January 2020
Hundreds Help Dedicate New Spartanburg High
January 12, 2020 was a day filled with honor and pride as we celebrated the dedication of Spartanburg High School and welcomed our community for an open house. The dedication ceremony was held in the school’s 1,000-seat Fine Arts Center and featured music from the SHS Band, Chamber Orchestra and Chorale. The open house provided the opportunity for more than 1,000 guests to roam the new high school campus at 2250 E. Main Street.

Superintendent Russell Booker said, the new Spartanburg High School honors the city’s past, celebrates progress and is built for the future. " Although this is a new facility, it is branded with a rich history that is our foundation for a prosperous educational future."

“This building is a monument of gratitude, a declaration of love, and a concrete representation of the Spartan High spirit that unites generations of Vikings past, present and future. It represents an unwavering faith in our educators' commitment to carry forward the tradition of excellence that is a hallmark of Spartanburg High School,” SHS Principal Vance Jones said.

To those who celebrated with us – thank you! Thank you for your support, your enthusiasm, and for helping to grow the spirit of community in D7.
The highlights video above was created by SHS alumnus Jeremy Powers of Sky Shutter Media. Below are links to the dedication ceremony video in its entirety along with media coverage from the Herald Journal.
GoUpstate Video: Dr. Booker discussing a big project unveiling in the Spring.
District 7 Fine Arts Center Hosts Inaugural Concert
The curtain rose for the District 7 Fine Arts Center's first concert on Monday, February 3 featuring the SHS Chamber Orchestra. Above, the orchestra performs "Alborada" from Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Español during the event.

We look forward to seeing all of our D7 family at the Fine Arts Center soon!

D7 Trustees Are School Board Strong
Every year, communities across the country pay tribute to their local school boards. Spartanburg District 7 joined the January salute by recognizing the nine men and women in our community who work to advance public education in our community. The theme — School Board Strong — highlights the unique role school boards play in championing and advocating for quality education and the ownership they take for governing their local public schools. Please join us in thanking our District 7 Trustees (pictured left to right): Sanders Lee (chair), Jeff Mason, Andy Hayes, Kenneth Myers, Meg Clayton, Vernon Beatty, Rick Gray, Clay Mahaffey and Sharon Porter (immediate past chair, not pictured) . These trustees have contributed, collectively, more than 100 years of service to District 7. As part of School Board Appreciation Month, our Trustees signed a document affirming their pledge to uphold effective and ethical governance principles and to improve public education.
New to the Board this year is Kenneth Myers, Sr. He, along with recently re-elected trustees Meg Clayton, Clay Mahaffey and Rick Gray (pictured left to right), took their oath of honor during the Board of Trustees Meeting on Jan 7, 2020. 
SHS Triple Jump Champion Travels to Havana for Training
This past summer while competing in the New Balance National Outdoor track competition, SHS's Cameran Gist was identified by the National Scholastic Athletic Foundation  Project Triple Jump . Project Triple Jump identifies emerging elite youth and junior triple jump talent and provides them with the best technical and training methods available. Their aim is to maximize the athletes' development and cultivate the next generation of international level jumpers to represent the United States in Olympic/World Championship events. Part of Cameron's training includes District D7's first clinic experience – together with her coach Audril Jones – to travel and train in in Havana, Cuba. The Cuban Triple jumpers and coaches are widely regarded as best in the world.
Cameron (second from left) and Coach Audril Jones (right) with Cuban Coaches and celebrated triple jump world champions Mabel Gay Tamayo and Yoelbi Quesada.
"What an impressive school!" First Lady Peggy McMaster on Meeting Street Academy
The tweet read - #Hello MSASpartanburg ! Consul General @CGTheodore is delighted to be visiting #Spartanburg today!

Principal Raine Hackler said it all happened rather quickly. Last week, the First Lady of South Carolina, Peggy McMaster, and Canada Consul General to the Southeast United States, Nadia Theodore, visited Meeting Street Academy. Ms. Theodore presented the school with a donation of computers and also copies of the Canadian book Viola Won’t Be Budged , by Jody Nyasha Warner.

Beaming warmly as she embraced a spontaneous mob of hugs and high fives, Theodore appeared in awe. " Inspired", she said of her impression of MSA. "I am so inspired to see what Mr. Hackler and the team are doing for their students."
SC First Lady Peggy McMaster (left) and Canadian Consul General Nadia Theodore (right) said they were truly touched by the the educators and students at Meeting Street Academy.
DMES Educator Recognized by Upstate Parent Magazine for Making a Difference!
Drayton Mills Elementary fifth grade teacher Carolyn Miller approaches her school and her students with a deep well of joy. “I try to not just teach the academics but to reach the whole child and make every child feel loved,” she says. The January edition of  Upstate Parent Magazine   recognized Ms. Miller as one of ten outstanding educators making a difference in their schools.  Carolyn Miller has a long commute from Rutherfordton, NC - just short of an hour’s drive from her job at DMES - but the hugs and high fives waiting for her at school are worth every minute. “My whole teaching career has been a blessing,” Miller said. “I feel like I have blessed a number of children, but they also have blessed me.”
D7 Emphasizes Unity and Service at MLK Event
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent a lifetime encouraging service to others. Each year, the holiday that bears his name is a reminder that we all have something to give in the name of unity. This year, dozens of D7 students, staff and Board members participated in the City of Spartanburg's Unity Week celebration which includes the annual  Walk as One, a Day of Service, and the Unity Celebration. Arm-in-arm, they took to the pavement, rolled up their sleeves on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, and numerous students and staff represented D7 in the Sounds of Diversity Choir. D7 students also participated in the city's MLK poster contest. Taking the top prize in the Middle School division was McCracken Middle School's Pierce Lake.  
We are intended to walk together, we are intended to live together in harmony, and we were intended to walk together into the future. Jeff Stevens, Chief Operations Officer; Verotta Kennedy, Viking Early College Director; and Vance Jones, Principal Spartanburg High School; participate in the annual Unity Walk.
A Special Black History Month Learning Opportunity: “The Other Boys of Summer” Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion
by Curneisha Williams, Wofford College Senior and District 7 Intern

In honor of Black History Month, Spartanburg High School is celebrating the centennial of the Negro Baseball League, along with the greater Spartanburg community. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of this historic league, SHS is hosting a screening of The Other Boys of Summer film for the entire student body on February 19. The documentary, directed by Lauren Meyer, tells the story of racism, segregation and Civil Rights through the lives of Negro League baseball players. Along with the screening, students will have the opportunity to engage in a panel discussion with the film’s director and with baseball players from the film.
Spartanburg High School is excited to bring awareness to the league, particularly given that the city once had their own Negro Baseball team.

There will be opportunities for the public to view the film at the Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters (February 17 at 2 pm), the C.C. Woodson Community Center (February 17 at 6 pm), and Spartanburg Community College (February 18 at 6 pm). As Black History Month approaches, we are reminded of the rich history we all share in this great community.
In conjunction with the film, SHS is hosting an exhibit of memorabilia and artifacts from the Negro Baseball League and students will complete a service project to commemorate the Spartanburg Sluggers team that played at Duncan Park during the era of the League. Below are photos of the history exhibit currently on display.
I t's flu season, and the number of those infected across our area is on the rise. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness. It can cause mild to severe illness and can even result in hospitalization or death.

“Our schools have yet to see anything out of the ordinary in terms of absences due to the flu," said Joylyn Robinson, D7 Director of Health Services. "However, we typically see an influx and experience our peak during February. "

To slow the spread of illnesses, school custodians are paying special attention to disinfecting classrooms and cleaning frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, water fountains, and bathrooms, and have been doing extra cleaning of surfaces daily and between classes. As we continue to be vigilant, we encourage families to heed the following information from the CDC: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Ms. Robinson further reminds, "Anyone experiencing symptoms of the flu to include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, or chills should remain home until being seen by a physician." 

Schools offered the flu vaccine to students and staff last fall, and it’s not too late to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is available at many health providers, pharmacies and urgent care centers, as well as at the Spartanburg County Health Department by appointment.  SCDHEC has an informative resource guide for parents here. 
E.P. Todd School Earns Apple Distinguished School Designation
These E.P. Todd Tigers were roaring in celebration last week as they were named an Apple Distinguished School.

E.P. Todd is the second school in District 7 to receive the honor, joining Jesse Boyd Elementary, which was honored three years ago and will be awarded a renewal designation next month. Fewer than 500 schools worldwide complete the rigorous evaluation process successfully, according to Apple.

To apply, E.P. Todd had to submit a multimedia book explaining how the school uses technology to achieve its vision for its students, including interviews with teachers and students about how technology has helped them in the classroom.

"We are asking students to think about what the world will be like for them and what jobs are going to be like. We need to make sure we are preparing them for what the future holds, " said Megan Bush, the school’s Technology integration specialist. “Our goal is to have well-prepared students, and to show our District and our community that what they have invested has been worthwhile for the students."

Todd Tigers are ready for the future. ear them roar!
Drayton Mills Elementary Opens Dialogue to Strengthen the Drayton Community
Across Spartanburg, communities like the Northside, Highland, and Southside are coming together to create a vision and a plan for a bright future. This month,  Drayton Mills Elementary School  hosted a gathering to begin an open exchange of information and ideas among our public and private schools, faith community, health sector, service organizations, business and industry, and citizens who have a stake in lifting up the Drayton and Beaumont community. D7 thanks Partners for Active Living, the Spartanburg Regional Foundation and Pacolet Milliken for sharing updates during this inaugural gathering. Efforts like these reflect collective impact at work, and we are excited to see where the conversation leads. If you are interested in becoming part of the conversation please contact Thomas Webster, Principal of Drayton Mills Elementary School.
Pine Street Elementary 4th Grader Soars at D7 Spelling Bee 
Pine Street Elementary recently celebrated 4th grader Everett Stone’s win in the District 7 Spelling Bee. Held on January 16 at Spartanburg High School, the event included 18 strong competitors representing all of the district's elementary and middle schools.

Everett was especially happy to be given the word "bayonet" for the win because it is one he knew from reading history books. Everett, along with first runner up Foster Neely from McCracken and the individual school winners, will compete against other county students at the Regional Spelling Bee on February 15 at the USC Upstate Campus Life Center. 

Congratulates to all of our school champions: Matthew Zemp (Boyd), Malachi Hill (Cleveland), Akira Kehidata (EP Todd), Elias Ives (Drayton Mills), Michael Davis (Mary Wright), Everett Stone (Pine), Katara Miller (Carver), Nick Rhoden (E.P. Todd Middle), and Ingrid Marsh (McCracken). Good luck at the Regional Bee!
The Franklin School Recognized for Unique Building Design
Designed with the child in mind, The Franklin School has been honored by the American School & University Architectural Portfolio Education Design Program for its innovative design.

“This was a huge honor because so much thought went into the design. The design team was very conscious about making sure that all of the elements are in place for early learning in our children,” said Shawna Bynum, the school’s director.

The school was designed by RDG Planning & Design and was completed in November 2018. Read more about the award here.
Scene Around Seven
Cleveland leaders and Clemson University are giving us something to smile about! Each 5th grader from the Cleveland Academy of Leadership received a pair of shoes from the Dabo Swinney Foundation. The school also received a ceiling tile signed by Dabo himself, which was presented to one of our students. A special thanks to the Call Me Mister program at Clemson for assisting with this initiative.
Is it ethical for businesses to create fake followers on social media? Can computer programs be discriminatory?
Twelve high school teams from across the state explored the ethical dimensions of these and other questions at the recent S.C. High School Ethics Bowl held at Wofford College.The final round featured Spartanburg High School Team A going up against West Ashley for the state title. Congratulations to Feng Chen, Emily Daniel, Theo Goodchild-Michelman, Janvi Patel, Julie Rodrick and Jamey Whisnant for advancing to the finals.
Future City is a national competition where middle school students imagine, research, design and build cities of the future to solve a sustainability problem .  This year's focus is Clean Water. A McCracken team competed in the Regional Competition at USC Aiken, placing 8th out of 43 teams statewide. They also received the Rookie Team Award as well as the Excellence in Planning for Educational and Career Development Award. 

E.P. Todd's Layla Mitchell, Daisy Phasouk, and Zion Littlejohn auditioned for SC Region Six Band and achieved qualifying scores to audition for the All State Band on January 25. Congratulations to all D7 band students for working hard to achieve great successes like this.

Kyle McKenzie, a junior at SHS and a Daniel Morgan Technology Center Level 3 Welding student, is participating in a work-based learning experience at IVI South while earning school credit and receiving paid, on-the-job training. 
This is how Mary H. Wright Elementary School celebrated the 100th day of school - all smiles and 100 days smarter! The enthusiasm and excitement was shared across our elementary schools as some students transformed into 100-year-olds for the day.
On their way to the SC Alliance of Black School Educators Youth Conference, Carver Middle School CEOs started the trip with some reading and written reflection of "A Long Way Down" by Jason Reynolds. The book is one of three Carver is giving its young males this year as they aim to develop a love for reading. The Carver team selected books that would grab the students' attention with culturally relevant and personally meaningful topics.
Students in Ms. Vanderlip's class at the Early Learning Center learned about diversity while putting this “children around the world” puzzle together .
Two D7 alumni celebrate our district's music program: Jason Lindsay and Patrick Bilanchone began playing double bass together at Pine Street Elementary in the 1970s. Today, they play together professionally in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra!

We look forward to welcoming J ohnny Thomas Fowler, a mountain-heritage storyteller, award winning musician and author from the foothills of Upcountry South Carolina, to our schools during February as part of 7Reads. His work is featured on South Carolina Public Television where he has co-produced a number of documentaries for SC-ETV. 
School game nights can provide an evening of fun for parents, teachers and students. Jesse Boyd held a family game night to promote interaction between kids and their parents, as well as to provide their parents with an opportunity to meet the parents of their children's classmates. Everyone enjoyed the fun!
Spartanburg Academic Movement posted this tribute to the District 7 Early Learning Center to celebrate our community's youngest learners. Did you know that 4K is FREE for all D7 residents at the Early Learning Center?
Ready for Inclement Weather as eLearning Initiative Continues this Winter
You may have noticed the surprise snowfall in our area last Friday! It didn't impact the school schedule this time, but we just wanted to make everyone aware that D7 is ready and well-prepared for eLearning should the need arise. eLearning days enable students to plug-in to complete school assignments while also balancing plenty of playtime in the snow. You can find all the details here .
Apply by February 29 for School Choice for the 2020-2021 Academic Year
District 7 has opened its window to apply for school choice for the 2020-21 school year. Though our students are assigned to schools based on their residential address, they may apply to attend a school with a certain focus, a school with a unique program, or another school within the district beyond their attendance zone.

If you wish to request enrolling your child in a school other than the one he/she attends, you must complete the application by February 29 .

This information is also available on each of our school websites and the district website - look for the school choice banner on our homepages. All parents should have received a printed letter via their student's current school as well.
Explore Program Offerings at Daniel Morgan Technology Center's Open House on February 11
Save the Dates
Presidents Day
February 17, 2020
Staff Development Day - Student Holiday
Tuesday, February 4
School Counselor Appreciation Day
School Board Meeting

Wednesday, February 5
National Signing Day

February 10 – 14
Bus Driver Appreciation Week

Friday, February 14
Early Release Day

Monday, February 17
Staff Development Day
American Education Week
Wednesday, February 19
Black History Month Celebration: "The Other Boys of Summer" at SHS

Tuesday, February 25
Best Singer in the District Auditions
D7 Choral Extravaganza at SHS

Thursday , February 27
"So You Think You Can Dance, Spartanburg" at Chapman Cultural Center

Saturday, February 29
School Choice Application Deadline
The 2020-2021 Academic Calendar is Now Available
Do You Think Our Principals Can Dance?
Yes, D7 can dance – we prove it every year with our outstanding district-wide musical theatre production! This year, w ith some big moves and a little fun, our D7 principals have entered the "So You Think You Can Dance, Spartanburg" competition on February 27 to raise funds in support of our 2020 musical, the smash hit Memphis !

Our principals hope to beat out the competition with their fancy footwork to Michael Jackson's "Beat it"! You can VOTE for our D7 team here ($10 per vote) and purchase tickets to the event here .

Thursday, February 27, 2020 | 6:30 VIP | 7:30 Show | Chapman Cultural Center

610 Dupre Drive Spartanburg, South Carolina

P: 864.594.4400