iPad questions from NAACP answered

The Rock Hill School Board improvement plans include the provision of computers for all students in grades 3-12. The District has provided the answers below to questions posed by the Rock Hill Branch of the National Association of Colored People about previous deployment of digital devices (mostly iPads). These are excellent answers, and I hope they will relieve any concerns about the digital devices which are part of the plan for any funds raised from referendum bond sales. Thank you for these answers to Superintendent Kelly Pew and her staff

  • How many children attended the RH schools last year ? 17,553
  • Of that group, how many were eligible to take their devices home last year? 6,899
  • How many children requested help with fees for computers? 277 last year, 405 this year
  • Of the children who requested help, how many met the income and other requirements? We did not check Free/Reduced lunch status, just had them request the scholarship due to family hardship…could be a number of reasons.
  • Of the group of children requesting help, how many received assistance-were there any families turned away? No, all received.
  • What percentage of children were on free lunch/ reduced lunch last year?57.09
  • What is the amount of the fee each child must pay to take device home?  It has been $50, but it will be $30 next year
  • Does a child who receives a subsidy have to pay any amount or is the entire fee waived? No they do not pay anything
  • What are the requirements for a child to be eligible for subsidy?Family hardship, could be a number of reasons
  • What are the requirements for a child to receive lunch subsidy?  Free and Reduced lunch application based on income, number of family members/children in home….
  • Who provides the subsidy?  Rock Hill Education Foundation
  • How can people donate to help children pay fees?  Rock Hill Education Foundation


Have the current tablets improved performance?  Early data of students who have used iPads in EOC courses, and others who have used Disovery Tech books show increases in student achievement.  We know that the tablets have allowed students to research current information from wherever they are, they have been able to collaborate with others from across the country and nation, they have had access to real-time information- all of this will improve student knowledge.

What measures are being taken to show improvement due to tablets?  We review all data (MAP, EOC, PASS) and compare it from year to year.  The iPads are one tool used to help improve achievement.  Additional resources are also being used- Discovery Tech Books are one example.

What kinds of feedback has we received from teachers, parents, IT?   Repair costs are much less than anticipated, students have taken good care of the iPads.

From instructional specialist: Overall, I have noticed that our teachers enjoy having the iPad devices available to use to support best teaching practices.  It has truly changed the blended learning environment. The iPad devices in our classrooms have allowed opportunities for digital tools such as Canvas, Discovery Education, and Compass Learning to be implemented in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning in order to increase student achievement. Our students have learned how to efficiently utilize the iPad device when learning and to express their knowledge of curriculum concepts. The iPad devices have definitely impacted the education and leadership of our students at all levels in Rock Hill Schools.

Feedback from Teachers

iPads have opened up a whole new world to students. Not only has it allowed students to conduct research but has allowed student creativity to expand. One of the most important aspects is the differentiation the iPad allows me to deliver to help students be successful on their own level at their own pace. I suppose  this would be true with any device and not exclusive to the iPad.
Julia Millar
6th Grade Science Teacher
Saluda Trail Middle School 2014-15 Teacher of the Year
Rock Hill School District Honor Roll Teacher of the Year

I honestly cannot ever imagine educating without a learning management system and one to one devices.  Students having iPads make differentiating far more plausible and possible for teachers.
Jason Hunsinger
8-1 Pre-Algebra and English
8th Grade Assistant Football Coach
7th Grade Girls Basketball Coach
Saluda Trail Middle School

iPads provide easy access to teacher created materials and has greatly reduced lost handouts among middle school students.  Within the classroom, students have the opportunity to immediately explore answers to questions that arise and provide an opportunity to expand research skills .
Elizabeth McCammon
ELA Teacher 6-3

Feedback from Students
SPHS Student Testimonials:
Jamari Currence
The iPads allow students the opportunity to easily access class notes in class and outside school walls. We are able to conduct research much faster without having to come down to the library.  It helps with communication of our ideas and showcasing creativity through a variety of digital resources.


Steven Gilmore
The iPad has been very beneficial for me because it allows me to do my classwork more effectively.  Also, it provides me with different digital tools to use in order to produce the best work I possible can.  Essentially, I am being introduced to things I will be doing in college. I am excited that I will feel well prepared upon graduation to be successful in college!


Cierra Thompson
The iPad is very helpful with home and school use for my studies. It makes it easier to access needed materials for learning (i.e. techbooks, homework, etc.).  I like that I can always find any information that our teachers share with us in programs such as Canvas in order to always feel prepared each day.


What has been learned about how to improve use of tablets?
Professional development is key for our teachers.  Ensuring they feel comfortable with the device while also knowing instructional strategies utilizing the device that will improve student engagement and achievement.


Posted in NAACP, Rock Hill Schools | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will students get iPads?

The Rock Hill School District is proposing a bond issuance which must be put to a public referendum. On May 5 we vote yes or no. People are asking whether students will get iPads if the referendum passes.

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill News, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

What is a School Bond Referendum?

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill News, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Will my taxes go up if the referendum passes?

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where do I vote?

Posted in Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rock Hill Schools Bond Referendum KickOff

Do you have questions about the Rock Hill school bond referendum? Get answers.

This Thursday, Apr. 9, at 10:00 a.m., the bond referendum steering committee, Rock Hill Citizens for Children, will hold a KickOff event in downtown Rock Hill at Fountain Park with presentations and explanations. Citizens Committee members present will answer your questions.

Other presentations are listed on the calendar here.

You can register for updates and submit questions at the Rock Hill Citizens for Children website here.

Rock Hill School District has information about projects to be completed with funds from bond sale here.


Posted in Rock Hill News, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Why do we have choirs? John Rutter video

Posted in Church Music, Music, Music Education | Leave a comment

May 5 School Bond Referendum Questions?

The referendum is a vote on whether the public will allow the district to sell $110 Million in bonds to finance larger maintenance, repair, upgrades and renovation projects than the Board of Trustees can fund annually.

On May 5 the voters in the Rock Hill School District will be asked to approve a bond sale to finance school improvements in a referendum. Since some bonds approved for sale by voters in previous referendums are being paid off soon, the district can borrow (by selling bonds) with no tax increase and take advantage of current low interest rates. A vote “yes” on May 5 is a vote to strengthen our schools, help our kids, and improve our community.

Rock Hill Citizens for Children is the group publicizing the Rock Hill School Bond Referendum. Find out more about the district plan to improve the schools at their website here.

Posted in General Education, Rock Hill News, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Leave a comment

Peter Browning at Winthrop Whitton Series


Peter Browning

Peter Browning was the speaker for the Whitton Series at Winthrop University yesterday. He was very informative about Board Service, how it has changed, especially since 2002, and major responsibilities of a board member. Below are my tweets from the presentation.

At Whitton Business practices series @winthropu thanks to @ElaineWDavis for remembering her son Whit with this endowed series

Browning explaining the arise of interest in Board Governance over the last 20 years. Rise of CEO pay, corporate office changes.

In fact, until 1970s little to no strategic planning. Now 50% of CEO pay is long term planning.

“shareholder congruence” make CEO have same goals as shareholders. So CEO gets stock options.  @GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries New rules in about 2000 requiring public companies do assessments of CEO and boards required to meet without CEO sometimes.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries Browning says what is good for public companies often good for private and non-profits. #RHSD3

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSD3 90% of boards now meet without CEO all the time and “Lead Board Member” than meets with CEO

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Browning’s “Framework for Board Governance” intended to help boards figure out how to do their business

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Browning says all boards run themselves differently. How does your board govern itself and the organization?

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Good Bd Gov is not rules. It is abt the ability of Bd to work with Mgt to maximize value

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard maximize shareholder value. To me, says elected boards should work with community to maximize public’s value.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Make money by taking risk ever since the Phoenicians.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard CEO comes up with lots of ideas, distill and prioritize them, board says which are best to pursue.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Risk can be around acquisitions, pension fund investment, product development.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Long term direction function of board.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard What is Role of Bd. Can’t run enterprise. 1st responsibility, Do we have right CEO? (Supt for SchBd)

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard 2nd Bd resp Do we agree on short-term successor for emergency AND assure a long term succession plan?

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard cannot lv room without an emergency plan. Bd should decide (maybe with CEO) emergency plan if need successor.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Real succession plan should include what is being done to develop leadership in successors.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Not for profit (and Elected) bds not exactly same, but must have assessments and succession plan.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard 3rd Bd resp, do we have right strategy and is it being properly implemented? That is how value is delivered.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Browning’s guiding principles. Not all bds same. Nose in, fingers out.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Char of high performing Bd.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Balance of collegiality with Candor. Respect, acknowledge Bds are peers, must have civility.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard appropriate blend of experience, expertise, wisdom.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard healthy working relationship with CEO who must be candid, transparent, and want to work with Bd

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Bds must be willing to invest time and must have knowledge of business.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Board size. 7-10 for best group dynamics. Need more if several bd committees.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Bd membership, real diversity, real bd skills, collab, not just good resume.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Browning has succession planning/ skills matrix for bd membership planning.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Used to be lots of board members work for company, now only one, CEO.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard CEO runs company. No sensible bd member would accept position on bd without knowing and trusting CEO.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard need bd members? Want people who work well with other board members.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard S&P 500 avg compensation is $260K, half in stock.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard boards have aged, because stability wanted during recession and higher retirement age.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Law since 2002 requires 3 committees for public companies. Audit, compensation, governance/nominating.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard avoid an exec committee which is a board within a board. It leaves people out.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Public boards may meet quarterly, committees meet more often.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Browning says work together well if all committees are committees of whole, and better decisions made.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Must think through how the board works together and is organized to avoid waste time aboutnprocess.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard If well organized bd structure, have time to spend on strategy, compensation, implementation.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Thanks @ElaineWDavis this is a great talk. I’ll put all my tweets on my blog!

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Bd focus should be long term, but also holding CEO accountable for implementation. More often than annual eval

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard CEO was usually chair before 2002. Now more non-exec chairs. Role must be clearly defined either way.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard within its schedule, bd must decide when to hold mtg of independent (non-employee) directors and eval CEO

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard give CEO feedback every single mtg, and chair and CEO meet for half a day at least monthly.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Not important whether CEO is chair or not. Important is whether CEO is trustworthy and works well with bd

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard strong lead director is important and must have respect of CEO and other bd members.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard I think a lot of his success is finding ways to work with each person individually.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard many bd issues. Cont ed for bd. Bd, cmte, CEO eval. Director and CEO succession. Communication to public & bd.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #rhschoolboard

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Must be communicating, especially on critical or risky issues, between mtgs.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard hot topic. Bd communication to shareholders. SchBd communication to public.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Non profits some different, but these practices still apply. Structure, CEO choice.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Elected bds a tough position. Using these principles wouldn’t hurt. Answerability only at election.

@GinnyMoeRHSC #WhittonSeries #RHSchoolBoard Difference elected boards not as answerable to shareholders/other bd members. Can’t throw off elected bd.

Posted in Rock Hill News, School Board, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

NAACP questions about Bond Referendum

The Rock Hill Schools are posing a referendum to the community on May 5, as the post below explains. Links explaining the proposed projects can be found here.

In addition to building improvements and maintenance, computers for every high school student are listed on the plan. The Rock Hill Branch of the National Association of Colored People is asking the district to supply some information about previous deployment of digital devices (mostly iPads). Particular questions are below, and most of them concern two issues:

  • Do children whose families cannot afford the district computer fees still receive a computer?
  • Are these expensive devices showing that they help children learn?

The NAACP is posing the following questions to the district and the answers they give will be posted here when received from the district.

  1. How many children attended the Rock Hill Schools last year?
  2. Of that group, how many children were eligible to take computing devices home last year?
  3. Of the eligible group, how many children had parents who allowed them to bring the devices home?
  4. Of the group whose parents wanted to bring the devices home, how many children requested help with fees for computers?
  5. Of the children who requested help, how many met the income and other requirements to actually be eligible for help paying computer fees?
  6. Of the group requesting help and meeting requirements for receiving help, how many children actually received help?
  1. How many children received lunch subsidies last year?
  2. What is the amount of the fee each child must pay to take the computing device home?
  3. Does a child who receives a subsidy have to pay anything at all or is the fee waived in its entirety? If they pay, how much is the reduced fee?
  4. What are the requirements for a child to be eligible for subsidies for computer fees?
  5. What are the requirements for a child to be eligible for lunch subsidies?
  6. Who provides the subsidies for children needing computer fee subsidies?
  7. How can people donate to help children pay their fees?
  1. Have the current tablets improved the performance of students?
  2. What measures are being taken to show improvement due to tablets?
  3. What kind of feedback has the district received from teachers, parents, IT?
  4. What has been learned about how to improve the use of tablets?
Posted in NAACP, Rock Hill Schools, School Board | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment