South Pointe High School is one step closer to earning a state honor.
South Pointe’s School Improvement Council, or SIC, has been named a finalist for the S.C. School Improvement Council’s 2017 Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence, the council announced this week.
South Pointe’s SIC was one of 16 named to the state council’s 2017 honor roll last month, from which five finalists were chosen for the Riley Award. The winner will be announced March 18.
The award, named for the state’s former governor and former U.S. education secretary and his late wife, was created in 2002 to recognize the contributions from more than 1,200 local improvement councils and more than 13,000 groups across the state.
“In the education arena, this is a huge deal and illustrates the role of parental and community involvement in governance at the school level,” said Mychal Frost, director of communications for Rock Hill schools.
Ebinport Elementary in Rock Hill won the Riley Award in 2016, Frost said.
School improvement councils, made up of parents, educators and community members, serve as advisory committees, according to the Rock Hill school district website. By law, each S.C. public school has to have a school improvement council.
Some South Pointe SIC members served on Rock Hill’s school equity committee, helping to secure additional funding to ensure South Pointe students have opportunities equal to other schools.
Work the district has done to address that issue “came about as a result of some questions the (South Pointe) SIC raised,” said South Pointe principal Al Leonard.
“I’m excited for this group,” Leonard said. “They are an engaging group of parents, community representatives, faculty members and students. They’ve done a lot for South Pointe.”
Four other councils made the 2017 list of finalists: Bluffton Middle SIC (Bluffton County); Harbison-West Elementary SIC (Lexington and Richland counties); South Florence High SIC (Florence County); and St. James Elementary SIC (Horry County).
More information about the South Carolina School Improvement Councils, the Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence and award winners from previous years can be found online at sic.sc.gov.