By LEE G. HEALY
Published: Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 3:15 a.m.
About 200 Byrnes High School students might not have biology textbooks when they return to school in less than two weeks.
Spartanburg District 5 officials say they’ll dip into their own pockets to get students books for what they say will be a required course after learning the books will not be provided by the S.C. Department of Education, but they might not be there in time for the first day. State officials said the course is not required, so the requested biology textbooks will not be issued.
District 5 asked for about 200 biology books to accommodate an increase in the number of students signed up for freshman- and sophomore-level courses. Superintendent Scott Turner said many freshmen will take applied biology 1 in the coming year — the first in a two-course study of biology elements to be tested on a federally mandated end-of-course exam during their second year of high school. Students on a faster track can elect to take just one biology course before taking the end-of-course exam, Turner explained, but offering the subject in two parts helps more students succeed.
“Our district’s very forward thinking,” said Pat Monteith, principal of the Byrnes Freshman Academy. “Everything we do is to help our kids be successful. This was quite a blow for us. We’re trying to do something proactive for our students and our hands are tied.” Continue reading