Nearly six-thousand students are back in school in Colleton county. From bus concerns to a new first of it’s kind elementary school in the state, News 2’s Octavia Mitchell talked to the district’s superintendent about what’s ahead this new school year.
Colleton County School District has 58-hundred students in nine schools. This is Dr. Franklin Foster’s third year as the leader of the district. “We’ve got some very exciting things happening this year,” Foster says.
“We are doing a lot of updates and renovations to our existing schools part of our maintenance program.”
Dr. Foster says the aging bus fleet is a concern. “Our busses travel a great distance each day. For some of our students, it takes them 45 minutes to an hour to get to school from the time they’re picked up in Ruffin until they’re dropped off at Colleton County High School, so with that, busses do travel a lot of miles on a daily basis, but they work very hard to make sure that we don’t have any downtime on our busses. We also have in place we’re getting new busses. We did get some new busses to replace some of our aging busses.”
This is the first year for Colleton County School District’s one to one technology initiative for first grade through eighth-grade students. CCSD launched its New Tech elementary school. Foster says, “We’re very excited that we will be starting our first New Tech elementary, Bells Elementary School throughout last year participated in a planning year, to become a New Tech school. We’ve been very successful in the past four years with our Cougar Tech which is our New Tech academy we have at the high school. We’ve been very successful there, so we’re looking forward to expanding on our success by starting it at our elementary school. Bells will be the first elementary in the state to utilize the New Tech practices school wide.”
Colleton County offered a signing bonus for teachers to help fill teacher vacancies before the start of school. The district plans to add a health careers academy at Colleton County High School. “Our motto is preparing every child today for tomorrow,” Foster says. “Every decision, every opportunity we engage our students in is to designed to make sure they are prepared. We’re working very hard, despite a lot of the challenges we have we have a lot of success.”