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November,  2015

A Plum Distinction from Apple!
Dr. Eric Wood from Apple on Hand to Celebrate!
When District 7 launched it's 1-to-1 technology initiative in April 2013, the goal was to eliminate the digital divide and put computers in the hands of every student in grades 3-12. This month, representatives from Apple Inc. extolled the success of that effort, called Seven Ignites, and presented the District with the company's prestigious Apple Distinguished Program award. Enlisting the help of students and principals from every school in the District, Superintendent Dr. Russell Booker unfurled Apple's banner of commendation on Thursday, November 12 as confetti cannons showered the crowd with celebratory color. Students and teachers from E.P. Todd ended the occasion on a high note with a musical ditty that touted the District's technology program as putting the future in the "palm of our hands!" District 7 is one of only 300 schools and programs in the world to be recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program. 
The EP Todd Tiger Tones Wow the Crowd

Seven Ignites Transforms Teaching and Learning in District 7
Take a closer look at the District's commitment to transforming education through technology.

School Board Approves Capital Plan
Dr. Booker Addresses Community at Carver Middle School
On the heels of more than 25 meetings and forums with hundreds of District 7 residents and stakeholders, 
members of the D7 School Board gave their 
unanimous approval to a capital improvement plan that, if endorsed by residents, will pave the way for the construction of two new schools, in addition to other renovations and upgrades. The plan, outlined in full on our website, is the result of a comprehensive study that points to a variety of challenges in some of the District's oldest facilities. For more information on the proposed capital improvement  plan, including a video, the facilities study, and designated  space to leave comments, visit our  website .
Stuffed and Loaded with Love
The Drop-Off Spot for Bountiful Bags of Holiday Groceries
For the last 33 years during the month of November, students and faculty at Spartanburg High School have rallied around a canned food drive to help the Spartanburg Department of Social Services feed families in need during Thanksgiving. Three years ago, the D7 community ramped up those efforts with the "Feed a Family" project. Students and staff from SHS, Carver and McCracken recently pitched in to pack up more than 150 grocery bags full of holiday fixings - including everything from turkey and dressing to sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie! 
Many hands make light work! Students and staff at SHS
Changes in School Board Leadership
The District 7 School Board will welcome two newcomers in December following the retirement of trustees Andy Oberg and Laura Bauknight.  With kind words for their contributions to the District, Dr. Booker thanked Mr. Oberg and Mrs. Bauknight for their years of service and presented the two with rocking chairs - a parting gift perfect for their retirement from the Board.  
      Laura Bauknight                          Andy Oberg
 Laura Bauknight Presented with a Retirement Rocker!

          Meg Clayton                            Clay Mahaffey

Community residents Meg Clayton and Clay Mahaffey will be sworn in on December 1, 2015.   We caught up with all four individuals for a few quick questions.

Q and A with Laura and Andy
Most memorable moments of your time on the Board?
LB: I have had so many incredible experiences as a Board member - the concerts, the classroom visits, the sporting events, but the highlight was early on when I was matched with the Director of Special Education and sat in a room with a teacher working one on one with a child with serious autism. She was so patient and loving with that little fellow. I thought to myself...if only the general public could see what our amazing educators do, day-in and day-out.  
AO: For me, the most memorable event was the recognition of Dr. Booker as Superintendent of the Year for South Carolina. Those who know Dr. Booker understand what an outstanding leader he is and how fortunate we are in the District to have him leading us. It was exciting to see him recognized for his leadership of District 7 and for his influence on the entire state.
Q and A with Meg and Clay
What prompted your desire to serve on the Board?
MC: As a former student, alumna and now a current parent of children in District 7, I want to be of service to the school district that served me so well and continues to do so now for my kids. The role that District 7 plays in Spartanburg brings immeasurable value to our community.

CM: Being a proud product of District 7, I am fully aware of how blessed we are to live in this area, and of the many opportunities that District 7 has to offer. District 7 prepared me for my life after school, and I hope to do whatever I can to help prepare the next generation. Having a strong education system not only benefits the students, but also the entire community. It's an exciting time to be a part of District Seven.
ELC's Little Learners Make A Big Splash
Students from Early Learning Center
We recently caught this fabulous school of fish taking swimming lessons at the Spartanburg YMCA.  All decked out to dive in - these 4-year-olds from the Early Learning Center at Park HIlls are part of an exciting new program between the District and the downtown YMCA. Principal Wanda Owens-Jackson says by offering basic swimming skills at an early age, children have a much more positive experience around the water and the knowledge to avoid potential hazards. "Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children under 5 years of age," said Jackson. "By adding this program to our curriculum, we are building students' confidence in the water and teaching them important safety skills." 
Teachers Chalk it Up With Donors Choose
JBE students get a lift with a comedian's supportive gift!
How does a famous comedian make a teacher smile? Just ask Sara Kate Abee at Jesse Boyd Elementary School. Her second grade students are (literally) sitting pretty thanks to CBS talk-show host, Steven Colbert. When Colbert chose to underwrite thousands of projects on the the popular crowd funding platform dedicated to teachers, Sara Kate's classroom wish list was granted. Colbert, who grew up in South Carolina, made headlines in May 2015 when he stepped forward to pay it forward by funding every project requested by South Carolina teachers. His gift of $800,000, sponsored nearly 1,000 projects for more than 800 teachers at 375 schools. Abee's request for Wobble Chairs had no donations toward funding until that fateful day in May. Sara Kate requested the specialized stools - designed to increase active learning - to allow her students the ability to move while staying seated. At least 13 teachers in the District have been able to launch new classroom projects and activities this fall, thanks to DonorsChoose and Mr. Colbert's serious generosity. 
Little Time Left to Petition for SHS Diploma
In July 2014, under a provision called Act 155, the SC legislature eliminated the High School Assessment Program (known as HSAP), which, for years, students were required to pass in order to graduate. As a result , any student who did not pass the HSAP exam between1990 to 2014, has had a unique opportunity to petition the Board to inquire about their eligibility for a high school diploma. "To date, in District 7 alone, 40 students have petitioned for diplomas," said Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Dr. Sonia Leverette. That window of opportunity, says Leverette, won't be open much longer as the proviso extended through Act 155 expires on December 31, 2015. We encourage any former Spartanburg High School student who may be able to take advantage of this legislation to fill out the appropriate paperwork through our website.
In This Issue
How D7 Cooks Turkey
We've Got a GREAT
Recipe For Success!
Out and About 
in the District! 
Honoring Our Veterans
A Pine Street Salute
Houston Pays Homage
McCracken Commemorates
Tributes at E.P. Todd
Capital Improvement Plan
If you would like to know more about the proposed capital improvement plan for District 7, visit  our website. 
D7 Family Pitches In To Support Spartanburg County Parks' Community Build

Thanks to thousands of Spartanburg helpers who took up hammers during the week of October 20-25, Cleveland Park has a brand new playground. Throughout the week, there were plenty of hands on deck from D7 students and staff! 
Viking Early College is All In
Staff from the District Office
Cleveland's Carpenters
A Big Win For Carver Middle School's Stem Program

Andy Youngblood and students
Andy Youngblood is one of those science teachers every student should have. And thanks to his winning grant submission to Project Lead the Way - Carver Middle School now has an additional $20,000 for Youngblood and his colleagues to add to their STEM curriculum.  The two year commitment was made possible by Verizon, which partners with Project Lead the Way, and will afford Carver students new opportunities in computer sciences.  Andy is the Project Lead the Way Coordinator for Carver and wrote the grant in an effort to infuse his courses with more technology.
7 Superlatives!
This month we send shout-outs to two of our favorite crossing guards. Emma Clark and Minnie Jeter!   As part of Crossing Guard Appreciation Week, Ms. Taylor was  recognized by The South Carolina Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School Program for being an Outstanding Crossing Guard at Jesse Boyd Elementary School.  Rebecca Parrish, a parent at JBE said Miss Emma is like "the fairy godmother of Fernwood-Glendale Road!"  Miss Minnie Jeter, a longtime crossing guard for the District, just celebrated her 25th year at Pine Street. Take a bow ladies! We are thankful for your service to District 7. 
Emma Taylor and Spartanburg City Police Chief Alonzo Thompson
Minnie Jeter and Pine St. Pals

If you've got a candidate for 7Superlatives - let us know!
Cheer On the Vikings 
The next playoff game for the Vikings is Friday, November 27, against T.L. Hanna, at Gibbs Stadium. Tickets are $7.00 each and can be purchased when the gates open at 6pm. Kickoff is at 7:30pm. 
Poetry in Motion at Mary H. Wright
Chuck Sullivan with MHW Students
North Carolina writer Chuck Sullivan spent a week with students at Mary H. Wright this month teaching poetry to 3rd graders. Sullivan's residency comes by way of the Chapman Cultural Center's Art Education Program, which is funded in part by the Spartanburg County Foundation.
Early Release Dates

Please be sure to mark your calendars for the following Early Release dates. These half-days allow our teachers important time for professional development and collaboration.

Wednesday, February 10
Wednesday, April 20
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Spartanburg School District Seven | 610 Dupre Drive  | Spartanburg SC  | 29307  | 864-594-4400