Anti-plagiarism software, retention bonuses among Georgetown school department demands | News

GEORGETOWN — Retaining current and future staff was a recurring theme in the Georgetown County School District department’s budget requests on April 5.

Principals in the district made their demands at the March 22 school board meeting. The department’s demands affect staff both in and out of the classroom and include annual stipends for janitors with certain licenses and college degrees, and teachers who sponsor student council or join the district upon graduation. out of school.

District human resources director Doug Jenkins asked the board to consider a $1,500 bonus for teachers to be paid at the end of three years of service at one of the district’s rural schools, the first payments being planned in 2024-25.

“As you know, in our rural high-needs schools, which would be the Carvers Bay area, the Andrews area to include Sampit, there has traditionally been higher turnover,” Jenkins said.

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Jenkins further suggested a $1,000 signing bonus for student teachers in the district who accept a full-time position in the district, an idea he previously used by the Charleston County School District.

He also asked for a $1,500 stipend for teachers who sponsor their schools’ student council.

Superintendent Keith Price’s only request was for $80,000 for four elective high school teachers through the nonprofit organization Jobs for America’s Graduates. The three-year program, targeting students who don’t “plan on graduation on time or a four-year college future,” would fund all teacher expenses except $20,000 per year per teacher.

District Elementary Education Director Fedrick Cohens asked the board to consider adding the i-Ready diagnostic program for use in Grades 1 and 2. Cohens also asked the board to include the kindergarten through 2nd grade in the district’s math screening test, which he says is mandated by the state.

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David Hammel, the district’s director of secondary education and athletics, told the board that the district’s $110,000 contract for digital education software, used as a learning supplement, expires this year and asked for a renewal. The renewal is expected to cost between $102,000 and $130,000.

Hammel also asked the board to consider purchasing the paid versions of the TurnItIn anti-plagiarism program and the No Red Ink writing assistance program.

“Right now writing is done on the computer on a digital platform and student plagiarism has become more of an issue than when I was in school and you wrote your paper at home. hand,” Hammel said.

Special Services Director Michael Caviris’ presentation included a request for special education teachers — one each at Georgetown High, Sampit Elementary and Waccamaw Intermediate/Middle — with each position costing $51,385 per year plus benefits.

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“We’ve been creative this year serving our students and I think we’ve done a good job,” Caviris said. “But in order to make sure that we follow the changes that are happening in this area, we recommend, we ask, that we also review this position.

Caviris also requested an additional occupational therapist, at a cost of $63,512 plus benefits.

Genia Smith, who leads innovations and special programs for the district, has requested an instructional coach for the English to Other Languages ​​program in the district. To justify the latter position, worth $50,500 to $75,692 per year plus benefits, Smith noted that the district’s “multilingual” subgroup underperforms its peers due to teaching. and learning incomplete over the past two school years.

LaPariscena Singleton, director of career and technology education, asked the board to award annual stipends of $1,500 to counselors from student career and technology organizations, such as Future Business Leaders of America and SkillsUSA.

J. Tyronne Davis, assistant superintendent of operations and facilities, suggested allowances of $1,000 for maintenance workers with herbicide or pesticide licenses, $1,500 for certifications or licenses, such than welding or locksmithing, and $2,500 for those with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

The plan placed limits on the number of allowances that could be awarded for each level of education: three for herbicides and pesticides, 10 for certifications and five for college degrees. Davis said the district already employs at least one person with each of the certifications or degrees.

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