"Education Rewind" and new challenges for 2014

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News 12 This Morning/Thursday January 2, 2014

(WRDW)--Another semester ended--another year gone--and it was a year of changes for many school districts.

"We've moved from Milledgeville Road to Bungalow Road. This school is smaller than where we're coming from. But the move has not been as horrible as I thought," said Veronica Bolton, principal at Murphy Middle School.

With six schools under construction in Richmond County, many students faced relocation but 2014 brings the county one step closer to finishing Phase 3 of the multi-year project.

The year of 2013 also ushered in a new era for Richmond County with its first ever Academic Recognition day, which recognized students for reaching their goals--no matter how small.

"In some cases it would be to move from one grade--which may be below failing, to failing. And then from failing to something higher than that," explained Frank Roberson, Ph.d., Richmond County Schools superintendent.

Columbia County schools ushered in a new era as well.

"We're just excited and we hope that our public will take advantage of Facebook and Twitter," said Sandra Carraway, Ph.D., Columbia County schools superintendent.

On top of getting on Facebook and Twitter, Columbia County began its own "Bring your own Technology" initiative.

"There are a lot of applications out there for educational use and a lot of research, translations for foreign languages," Walter Reeves, Ph.D., Hephzibah High School principal.

And 2014 is expected to bring encripted WIFI to every school in Columbia County.

Aiken County had a lot to celebrate with soaring SAT and Exit Exam scores--beating the state's average.

"The biggest accomplishment I like to see is that we went up from last year," said Bryan Skipper, South Aiken High School principal.

An accomplishment the county looks to continue in the new year--as they continue their switch over to the Common Core standards.

"We in Aiken County have taken an initiative to get ready for the Common CORE state standards. We haven't waited until the last minute. We started two years ago, preparing our teachers and our students for these new standards," explained King Laurence, Aiken County Schools' instruction and accountability associate superintendent.

Other great accomplishments include Warren County having the high school with the highest graduation rate in our area.

Burke County celebrated one of its middle school teachers making it all the way to finals on the Jeopardy Teacher's Tournament.

And, students and schools across our area start getting impacted by new laws going into effect in 2014.

Those laws include the Epi-Pen Bill, which requires schools in both Georgia and South Carolina to have one epi-pen in stock for emergency use, as well as the new GED test roll-out, which is a more difficult test and now only offered on the computer.

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