In visit to Lake City, Spearman praises School District Three
LAKE CITY, S.C. – South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman was in Lake City Thursday visiting with teachers and administrators of Florence County School District Three. She made a stop at J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School where renovations are being completed for the coming school year.
Spearman said she wanted to go to Lake City to thank the teachers, administrators and custodial staff, who greeted her Thursday, for what they do every day.
“It’s wonderful to see what all they’re doing here in Lake City with the magnet school program,” Spearman said. “I see all the construction work going on. It shows that your board is involved and that you are making the changes needed to keep, first of all, this school safe for our children and to offer the kinds of programs that will keep all of our students engaged.”
Two new creative arts and science magnet programs will begin next week at J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School and Olanta Creative Arts and Science Magnet School. The district was awarded a five-year $9.1 million Magnet Schools Assistance Programs grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement last fall. The grant will be used for the district’s Project C3 Explores: Colleges, Cultures, & Careers initiative.
While in Lake City, Spearman spoke to and heard from the district’s leaders and teachers, and had a brief look at some of the renovations at J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School.
Florence County School District Three Superintendent Laura Hickson told Spearman during a presentation Thursday that the district has a lot going on and a lot to be proud of.
“However, we are still working on student achievement,” Hickson said. “And we really think this year is going to be the best yet.”
Hickson said the district has already identified areas of weaknesses for students and will start them with tutors early in the school year. The district is advertising for tutors from Francis Marion University and retired teachers.
Lake City Early College High School now has three early college cohorts. The district’s goal is for every student to leave high school ready for college or a career.
Hickson said the district is also working on safety improvements and making sure the entrances at schools are safer.
Spearman said District Three is one of the state’s smaller districts but it is doing a good job.
“It takes a great school board. It takes great leadership at the district office and principals in the schools who know how to hire and support good teachers with discipline support so that teachers can teach and students can learn,” Spearman said. “So from what I can tell, you’ve got that happening here in Lake City and any way we can support you, I want to be here to help the teachers. “