Your Source For District News                                    August, 2016
We're Rolling! Welcome to the New School Year
WSPA Was On the Scene For the First Day of School

Amid the bittersweet excitement that comes with saying "goodbye" to summer and "hello" to a brand new school year, District 7 schools welcomed more than 7,000 students on Monday, August 15, for the official first-day back to school. From hugs in the hallways, as early as 7 am, to tired smiles late in the afternoon, Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker reported smooth sailing everywhere. "This is the day we prepare for all summer long. We're ready for a great year." Be sure to check out the pictures to the right in Seen Around 7.

D7 Shines at Annual 7Shares Conference
Cleveland Academy Students Singing, " I Want To Be A Leader"

Just days before students returned to school, District 7 personnel gathered for the annual back-to-school conference known 
as 7Shares. The day-long program, geared to professional learning opportunities for teachers, begins each year with a district-wide convocation in the Spartanburg High School gym. "It was a two-hanky program this year," said Principal Margaret Peach. "We had children singing from both Cleveland and Jesse Boyd. Their amazing performances had all of us reaching for tissues." Serving as the keynote speaker for 7Shares, Dr. Russell Booker told colleagues, "We're here to inspire and equip our students for meaningful lives of leadership and service as world citizens. We're here to make a difference in the lives of our children."
District 7 Educators and Staff Pack the House for 7Shares
Congratulations, Teachers of the Year
The D7 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year

As part of the 7Shares festivities on August 10, D7 celebrated excellence in education by announcing this year's Teachers of the Year. After honoring one outstanding teacher from every school in the District, Ms. Latyphini Littlejohn was singled out as the 2016-2017 District 7 Teacher of the Year. 
Dr. Russell Booker and District 7 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Latyphini Littlejohn
A first-grade teacher at The Cleveland Academy of Leadership, Littlejohn said it was her mom who inspired her to go into the profession. "I remember people coming up to my Mom (who was a third-grade teacher) in their 20's and 30's and thanking her for helping shape their lives. I knew then that a teacher can be more than the person you see for a few hours a day. A teacher can having a lasting impact on her students." Also during 7Shares, 13 first-year teachers in the District received the Crystal Apple Award for making an early impact in their profession.
Saving Trees One Paperless Flyer at a Time

In the spirit of going "green," follow the peach! New to the District this year is a digital alternative to the paper flyers of the past. The new system, called Peachjar, is expected to save time, money and trees, said D7 Chief Communications Officer Sally Hammond. "By posting flyers aimed at students and parents in this electronic back-pack, we remove a significant administrative burden on teachers, staff, and volunteers. Now, parents can check their phone or email for current information about community-sponsored programs and events. For questions about using Peachjar, click here to learn more.
Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce 
Shares District 7 Progress
Summer 2016, Business View Magazine
It won't be long before bulldozers are moving dirt along Skyline Drive to make way for a brand new elementary school. The construction of the facility is one of three major projects District 7 residents approved in March 2016. Showcasing several exciting initiatives now unfolding in Spartanburg, the Chamber's new  Business  View magazine also  includes the latest rendering of the new Spartanburg High School - slated to open in 2019. The elementary school is scheduled to open in fall 2018. "It's been a busy and productive summer," according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Thomas White. "In regard to the elementary school, we're on time and on budget. We've had great conversations with faculty, students, and staff and we're pleased with the design of the building. By early October, we hope to have a designated place on the District website to keep everyone apprised of our progress."
Carver Students Prepare for College Colors Day
On Friday, September 2, Carver Middle School's 6-8th graders will have their minds on college. To celebrate National College Colors Day, Carver will host their very own college fair, with the help of admission counselors from Spartanburg Community College, USC Upstate, Converse, Wofford and Spartanburg Methodist College. Encouraged to wear a T-shirt that denotes a favorite school, Carver' Principal Ms. Nicole Thompson says the theme for the day ties in perfectly with Carver's focus on creating a college-going culture.
Remembering Rico Matthews
SHS Senior, Rico Matthews
An electric smile, an amazing voice, an ambitious young man and a wonderful friend. These are just a few of the phrases Spartanburg High School students used to describe their classmate, 17- year old Rico Matthews. The Viking senior died in a tragic accident on August 19, while driving home from work on his moped. Graciously speaking to reporters after the loss of her son, Ms. La Tonia Hollis said Rico was bound for the Navy after graduation from high school. "He wanted to be a stockbroker and pursue a career in finance." 
Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker told students at an early morning memorial service on August 22 that Rico would want them to take care of one another and to honor his spirit by accomplishing their goals. 
SHS Students Gather Around the School Flagpole on Monday, August 22 to Pay Tribute to Classmate Rico Matthews.
New Grading Scale Now in Effect

Late last year, the South Carolina Department of Education introduced a new grading scale for the state's public schools. Long story short, the 90 that used to be a B, is now an A. The 80 that used to be a C is now a B and so on and so forth.
More importantly, the shift away from a 7-point grading scale to a 10-point scale is a move to ensure that students in SC have the same advantage as their peers in neighboring states when applying for college scholarships and admissions. With most of the country already using a 10-point scale, State School Superintendent Molly Spearman maintains (and District 7 agrees) the shift is a move in favor of fairness and not a threat to academic standards. In District 7, the rigor of instruction will continue to be based on the college and career-ready benchmarks critical for success after high school.
Given the option, from the DOE, to extend the new grading policy beyond grades 9-12, all seven school districts in Spartanburg County have elected to adopt the 10-point scale for grades 2-12. Click here for frequently asked questions about the 10-point grading scale. 
Happy Birthday, Mary H. Wright
Mrs. Mary Honor Wright
Mary H. Wright was a prominent educator in Spartanburg in the 1920s.
To help students who attend Mary H. Wright have an appreciation for their school's namesake, several community leaders devised a pretty clever plan. Why not bring her contributions to life by celebrating her birthday with ice cream and cake?!
After a visit to her graveside in a nearby cemetery to learn about the life of Mary H. Wright, students returned to class with a deep appreciation for the teacher who paved the way for the success of so many children. 
The ice cream celebration that followed was icing on the cake!
Doc Davis Earns Well-Deserved Recognition 
Click image for full story

Last but not least, a tremendous thank you to
everyone in the District for your 
participation in InfoSnap. Our new online
registration platform has been a great success - but we couldn't have done it without you! Registration next year will truly be a SNAP! 

Our thanks to Emily Vanderlip for the inspiring photograph in the masthead. With a District-wide focus on the hope, engagement and well-being of our students, Ms. Vanderlip created this fabulous image with the helping hands of her children at E.P. Todd.
A warm welcome back to students, parents, faculty and staff from the District 7 Board of Trustees
In This Issue
It's Time For Viking Football!

You'll Laugh Out Loud!
Embracing the spirit of the summer Olympics, Principal Mark Hendry recently challenged his Houston 5th graders to a 100-yard dash to underscore lessons in  goal setting and perseverance. In this "Now Showing" video, "The Flash" wins our vote - no matter the results at the finish line!

Another Not-To-Miss Video from Jesse Boyd
With a creative new twist to a popular song, Jesse Boyd students and faculty shine in this recently produced video!
Seen Around 7
First Day  of  School
Chapman Chiefs Charged Up and Ready!
Ms. Peach Taking First Day Pics at McCracken
Community Leader Brenda Lee Pryce Welcomes Students at Carver Middle School
Getting New ID Cards at SHS
Playing it Cool at Cleveland 
The Word at Pine, "We Got This"
From the Heart at Houston
All Smiles at Jesse Boyd
Circling Up with Principal Charlene Doctor at E.P. Todd
Our Super Superintendent, Flying High on the First Day 
Important Dates

September 12 & 13
September 21
Early Release Day
September 27
Choral Festival, 7pm, Twichell Auditorium at Converse College

2016 -2017 Calendar
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Spartanburg School District Seven | 610 Dupre Drive  | Spartanburg SC  | 29307  | 864-594-4400