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April, 2016
The Washington Post Ranks SHS As One Of America's Most Challenging High Schools!
Oh The Places They're Going! Congrats, Class of 2016
For the 4th consecutive year, Spartanburg
High Sc h o ol has been named by The Washington Post as one of America's Most  Challenging  High Schools.  SHS is one of  15 high schools in S.C.   to make the annual list. The Post's list identifies high schools that are excelling in preparing students for college-level work. The news magazine co llected data on more than 21,500  schools for the report, which for the first time included graduation rates as a factor in the rankings. 

Each year, Spartanburg High School graduates are accepted by some of the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities. This year's senior class is no exception with students headed for such renown schools as Centre College, Cornell, Davidson, Howard, Princeton, Rice, Spelman, Virginia Tech, Washington and Lee, and Wofford, to name a few.  District 7 is encouraging the community to join First Lady Michelle Obama in celebrating ALL students and their commitment to complete their education beyond high school through her new  Reach Higher  initiative. With D7's graduation rate at 83%, SAT scores above the state and national average and over 80% of the school's graduates pursuing higher education, The Washington Post has once again taken notice of the tremendous student outcomes at SHS.
Carver Middle Honored as Best of the Best
Principal Nicole Thompson and Her Team From Carver
You know you're doing things right when, not one, but two national organizations single you out as the best of the best. As an AVID school for the past eight years, (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Carver Middle School has been recognized as a National Demonstration School. Principal Nicole Thompson said, "Our team has worked hard to make this happen. As a best practice school, we'll have the privilege of working with educators all over the country who are interested in maximizing the AVID curriculum."

In addition to the recent accolades from AVID, the national organization, Learning Forward has named Carver the first school in the nation to be a model school for its Professional Learning Communities, or PLC's. This distinction underscores the commitment among educators at Carver to consistently hone their skills through professional development. Carver is one of only 150 AVID schools in the nation to be selected as a National Demonstration School. 
 Tapping Into the Fountain of Youth!
Jonathan Cope & Bryson Coleman Sign The Pledge
Long before the popularity of bottled water, most folks just turned on the tap. Then along came canned sodas, boxed juice and the sugar-laden drinks that the experts say is making Americans fat. In an effort to turn back the tide, the Spartanburg Water System has teamed up with the Mary Black Foundation's "Way to Wellville" initiative to spread the word about the benefits of water. Thanks to their recent gift of of two new water bottle filling stations at Spartanburg High School, students are getting the message about making healthier choices.

Junior Bryson Coleman says the new stations make it easy to take advantage of clean, cold tap water. In addition, a computerized calculator at each "filling" station allows students to see how many disposable bottles are saved when they "Choose Tap." To further support the "Choose Tap" campaign, Dr. Booker and more than 200 students have signed a pledge, on behalf of the District, to make water their beverage of choice. Said Coleman, "Being in AP environmental science, we've talked about recycling and the basics of reusing water bottles. Now my signature is on a sheet of paper that proves I'm actually going to do that." If you'd like to join the movement, you too can sign the pledge!
"They're Grrrrreat!" Kiwanis Honors Kids
Congratulations to our Kiwanis Club Terrific Kids!  
Students representing elementary schools across Spartanburg County were recognized for their good character and citizenship during the Kiwanis Club's 27th annual Terrific Kid of the Year luncheon on April 28. The honorees from District 7 are: Mason Deas, The Early Learning Center; Mayuvin Alani Sok, Chapman; Ty'Dravious Bargo, Cleveland Academy; Autumn Johnson, EP Todd; Briannah Ellis, Houston; Chase Staley, Jesse Boyd; Serenity Cromer, Mary H. Wright; Emma Rookh Sullivan, Pine Street School; and Laree Wilkes, Terrell Edwards, and Joshua Way, McCarthy-Teszler.

In addition to the festivities held at the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, students were presented with a Terrific Kids plaque, a T-shirt, a free coupon to Zaxby's, and a certificate signed by Governor Nikki Haley. Former Spartanburg Mayor, Mr. Bill Barnet served as the keynote speaker for the program.

Terrific Kids is a student recognition program, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Spartanburg that promotes character development, self-esteem, and perseverance. "Terrific" is an acronym for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive and Capable. 
Fabulous Five From China Say Farewell SHS
Linda, Jessica, Lisa, Ms. Allison Little, Leslie, and Paul sporting Viking Pride
Early this year we told you about five students from China who would be spending the year at Spartanburg High School. Adopting American names, Lisa, Jessica, Linda, Leslie and Paul arrived at SHS this fall through a collaborative venture between the Chinese Culture and Education Center at USC Upstate, the Handan American School and Spartanburg District 7.

On May 20, these trailblazing teens will graduate as Vikings and head off to colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Before waving them off, we sat down to talk about their year as American high school kids and invited their SHS advisor Allison Little to join us. Little has worked closely with the students since their 9 th grade year when they started their transcontinental curriculum courses with the high school. 
When asked what each student liked best about their time in the states and at SHS, they were quick to talk about the friendships they've forged with their fellow classmates and teachers. Trying new foods was also high on the list, especially the fare at Willy Taco, Twisty's and Miyako Sushi. 

Other highlights included Friday night football games, a trip to Myrtle Beach and, most recently, attending the Prom. While all five talked about the difficulty of being away from their families in China, they say they're now better prepared to brave the distance for the next four years of college. Lisa will attend Penn State, Jessica the University of Denver in Colorado, Linda, Michigan State, Leslie, Parson School of Design in New York, and Paul, Indiana University. 

As for her feelings about the pending goodbyes, Ms. Little says she's not so sure she will handle the transition as well as the kids do.  "They are like my own," said Little. "In many ways, I've watched them grow up." Of course, knowing these ambitious young people have the talent to tackle the world, this advisor, mentor, teacher and temporary mother says she'll be following their adventures for years to come!
SC Schools To Embrace New Grading Scale

The State Board of Education has voted unanimously to move South Carolina schools to a 10-point grading scale. The statewide shift applies to all students in grades 9-12 and will take effect August 2016. Given the option by the Board of Education to extend the policy more broadly, District 7 will use the new scale for students in grades 2-12.

Citing the change in policy as a positive step, State Superintendent Molly Spearman explains it this way: "We've heard from hundreds of parents, students and teachers saying that we needed to level the playing field. With our current 7-point scale, a 92 is a "B" in South Carolina, while it's an "A" for students in North Carolina and Georgia and many other states. That means a South Carolina student gets a 3 for his GPA, while the same 92 gets a student in North Carolina a 4 for his GPA. This discrepancy puts South Carolina students at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to earning scholarships or getting accepted into colleges." Spearman says most colleges and universities also use the 10-point scale.

Across the board, educators, administrators and guidance counselors in District 7 are equally supportive of the change. Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Dr. Terry Pruitt said, "The rigor of instruction in the District will continue to be based on the college and career-ready standards used to prepare our graduates for success beyond high school. Our educators will continue to have the freedom to adjust assessments to maintain rigor and the highest levels of mastery." The new policy will also be beneficial to students in military families who tend to move frequently from state to state.
May is the Month For Saluting Our Staff
It's time to hug a teacher, give a nod to your school nurse, and be good to your school bus driver!  Across the nation, the month of May provides an annual opportunity to salute those educators, health care professionals and transportation staff who do so much for our students on a daily basis. May 2, begins National Bus Drivers Appreciation Week, May 3, is National Teacher Appreciation Day and May 11, is National School Nurses Day. In District 7, we have more than 700 dedicated educators,18 nurses and 125 bus drivers serving our 14 schools. 

"In addition to recognizing our faculty and nurses," said Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker, "we also want to thank our principals, administrators, teacher aides, secretaries, bus drivers and support staff. All of these employees play a pivotal role in our school system. They are the backbone of District 7 and their passion for our mission is on display every day!"
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In This Issue
Graduation Goes Live! 
The Spartanburg HIgh School Commencement Ceremony will be held at 7:30 pm on May 20 at Gibbs  Stadium. This year we will live stream the ceremony on the District's 
Get Your Tickets
Tickets are now on sale for D7's  Spring Musical, All Shook Up

The play opens on Thursday May 26 at the Chapman Cultural Center. Performance dates include:
Thursday, May 26 - 7:00 pm
Friday, May 27 -7:00 pm
Saturday, May 28 - 7:00 pm
Sunday, May 29 - 3:00 pm

Tickets can be purchased at the Chapman Cultural Center Box Office. Prices are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $10 for students.
Out and About 
in the District! 
Chapman's Berry Happy Children at the Strawberry Farm
Carver students on the campus of Georgetown University
Freshman Academy's Transformers 
All Smiles at Jesse Boyd Elementary
Mary H. Wright Celebrates Dr. Seuss
Board Member Sanders Lee Talks Architecture at Houston's Career Fair
Jayah Gist and Mary Thalassinos Dressed to Impress At The Prom 
Pine Street Takes On Charleston
EP Todd Book Drive sponsored by Converse College Athletes
All About Alice!  
McCracken Middle School 
presents  "Alice in Wonderland, Jr."  
Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 at 6:00 pm in the McCracken Theater.   Tickets can be reserved online or  will be available at the school's front office beginning May 2.
Eagle Hustle For Habitat 5K
McCracken Middle is hosting a 5K run on May 21 at Milliken to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. The cost is $25 and includes a race t-shirt. Children under 5 are  free.  The r egistration deadline is May 13.  For information you can download this application or contact Holly Lawson at hwlawson@spart7.org. You can also register online
Now Enrolling 4, and 5K

Just a reminder that District 7 Schools are now enrolling 4 and 5 year-olds for fall 2016. The Early Learning Center at Park Hills has full-day preschool for 4 year olds, as does Cleveland Elementary School. 

5K students can be registered at your neighborhood elementary school Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 2:30pm.

And New This Year for 3K

District 7 and Meeting Street Academy are now enrolling 3-year olds for fall 2016. Registration for this program is based on attendance zone. For more information, call Meeting St. Academy at 864.583.1800.
Last Day of School - May 31
Friday, May 27 and Tuesday, May 31 will be half days for students. The last day of school is Tuesday, May 31, 2016. 

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