Greenville County School Board focusing on improving students’ education

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Greenville County School Board met Tuesday morning, discussing ways to further students’ education in a variety of ways.

A main topic of discussion began with the artistically gifted and talented program also known as the ARMES program serving third through eighth graders.

The program focuses on areas of music, visual art, theater, dance, and creative writing.

The previous program was located in the center of the district at the Fine Arts Center, taking some students 45 minutes or longer to commute.

The school district has now established additional sites where they are replicating the program at both Greer and Hillcrest Middle Schools.

“Our hope is that every school in Greenville County will in some way be represented through the program,” Director of Visual and Performing Arts for Greenville County Schools, Bradley Wingate said. “We want to basically be able to reach any student who is qualified. We started with 350 students last year and with this expansion, we are looking at rolling it out to 1,500 and potentially even more over a period of time.”

Leaders say students are required to go through a rigorous audition process but can be nominated by family, faculty, or friends.

The district says they want to make sure all programs are receiving the proper support and training they need.

Assistant Superintendent for special education Traci Hogan made a presentation on how special education is improving.

“We have about 12,000 students with disabilities in Greenville County Schools, Hogan said. “I think it is important to note that, that is more than most districts have total students. We are constantly working on educating our leaders in our schools on how they can best serve students in general education.”

Hogan says the School District is working on a universal design for learning.

With thirteen disability categories, faculty are aiming to be well-trained in aiding students with disabilities through their general education classrooms.

“We want to see how much they can be with their peers,” Hogan said. “How much can they get the same standards as their peers and what things can we do in that classroom to keep them with their peers to learn in the same fashion.”