With summer in full swing and the return of school fast approaching, The Sumter Item is full-steam ahead on a new magazine that will come out this fall.
The 2018-19 Sumter School District Welcome Guide will be the public schools' official …
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The 2018-19 Sumter School District Welcome Guide will be the public schools' official back-to-school magazine and will include need-to-know information such as school calendars, hours and individual school contact information as well as spotlight stories on specific programs, both brand new and ongoing, and other student achievement success stories.
"It will shine a bright light on the great work happening by our local students and teachers and feature the progress being made by the district as a whole," Sumter Item Publisher Vince Johnson said.
In partnership with Sumter School District and Thompson Family of Companies, a copy of the comprehensive guide will be distributed starting Aug. 13 to each of the approximately 17,000 students and 3,000 staff members by district staff on orientation days. Additional copies will be available to incoming residents, at Shaw Air Force Base, at high-traffic community events and on racks throughout the year.
"We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with The Sumter Item in order to provide a glimpse into Sumter School District through the Welcome Guide," Interim Superintendent Debbie Hamm said. "The upcoming school year will be filled with innovation and excitement. We plan to build upon the programs we currently have in place while embarking on a number of new initiatives, which include the R.E. Davis College Preparatory Academy and Cherryvale Elementary STEAM program in addition to the expansion of AVID, NMSI, Leader in Me, Core Knowledge and National STEM Accreditation throughout many of our schools."
Whether you or your student are joining the district for the first year or have gone through K-12 and are looking ahead to next steps, this magazine will provide information on programs and paths that public school students have at their disposal. A highlight will include more information about the two new schools that were formed out of the consolidation of the former F.J. DeLaine Elementary School into a combined K-5 elementary school at Cherryvale with a specialized STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) curriculum and the former Mayewood Middle School into R.E. Davis for a combined K-8 college prep academy.
Hamm said support from community partners has been "invaluable."
Thompson Family of Companies has been one of those community partners working to increase opportunities within the public school system.
"The children who attend these schools are the future of our community, not just intellectually, but socially and economically, as well. They are the ones who will be responsible for carrying on the work we are doing now: economic development, improving the school system, creating a community others want to come to and live in," said Greg Thompson, owner of the company.
Thompson said he was critical of public schools in Sumter for years - so unhappy that he sent his own children to private schools.
"Now, I realize I can no longer be critical without trying to help," he said. "It is my duty to do all I can to become part of the solution. The public school system is not designed to be efficient on its own. It needs the support of the community to do what's best for the children."
This magazine is aiming to show the work that is being done to make those solutions a reality.
"I want Sumter public schools to be ranked in the top 10 in the state of South Carolina for educational performance. When we achieve this, then the school system will be a key economic driver for our community," Thompson said. "I want to help create a community people want to move to and live in - to make it home."
Johnson said the magazine is a great opportunity for both the community and those who will be inside the pages.
"For our local businesses, it gives them a way to directly reach every family with students and staff in the district, as well as incoming families to the community," he said. "It's a distribution dream for advertisers that want to reach families."
For advertising opportunities in the 2018-19 Sumter School District Welcome Guide, contact your Sumter Item sales representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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