Post Tagged with: "Horry County School District"

Horry County School Board – Staff Disconnect

August 29, 2016 6:56 AM
Horry County School Board – Staff Disconnect

An ongoing renovation at North Myrtle Beach High School demonstrates an apparent disconnect between responsibilities of Horry County School Board members and the staff employed to carry out board decisions.

This is not a new problem. It dates back approximately 15 years to the time that former Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait effectively neutered the board with a policy governance system that allowed the board to be little more than a rubber stamp for staff decisions.

Many of the board members at that time deserve their own share of the blame for voting to adopt the “policy governance” system.

The school board is elected by the voters to set school district policies. It is the job of the staff to carry out these policies.

Last year, some senior staff members did all they could, including a public disinformation campaign, to keep First Floor Energy Positive from receiving contracts to build five new schools in the district.

Ultimately, the board voted to award the contracts to First Floor over considerable opposition from staff.

This year, the North Myrtle Beach High School renovations demonstrate the disconnect remains.

In 2015, the Horry County School Board approved a specific list of renovations to the school with an overall budget of $21,086,340.

According to District 1 school board member Holly Heniford, that list of renovations has apparently been reduced in some areas and increased in others without board approval.

Additionally, a line item for “Fire protection installation” appears in one area of the budget while a line item for “Fire alarm replacement” appears in another area of the budget with the cost for each line item, $1,055,130, identical. Is this not a duplication of the same work?

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Transgender Bathroom Issues Hit Horry County Schools

April 29, 2016 7:11 PM
Transgender Bathroom Issues Hit Horry County Schools

(Above Shanda Allen with husband Al Allen)

Over the past 48 hours, Horry County has literally exploded in comments about transgender bathroom usage in Horry County Schools.

The Horry County School Board has been the focus of this deluge of communications, mostly by parents opposing transgender students being allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.

Last week, a three judge panel at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision, in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, that a Virginia school discriminated “on the basis of sex” in violation of Title IX when it barred “G.G.,” a “transgender boy” (a girl who identifies as a boy) from using the boys’ restroom.

Previously, the school had allowed the student to use either the girls’ bathroom or one of the school’s single stall bathroom units created by the school to accommodate transgender students, but open to usage by all students.

Forcing the student to use a common area bathroom with a gender she didn’t identify with or to use a special single stall bathroom was determined discriminatory by the panel of judges.

The Horry County School Board faces the same type of situation with a transgender boy who was suspended from school for using the boys’ bathroom.

After the suspension, Horry County Schools was notified in a letter from the Transgender Law Center that it faced a lawsuit if students were denied usage of the bathroom of the gender with which they identify and live as on a daily basis.

Earlier this week, Horry County Schools released a statement, “The District maintains the privacy of all of its students. The District seeks to accommodate the individual needs of its transgender students in compliance with the law, including Title IX. We will continue our efforts to ensure a welcoming school environment for all students.”

That statement opened a deluge of communications from parents concerned with the idea of students of one gender using the bathroom of the opposite gender regardless of the gender with which the individual identifies himself or herself.

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Horry County Schools Building Projects

October 8, 2015 5:00 AM
Horry County Schools Building Projects

The Horry County Schools Selection Committee will meet tomorrow to decide on what firm or firms it will recommend for each of five new school projects.

Three teams, Thompson Turner Construction, First Floor Energy Positive and M.B. Kahn Construction Company, were invited to make offers on at least two projects to all five of the projects, at their discretion.

After several months of review and consideration of the proposals submitted, the committee will recommend one offering team proposal for each of the five building projects being considered.

Interviews with the teams will be held tomorrow with the committee tentatively scheduled to present its recommendations to the full Horry County Schools Board of Education at its October 12, 2015 workshop for an up or down vote on the recommendations.

If the board votes to approve the list as submitted, final negotiations with the winning offering team for each project will begin.

The proposals submitted are for design-build delivery of each of five planned new school facilities. The overall projected total cost of the five new facilities is $150-200 million.

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Gerrita Postlewait Hiring Controversy

July 3, 2015 5:04 AM
Gerrita Postlewait Hiring Controversy

Former Horry County School superintendent Gerrita Postlewait was named superintendent of the Charleston County School District Thursday.

The vote to hire was a 5-4 split decision among the nine county board members. The vote for Postlewait was taken after a motion by board member Dr. Chris Collins to offer a three year contract to current CCSD deputy superintendent Lisa Herring failed to gain a majority.

After the meeting, Collins told media there was no sincere effort (among board members) to seriously consider Herring because of her skin color. Herring is black.

Already the hiring of Postlewait has brought criticism.

Shortly after the hiring was announced, North Charleston mayor Keith Summey issued a statement expressing disappointment in the board’s decision and expressing hope that Postlewait will decline the offer. Summey is white.

Summey said the board decision should be revisited to consider a more diverse field of candidates. Summey added community members have worked too hard to hold the community together (in light of recent area shootings) to let it be disrupted by this decision.

According to several sources familiar with the hiring process, the NAACP is planning some type of protest of the decision to hire Postlewait.

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