Jasper County School District’s new leader, Dr. Rechel Anderson, is no stranger to the district. Previously, she served as the principal at Hardeeville Elementary. However, she has returned to serve as superintendent, and she is on the move.
Dr. Anderson can be described as a visionary leader who is very passionate, positive, and action-oriented. She believes in identifying a course of action, designing and plan of action, and executing the plan by actively, collaboratively, and intentionally showing up every day and holding all accountable, including herself.
You will not find Dr. Anderson leading by sitting in her office at the district office, but you will find her visible throughout the district, schools, and community. From walking the halls, talking with students and staff, assisting with grade level bathroom breaks, holding data meetings with school staff; from attending rotary club meetings to county council meetings; Dr. Anderson is on the move with just three months in.
To date, Dr. Anderson has restructured the district office and schools to ensure that the culture and climate throughout the district is focused on students at the center. The district’s theme is ‘Student-Centered…Future-Focused!’ To put this into action, Dr. Anderson believes that the way a place looks and feel speaks to the leader within. Therefore, she started with the district office. You will find a newly painted, student-centered district office; and a few welcoming flowers on the outside that beams a warm welcome. Stop by any school facility in the district and you will notice a positive change.
A few initiatives that are off to an exceptional start in Jasper County School District are as follows:
- Ridgeland Hardeeville High School launched its first iFly Drone Pilot Certification Program for juniors and seniors led by Mr. Taz Little and Mr. Christopher Williams. The program is designed by Skyward Drone UM Academy and STEM U. These scholars will undergo a total of 26 coursework hours comprised of real-world scenarios, terminology, background information, flight simulation, and hands-on flying. Upon successful completion of all program coursework, student scholars are eligible to take the 107 remote pilot’s exam for certification.
- Ridgeland Elementary School is on the road to Personalized Learning. In collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Education, Ridgeland Elementary staff and students are preparing to meet every student where they are and ensure that students become in charge of their learning with clear expectations and clear learning goals with a RoadMap to mastery.
- Jasper County’s Office of Academics launches the first Center for Instructional Quality (CIQ). The Center of Instructional Quality will focus on providing professional development opportunities for faculty to build instructional capacity and efficacy. The CIQ will use the expertise of current staff who have demonstrated excellence in academic performance with students to conduct professional development sessions. In addition, the CIQ will provide development for all levels of teachers and administrators.
- 1st Saturday Technology Training for staff continues in Jasper County. Teachers have an opportunity to heighten their skills and learn additional innovative ways to infuse technology in their classrooms to enhance lessons.
- State of the Art STEM U Labs are being added to Hardeeville Elementary, Ridgeland Elementary, and Hardeeville Ridgeland Middle School.
- State of the Art Computer Science Labs are being added to Hardeeville Elementary, Ridgeland Elementary, and Hardeeville Ridgeland Middle School to ensure that the SC State K-8 Computer Science Standards are taught and infused within classrooms with fidelity. Students will create a world of learning using mBots within a collaborative learning environment.
- To ensure safety for staff and students, Ridgeland Hardeeville High School athletes and students will receive a new state of the art Weight Room. Also, Hardeeville Ridgeland Middle School will receive additions to the Weight Room.
- Hardeeville Ridgeland Middle School and Ridgeland Hardeeville High School will receive additional instruments and supplies to enhance the district’s Arts Program.
- Jasper County Middle and High School students participate in the National Archery In Schools Program via Physical Education classes. The program involves archery history, physical, emotional and safety strategies.
- Special Education Services will receive consistent support from sought-after consultant, Dr. Robert Hatchette. Jasper’ SPED staff and students will undergo suggestions and a selection of a prescribed curriculum to ensure student mastery and success. Also, Dr. Hatchette will assist the district in ensuring that the district’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is research-based and proven strategies are evident as the model is developed to align with the states.