HomeNewsEducationColumbia County School District prepares for increase in students

Columbia County School District prepares for increase in students



Members of the Columbia County Board of Education considered new graduation requirements and a new influx of students at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Superintendent Steven Flynt presented the school enrollment forecast for the 2022-2023 school year during his superintendent report. He also addressed the need to coordinate a budget to accommodate expected increases in the number of students in the district.

The forecast assessed by the school district administration projects a total increase of 605 students throughout the county schools, with about 80 more students expected in grades pre-K through fifth grade, 146 students in middle schools and the highest projected increase in high schools at 379 students.

Board Chairman David Dekle asked Flynt how accurate projections proved to be for the previous year. Flynt responded that the forecast for the previous year was “relatively close,” with margins of about 100 students.

Board member Kristi Baker asked about the source of the anticipated growth, noting the arrival of the new Amazon facility in Appling. Flynt said that about 80% of the new students were local, coming from Richmond County, with some coming from families of service members stationed at Fort Gordon, largely from Maryland.

Flynt also addressed the prospect of a proposal to the board to change graduation requirements including changes to high school graduation economics courses. He noted that the state Board of Education approved a revision to the economics curriculum on Dec. 9 to entail 51% of the curriculum to be personal financial literacy standards.

[adrotate banner=”51″]

The Columbia County School District currently has a personal finance requirement. Changes to the curriculum and requirements, Flynt said, would result in 24 units required for graduation instead of 23. Flynt said that he plans to present a proposal to the board by Jan. 11 regarding how the curriculum would be distributed, whether via a one-semester course or a full-year course.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Chris Paes addressed the board concerning countywide shortage of adequate high school wrestling facilities,. Pages cited a recent growth of wrestling programs in district schools and resulting safety issues. In his address, Paes requested a multipurpose facility that can accommodate up to 100 wrestlers daily.

Janet Duggan addressed concerns of the inclusion of critical race theory in school curriculums.

“We have great teachers that do not believe or support utilizing anti-racism or some concepts of CRT in the classroom,” said Duggan. “However, it appears that the school leadership has embraced these concepts with the professional development opportunities in the name of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Board members also expressed condolences for the suicides of two students, one from Grovetown Middle School and one from Columbia County Alternative School, earlier this month.

“I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to help the students,” said board member Lee Ann Meyer. “But we’ve got to figure out how to reach them, how to know who they are, how to help the parents understand what could be going through their children’s minds.”

The board also recognized the Harlem High School varsity softball team for being the 2021 State AAA third place winners.

Skyler Q. Andrews is a staff reporter covering Columbia County with The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected].


Recent posts

Recent comments

Robert Turbyfill on Column: Serene18 – take two
Leonard Zimmerman Jr on In The Kitchen With Vera: Oh Honey
Tedd Antonacci on Bomb threat suspect in custody
Frank Bush on FAITH: A Great Lady
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: A Great Lady
Robert Green on Kemp signs tax cut bill
Dan Barnett on FAITH: The Turtle
William Speer on Whither Ukraine?
Sherri Jones Rivers on FAITH: The Turtle
Judy Wheeler on FAITH: The Turtle
Doug Herman on Whither Ukraine?
Phillip Williams on Column: Electing judges
John Mulherin on Column: Electing judges
Sarah Scott on Column: Electing judges
Thomas Yarbrough on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Bill Lesshafft on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Amanda Main on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Tedd Antonacci on XPR Augusta Concerts Canceled
Rev. Bill Harrell on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Jackie VOSS on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Penny Danner on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Rabbi David Sirull on FAITH: The Covid Effect
Elizabeth Ristroph on Michael Meyers: The Law Allows It
Phillip Williams on Michael Meyers: The Law Allows It
Debbie Reddin Van Tuyll on For America, a free press is not optional
Debbie Reddin Van Tuyll on For America, a free press is not optional
Barry Paschal on Dine & Dish: Banh Mi Dang
Steve Brett on Broad Street Reimagined
Jeff Simless on Broad Street Reimagined
Leonard Zimmerman Jr on Augusta Museum of History to expand
James Colton on RUSSIA: WHAT NEXT?
Jim Claffey on Broad Street Reimagined
Thomas Plowden on Broad Street Reimagined
Bill Lesshafft on Broad Street Reimagined
Tedd Antonacci on Broad Street Reimagined
John Barney on Broad Street Reimagined
Rick Acree on Broad Street Reimagined
Eric Feldkamp on Broad Street Reimagined
Phillip Williams on Old Warrenton Studios shut down
Christine Slendak on Old Warrenton Studios shut down
Thomas Yarbrough on MCG study focuses on long COVID
Sylvia Cooper on FAITH: Wasps on the Tower
John Barney on RUSSIA: WHAT NEXT?
Gary Smith on RUSSIA: WHAT NEXT?
Juliann McCraney on FAITH: Wasps on the Tower