Originally created 01/22/06

Forum to explore ways to improve education

The first districtwide School Improvement Council forum in five years is being held to build community support for education, organizers said.

Diane Mangiante, the executive director of Public Education Partners, a local foundation that works to improve public education, said the Feb. 2 forum at South Aiken High School will allow council members to share ideas.

"The ultimate purpose of the meeting is to increase the effectiveness of these councils so that they can be even better advocates for their schools," Ms. Mangiante said.

"Some School Improvement Councils are working on their playground facilities," Ms. Mangiante said. "Others are looking at things like behavior in the classroom ... others on how to encourage and retain teachers. Part of the impetus of this meeting is to bring them together to showcase that variety."

State law establishes that every school is to have its own council. The statewide council, at the University of South Carolina College of Education and funded by the General Assembly, assists the local councils in improving their schools.

The council forum is one of many projects undertaken by the partners. Recently, the group was involved in an effort to improve the quality of teaching at Aiken and South Aiken high schools, Ms. Mangiate said.

With 90 percent of pupils in the county attending public schools, having a strong educational system benefits everyone, Ms. Mangiante said.

"It's important to all of us, whether we're citizens or business people - whatever we do - that we have good quality schools," Ms. Mangiante said.

Reach Nathan Dickinson at (803) 648-1395, ext. 109 or nathan.dickinson@augustachronicle.com.

What's next

A districtwide School Improvement Council forum will be held Feb. 2 at South Aiken High School, 232 E. Pine Log Road, Aiken. For more information, call 649-9040.


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