• St. James High School

    School Improvement Council Meeting

    May 10, 2016


    Terri Larkin, Chairman                                    Sally Young, Co-Chair

    Laura Burdick, Teacher                                  Kathy Heath, Secretary                     

    Caroline Ross, Guidance Director                  Vann Pennell, Principal

    Elisha Revis, Teacher                                     Jennifer Bayliff, Parent

    Robin Hays, Parent                                        Allison Hughes, Parent

    Rhonda Blackmon, Parent/Sch. Nurse          Jean Young, Parent/Co Sec.

    Janice Morreale, School Board                      Kendall Securro, Student                   

    Jasmyn Robinson, Student                            Morgan Lee, Student

    Terri Larkin opened the meeting at 5:30 p.m. and welcomed everyone.  Introductions were made and Ms. Larkin encouraged everyone to invite other parents to the SIC meetings.  Attending the meetings is very informative and makes parents aware of important things going on in the school.

    Agendas were distributed along with minutes from the last meeting.   Minutes from the last meeting were read, a motion was made to approve and they were confirmed.

    Guidance Report - Caroline Ross

    AP testing is finishing up this week.  Monday will begin EOC testing – May 16 to May 26.

    The school is launching an AP Institute program and they are working on the master schedule.  Eighteen out of nineteen AP classes have made the schedule. (AP Chemistry did not). This year we offered 9 AP classes and next school year we are offering 18 AP classes.

    The Senior Awards program will be held May 20th.  Scholarships will be announced for each student, along with totals for the school.

    Ms. Larkin stated that she has noticed major improvements in Guidance this year and commended Ms. Ross.

    SIC Parents Cabinet Review – Terri Larkin –

    Ms. Larkin reported on the items discussed at the Parents Cabinet Meeting.

    • Technology
    • Robotics
    • New Grading Scale – 10 point grading scale

    If you have a grade, it stays.  They will calculate the new GPA next year, perform a conversion and merge the two together.

    SJHS SIC Meeting


    Page Two

    The new scale will allow SC to be more competitive with neighboring states and it is expected that approximately 13,000 more students will qualify for scholarships and college entrance.

    SIC Elections – Terri Larkin –

    Nominations for positions were:

    Chairman – Jean Young

    Co-Chair – Rhonda Blackmon

    Secretary – Michelle Collins

    Voting was unanimous, and the nominees were approved for next year.

    Kindness Week Initiative – Janice Morreale –

    Ms. Morreale and Principal Pennell want to bring Kindness Week to our school.  The program has started in our elementary schools and they want to bring this to our cluster of schools and let them work together.  Janice asked everyone to come back to the next SIC meeting with lots of ideas.  Examples mentioned are:  bracelets for different theme days, police department comes and opens doors, high school students go to the elementary and middles schools and open doors for them.  Mr. Pennell is committed to this project and plans to include this in Advisory Lessons.  Kindness Week would be held 1 week in the fall and 1 week in the spring.

    Principal’s Report – Vann Pennell  -

    Mr. Pennell mentioned that we want to compete for the Riley Award next year and he is exploring what we need to do to meet the criteria.

    Graduating seniors are going to dress out in their caps and gowns and load busses to go to the elementary schools to do a ceremonial walk through the halls.  They will interact with the young elementary students.  This will be the first year for this walk.  Everyone is excited.

    Senior projects will be presented this Thursday from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. They need a few more people to help for this event.  If you are able to volunteer, please let Mr. Pennell know.

    Graduation is June 3rd.  Practice is June 2nd and it is required.  Mr. Pennell reminded all that he expects a respectful ceremony and no screaming or hollering by anyone.  Spread the word.

    Senior Exams are May 25th & 26th.

    May 27th is actually the last day for seniors.  A day is planned for them to go bowling from 9:45 a.m. – 12:00 noon.

    The senior Disney trip was great. He said they should plan to leave earlier next year.

    Freshman Orientation – Freshman Orientation is scheduled for August 17th.  It is a great opportunity for freshman to become familiar with the school and enjoy some fun.  Many have expressed how helpful this is for the incoming freshman.  It allows them time to become more comfortable with the school and learn how to locate their classes.

    Concerns have been expressed about the new 10 point grading scale.  How will grades be converted?  How does it affect GPA?  Will students begin to think 68 is passing?  Guidance is working diligently to address any and all issues or concerns.

    SJHS SIC Meeting


    Page Three

    There was a blood drive today at 1:00 p.m.  The lady leading the event said she has been to hundreds of schools and that our students are the best she has ever been around.

    Chick-fil-A has chosen SJHS as a recipient of the “Leader Academy” sponsorship.  It is a national high school leadership program focused on impact through action.  There are 30 students selected to participate.  Chick-fil-A Leader Academy engages students in monthly Leader Labs with a focus on important leadership skills that they will use to create student-led Community Impact Projects.

    Our cheerleading coach, Jessica Harrell has been named the #1 Cheerleading Coach in SC!


    Our ladies golf team will be in the state championship game next week.


    Boys tennis has made it to the regionals.  Coach Cannon was named the region Tennis Coach of the Year for the 5th year in a row.


    Track has 5 runners going to states this Saturday.  Alexis Alston is up for athlete of the week – please vote for her!


    Palmetto Finest Honor Festivities – Sponsors treated them to dinner at Inlet Affairs – they were very appreciative. 


    U.S. News and World Report – St. James High standings:

    #2000 – top 10% of high schools in the nation

    #15 in South Carolina

    #1 in Horry County


    Mr. Pennell asked for input on ways to improve the school – Goals for 2016 – 2017:

    Ms. Sally Young – Discussed preparing students for applying for scholarship and college applications.  The school could hold workshops for writing essays, how and where to apply for scholarships, and how to write resumes.  Classes could be offered for students who are interested.


    Ms. Hays – Mentioned that testing at The Journey Church was a nice quiet atmosphere for AP testing and asked if that could be continued in the future.


    Ms. Larkin – asked about plans for student parking, now that the new loop is in.  This is the first year we have run out of space.  There are sometimes problems for students who leave campus to take PACE classes at other educational institutions, and then return to the high school.


    Mr. Pennell thanks everyone for his or her input.


    In closing, Ms. Larkin said that she has been honored to lead the SIC this school year.  She will turn all records over to Mr. Pennell and prepare a jump drive or use Drop Box to get information transferred.


    The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 p.m.

    Next Meeting - To Be Scheduled in September 2016.