3 storylines from recent Sumter School District board activity



After a lengthy discussion at the March 25 board meeting on the merits of a quarter grade floor of 50% even when students score lower, Sumter School District's Board of Trustees said they want teacher input on the matter before moving forward.

"Maybe it's time, before we go any further with this discussion, to have a discussion with the teachers," board Chairman the Rev. Ralph Canty said. "They are the ones in the class molding our students' minds. They know what is going on where the rubber meets the road. Does it make any sense that maybe we ought to be asking teachers what to do next before we even make a decision on this? It just seems to me the thing to do."

All teachers will be able to offer their opinions and thoughts to a school representative, according to district administration. Those opinions will then be shared at a May 9 Teacher Advisory Council meeting.

"Teachers need to be keenly aware of what the issue is, and they need to have some process so they can feed their input into their representative from each school," Canty added at the meeting.


After a unanimous board vote to ask Central Carolina Technical College for another extension on property to potentially build a technical high school, the college decided it will pursue its own options currently.

The college's Area Commission of 12 members voted at its March 21 meeting to not turn property on Broad Street next to its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center back over to the local school district for an additional two-year extension.

A plan for a district technical high school next to CCTC's Broad Street facility was a vision of the Sumter County Legislative Delegation for nearly a decade, but Sumter School District's Board of Trustees and administration have never shown a full commitment to the venture.

"Sumter School District was granted a four-year term and then was given a two-year extension for a total of six years [with the property]," Central Carolina President Kevin Pollock said in a statement. "The district requested an extension beyond the six years the college already granted. CCTC's governing board, the Area Commission, declined an additional extension at their March meeting to allow the college to explore other options for the property."

According to Misty Hatfield, CCTC's vice president for institutional advancement, the college has funding now to potentially house all its industrial programs at the manufacturing technology training center at 853 Broad St.

Another option for the college, she said, could be to expand the mechatronics program and other programs at the center to enroll more students.


In district moves, Marlon Dantzler is the district's new director of transportation, which is a new position. Last month, Chief Human Resources Officer John Kuomus left the district for a similar post in Richland School District 1.