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Education

  • Attendance zones finalized for Panhandle elementaries

    The Lancaster County school board has approved changes in elementary attendance zones needed to accommodate the new Van Wyck Elementary School.
    The zones split the Panhandle among Harrisburg, Indian Land and Van Wyck elementaries. The proposed zones were originally brought before the board Jan. 16.
    Students who live north of S.C. 160 to the state line are in the Harrisburg zone. Those south of 160 and north of Jim Wilson Road will attend Indian land Elementary. And those from Jim Wilson Road south to S.C. 5 will go to the new Van Wyck Elementary School.

  • New school gets a name: Van Wyck Elementary

    The new campus that opens in the Panhandle this fall will be named Van Wyck Elementary School.
    The Lancaster County school board approved the name unanimously Tuesday night. The school’s mascot will be the Braves, and its colors will match the Indian Land middle and high schools’ blue, gold and white.
    “There was one name that just stuck out overwhelmingly that people voted for, and there was no contest that the name for the school should be Van Wyck Elementary School,” said Steven Puckett, the principal of the new school.

  • Security upgrades under way

    All Lancaster County school lobbies have been reconfigured to prevent unauthorized entry, school officials said Thursday, and one-button lockdowns are in place at all Indian Land and Buford campuses.
    Lancaster and Kershaw schools are still receiving the security upgrades that are part of the $199 million bond issue approved by voters in 2016. The improvements include new classroom doors that can be secured from the inside.

  • 15 years of cheering comes to an end

    After 15 years as a cheerleader, Lancaster High senior Essence Frazier wore her uniform for the last time Friday night.

    Frazier said she’ll miss the crowd screaming and the adrenalin rush when hitting the mat for cheer competitions. She’ll miss bonding with the squad on bus rides to away games.

    “I’ll miss cheering for my school and showing my spirit,” said the four-year varsity cheerleader. “It’s something I love to do, and I can’t do it anymore.”

  • Dancing with the Stars

    Seven couples hit the stage at the sold-out Dancing With the Stars competition Saturday night, raising $14,500 for Andrew Jackson Middle School’s Art Focus program.
    The event was a big financial success, topping the fundraising total at last year’s inaugural Dancing With the Stars by more than 60 percent.
    Taking home the technical-skills championship trophy was David Platts, science and arts instructional specialist for Lancaster County School District, and Katrina Bernsdorff, AJ High drama teacher.

  • IL high school will cost more, hold more kids

    The Lancaster County school board on Saturday voted to accept a $90.4 million construction bid for the new Indian Land High School – $10 million more than originally expected.
    The board intends to award the bid to Cleveland Construction of Charlotte after a 15-day protest period for other bidders.
    School district officials had estimated in 2016 that the construction would cost $80.9 million. The Charlotte-area’s booming construction market contributed to the higher cost, as did the district’s decision to make the building larger than planned.

  • Young women explore STEM jobs with pros who have them

    Nearly 65 professionals and female students from Lancaster County high schools met at Lineberger Construction Inc. on Jan. 25 to encourage women not to be afraid to enter male-dominated career fields.

    Sponsored by Lineberger Construction Inc. and hosted by the N.C.-based Enterprising Women Foundation, the event gave female professionals in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) positions a chance to encourage the young women about their career paths.

  • Stifling nerves, 4th grader spells ‘rupture’ to win bee

    Buford Elementary fourth grader Bryce Bridges, drafted into the county spelling bee when his school’s winner got sick, won the championship Thursday and beamed at his good fortune.
    “Rupture” was the word that’s taking Bryce to the regional spelling bee in Charlotte on Feb. 19.
    Bryce, his school’s alternate, found out Monday that he would be competing in the bee in place of the school’s winner, who was sick.
    “I was nervous,” he said after the victory. “I just don’t know how I won.”

  • Gifted-and-talented program expanding

    Lancaster County School District’s gifted-and-talented program will expand over the next four years from a project based at Discovery School to one in each elementary school.

    The new structure will place a gifted-and-talented teacher at each elementary to teach students and train other teachers in strategies for advanced students.

    Tom McDuffie, gifted-and-talented coordinator, said it will make life simpler.

    “It’s going to be more economical in the long run, because we won’t have to pay for transportation,” McDuffie said.

  • Up against the wall

    As Kershaw Elementary students walked into the cafeteria Thursday, eyes widened, mouths fell open and laughter cascaded off the walls.
    First-year Principal Kelli Farmer was duct-taped to the wall, suspended in a gray cocoon for a good cause.
    “It’s hot,” said Farmer, who by the end of lunch period was covered in nine rolls of duct tape. “Your feet start going to sleep and then you just kind of hang on. We do whatever we can for our children.”