District 56 leads the way in S.C. for educating students in poverty


The District 56 Board of Trustees spent just 30 minutes Monday night receiving a report about Eastside Elementary School – its meeting location – and learning about the anti-bullying phone app, “StopIt.”

The board conducted its regular monthly meeting a week early to avoid a Thanksgiving-week meeting. The board was told that Thanksgiving lunch will be served in all schools this Thursday. Also, the Clinton High boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams are competing in the state meet Tuesday at the Carolina-Colonial Cup course in Camden (postponed from Saturday because of weather and course conditions).

There will be no board meeting in December. The Jan. 27 meeting will be in the Clinton High School auditorium, 7:30 p.m., for Board Appreciation Month.

Clinton Elementary Principal Melodie Edwards accepted a flag for Palmetto Silver, a school excellence award based on criteria set by the State Department of Education. A framed version of the flag will be re-presented to the school for display, Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields said.

Dr. David Pitts, assistant superintendent for operations, presented an information sheet about “StopIt,” which has been rolled out to parents and to middle and high school students. Bullying reports will go to him, the principals and assistant principals, and guidance counselors; a designated person will handle the follow-up investigation. Students already are using the app, Pitts said.

It also is active in District 55. It was purchased for District 56 by the S.C. School Boards Insurance Trust.

Board Chairman Jim Barton congratulated Eastside on a successful fall festival. Eastside students and Principal Tonya Wilson made the school’s presentation to the trustees. The Credential Lab students at Clinton High embossed the Eastside logo on tumblers as gifts to the board members.

During opening remarks, board member Keith Richardson gave an observation of being on the road and coming off I-26 on Hwy. 72 and back into Clinton. He travels by Clinton High School and sees messages and inspirational words on the electronic sign. He turns left onto Springdale Drive and rides by a new message board at Eastside, crosses the tracks and turns left again at Subway, and gets more messages from Clinton Elementary’s electronic sign, then proceeds home to Cross Hill. Richardson said, “Everyone needs to take that drive, and it’s even better in the dark” to see the brightly illuminated message boards touting activities at three of the six District 56 schools.