Fellows in Education visit Southside Middle School

November 14, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – Members of the Fellows in Education program toured Southside Middle School on Tuesday.

During the program, the Southside Middle School chorus, piano, and string ensemble students performed for the fellows.

Southside Middle School Principal Craig Washington spoke about the STEAM programs at the school. Lynn Perkins, who teaches music and directs the chorus, talked about the art academy at Southside.

Perkins said students from outside of the South Florence zoning can attend the program.

“Our program has grown over time, which is a big plus,” Perkins said.

Southside is an arts-in-basic-curriculum school, which means the school provides an arts education consisting of dance, music, theaterr, visual arts and creative writing.

After Washington spoke about the program in the school, the fellows toured various classrooms, such as the robotics, medical detectives, media arts and keyboard and guitar classes. In each class, fellows observed class projects and students’ work.

The Fellows in Education program is by invitation only.

One fellow, Barbara Merrill, said she is glad to get to learn about Florence One Schools because she and her children attended Florence School District Two.

“The teachers are very knowledgeable with the curriculum,” Merrill said. “The kids here seem more advanced and they have a lot to offer. It’s opening my eyes to a lot of stuff. It’s giving us the opportunity to voice our opinions.”

Merrill said she is looking forward to seeing what else the district has to offer students.

This is the fourth year of the Fellows in Education program. The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, Florence One Schools and The School Foundation partnered to host the program each year.

Debbie Hyler, executive director of The School Foundation, said this is an opportunity for business leaders in Florence to see what takes place in the schools.

“We hope to be very transparent and to let them see what’s going on,” Hyler said.

Hyler also said the program helps to create advocates for the school district because people who may not know what goes on in the district get to see what an average day in the classroom looks like.

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