School calendar, 4-H, and laying blame to 2020

Board of Education, News
Pickens County 4-H

School calendar

A vote on the 2021-2022 school calendar was put on hold to allow the public to give more input. The proposed school calendar and survey can be found at the  Pickens County Schools website.

“We got some community input on the calendar, but we can wait,” said Dr. Rick Townsend about the school calendar. The survey will remain up through noon on November 30.

The decision to wait came after some expressed concern over the lack of community input. Tucker Greene, chairman of the Board of Education, said they sought public opinion last year because of “drastic” changes.

This year, they considered having on-line learning days rather than adding inclement weather days to the calendar, but the recent storms that left many without power gave the team a chance to reconsider.

School calendar

The Pickens County BOE is hoping to hear from the community about the school calendar before it is adopted.

“We had concerns that if school was being cancelled due to weather, they may not have power, so we left inclement weather days in,” said Townsend.

Winter break is slated for February 21-22 with inclement weather make-up days being February 23-25.

Townsend also said that the staggered start days were very popular with parents and teachers and have been put into next year’s calendar.

Other key points on the proposed calendar are:

  • The proposed calendar provides 180 total days of instruction for students.
  • The first day of school will be August 2, 2021.
  • A 2-day staggered start for 2021-2022. Details will be provided in the spring.
  • The last day of school will be May 27, 2022.
  • Graduation will be May 27, 2022.
  •  Labor Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holidays will remain.
  • One designated digital learning day each semester for students (one on Friday, September 3 (Jeep Fest), and the second one on Monday, March 14 (Mid-Semester).

Blame it on 2020

Stacy Gilleland, chief operations officer, said several minor issues befell his department, including a vehicle wreck and a fire.

No one was injured, he said, but the vehicle was rear-ended and totaled.

“Someone hit him and pushed him into the next car, and the next car, and the next car,” said Gilleland. The driver went to the hospital as a precaution.

“The truck is a total loss, but everyone is okay,” he said.

Gilleland went on to add that there was a small fire in one of their wood shops, located at the old Jasper Middle School site. Damage was mostly cosmetic, although a few hand tools were destroyed and the electrical will need to be repaired from where the fire fighters extinguished the flames.

He said rags used to stain wood on Friday combusted and started the fire.

“It’s not a big expense, but it is some,” said Gilleland. “It’s 2020, right?”


4-H recognition

Pickens County 4-H club showed their appreciation to the school board by presenting flowers, arranged by their floral arranging team, to the members. They also  presented a video

“The county has been without an extension agent for a long time, so they are relying on volunteers,” Destini Shope, communications liaison, told the board.

“We believe in this program and what it can do for kids,” said Traci Buckingham, one of the volunteers. She and Melvina Carlan have kept the 4-H program going in the absence of an extension agent.




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