Sumter STEAM Charter School's Board of Directors will have a special-called meeting this morning at 11 a.m. to vote on various matters, including a temporary office location for the school and a founding executive director.
Charter Chief of Staff …
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Charter Chief of Staff Trevor Ivey distributed an agenda earlier this week and spoke Thursday to The Sumter Item.
Ivey said he expects the 11-member founding board to reach consensus on hiring a candidate for the executive director position at the meeting, but a name will not be revealed at that time, given contractual legal aspects of the offering process.
It's not known when a name could be made public, according to Ivey, but he said he certainly expects an announcement by next week, given the process of contractual negotiations. The person would start in the post by Aug. 1.
The special-called meeting will be at the Sumter Economic Development Office building, 110 E. Liberty St., in downtown Sumter. Ivey said board members will be practicing social distancing. In the spring, Sumter STEAM Charter agreed with Central Carolina Technical College that the college's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center on Broad Street would be its approved meeting location; however, given COVID-19, the college is still closed to the public. The county's Economic Development building has served as a temporary meeting space for the board.
The public is invited to attend the special-called meeting, and public participation is also listed on the agenda. Face masks and hand sanitizer will be provided, and individuals' temperatures will be checked at the door, Ivey said.
Generally, public participation isn't allowed at special-called meetings according to board policy, Ivey said, but the board welcomes input at this time into the hiring of an executive director.
"We are allowing public participation this time," Ivey said, "because we want to make sure there is an opportunity for anybody who still wants to provide input into the executive director position to do so."
There are two ways that the public can take part in public participation. One is arriving within the 30-minute window before the meeting begins and completing a public participation card. The second is via email to firstname.lastname@example.org for those who cannot physically be at the meeting.
When people email and provide their contact information, then their comments will be read aloud by the board secretary during the meeting as if they were physically present.
Each speaker is allowed three minutes during public participation, according to Ivey and the agenda.
Ivey noted the founding board received 171 community responses earlier this month when it asked for survey feedback on the four finalists for the executive director post. The four finalists were in town in mid-June for interviews with the board. The charter produced video interviews and profiles on each finalist that were posted on its website, given that COVID-19 prevented hosting a community-wide event for the public to meet the candidates.
The temporary office location will be for the charter's staff, board meetings and various community meetings for families starting in the fall.
Sumter STEAM Charter School plans to begin operations in the fall of 2021 with kindergarten and first-grade levels and an estimated 144 students.
After beginning in the 2021-22 school year, the school plans to eventually build out to 976 total students in grades preK-12.
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