greylen is a student in Ms. Harris' Class at ELC. He practices writing numbers at home while wearing his favorite dress up costume. Great job Greylen!
Media specialist Robin Chandler sends virtual love to her Cleveland Tigers and families.
Congratulations to  Sarah Purinton  who was selected as the Upstate Regional Winner in the 2020 CTE Technology Champion of the Year. Sarah is a Spartanburg High School Senior and a completer in the Architecture and Mechanical Design Program at Daniel Morgan Technology Center.
Our SHS Viking baseball team planned to mark the centennial celebration of the Negro Baseball League by wearing commemorative jerseys during their spring season. Their plans are being deferred until next year, but Coach Wes Brown made a special visit to present Dr. Booker and superintendent-elect Jeff Stevens with their honorary “#1 Sluggers” jerseys.

After a long day, McCracken Principal Margaret Peach says there's nothing better than seeing sweet messages like this in Pavement Picassos.

The Mavericks from Meeting Street Academy took to YouTube with this video for their students. Watch now!
This song by a daddy-daughter duo from the McCarthy Teszler School keeps the Eagles flying and all of us smiling. Please listen in.

A reminder from McCracken Middle School - we're in this together.
Mary Ann Stoddard, a 5th grade teacher at Pine Street, collaborated with music specialist Lori Patterson to have students write and perform lyrics alongside Jon Bon Jovi in his song about the Covid-19 pandemic. Bon Jovi omitted the lyrics from the second verse of his composition and invited people from around the world to create their own verse for his song. Each 5th grader in Ms. Stoddard's class independently recorded and submitted their performance. We hope you enjoy their version of "Do What You Can!"
Please continue to visit the See How We Learn page on website for all the creative ways our teachers and schools are learning, staying connected, and finding new ways to bring smiles to one another while we are apart. Our mission to inspire and equip has never been more evident than it is at this very moment.
SHS Ranked Among the Nation's Best
Spartanburg High did it again! It was named a 2020 Best High School by U.S. News & World Report . The magazine’s 2020 list of America’s Best High Schools was compiled based on six criteria: college readiness, college curriculum breadth, math and reading proficiency, math and reading performance, underserved student performance, and graduation rate.

We are especially proud that this recognition identifies students excelling at the highest academic levels and also acknowledges the meaningful improvements taking place among our students most at risk. We celebrate and honor SHS's commitment to every student!
Save the Dates
Saturday, May 30
Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony
9:00 a.m.
8:30 a.m. livestream begins
Monday, May 25
Memorial Day Holiday

Friday, May 29
Half Day for Students

Saturday, May 30
9:00 a.m. Commencement Ceremony
Viking Stadium
Monday, June 1
Half Day for Students
Last Day of School

Tuesday, June 2
School Board Meeting - Virtual

Monday, August 17
First Day of School

610 Dupre Drive Spartanburg, South Carolina

P: 864.594.4400