[lg policy] Matt Dowdell named West Florence High School principal

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Apr 13 12:48:23 EDT 2018


 Matt Dowdell named West Florence High School principal

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Matt Dowdell will be the new West Florence High School
principal. Dowdell was the assistant principal at West Florence before the
promotion.

“I feel like Mr. Dowdell is going to bring a lot of energy to this,” said
Barry Townsend, chairman of the District One school board. “He has been at
West Florence, so he understands the school, but he also brings experience
from outside of the district as well. I think it’s a really good balance
that will hopefully re-energize the school, the staff, the students and the
community.”

According to the Florence School District One website, Dowdell earned a
bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Seton Hall
University. He earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the
University of South Carolina.

The decision came during a Florence School District One board meeting on
Thursday evening.

Pam Quick, former West Florence principal, was placed on paid
administrative leave on Feb. 14. Quick resigned from her position on Feb.
23, citing “personal reasons” as the cause.

After Quick resigned, Kelvin Wymbs was appointed acting superintendent of
the high school. Wymbs was the director of secondary education for the
district.

In other news, District One may be penalized for not having the proper
student-to-teacher ratio for English language learners.

Currently, there is a 95:1 ratio, but U.S. Department of Education
standards specify a 60:1 ratio.

“We will be cited for our numbers because we are out of compliance,” said
Lorna McBride, director of elementary education for District One.

McBride said a possible consequence for not being in compliance with
standards is a removal of $35,000 of funding. This funding is currently
provided for professional development and a part-time employee who serves
as an English language coach in the district.

The district needs two or three more teachers to be in compliance. Money
for teacher salaries comes out of the general fund, not from the federal
government.

There are currently 535 English language students, but she said that number
is climbing. Will McLeod, board member, said a growth projection would be
helpful as the district makes plans related to the English Language Learner
Program.

McBride invited the board and community to attend the district’s Culture
Diversity Fair from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on April 19 at Poynor Adult
Education.

Dr. Dan Strickland, interim superintendent for District One, said that he
has had a busy month. He listed responding to Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) requests and interviewing finalists for positions at the district
level and school level as part of his activities.

The board approved 27 policies before going into executive session.

Porter Stewart, a member of the policy committee, said the purpose of
reviewing policies is to “remove redundancies and update the language on
policies.”

One of the updated policies is KDB which deals with Freedom of Information
Act requests. The district will now charge 10 cents per page, and a fee
schedule will be posted online.

A representative from Halligan, Mahoney and Williams – the board’s legal
counsel – said there is a significant loss in staff time when they review
FOIA documents. However, the representative said it is important to fulfill
requests.

Strickland said he has also worked on a district-wide facilities plan and
teacher recruitment and retention.

“There’s few employees out there as far as certified teachers,” Strickland
said.

The board voted to remove Memorial Day as a makeup day on the 2018-19
school calendar. Some parents said they did not support students going to
school on Memorial Day after the day was used as a makeup day this school
year. President’s Day will be the third makeup day instead of Memorial Day.


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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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