Barnwell School District 45 is committed to preparing students for lifelong success by promoting individualized learning experiences. The core values that drive us each day are Innovation, Integrity, Investment, and Community. As a district, we value continuous improvement and we believe that education is a shared responsibility of the student, the school, the home, and the community. Barnwell School District 45 views the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate as a shared vision of the knowledge, skills, and characteristics needed for our students to be successful in their future pathways, whether that be college or career.
March 16, 2020 was a day that brought about so many changes for our schools across the state. As we have reflected back upon what has happened since our first day of school closure over a year ago, we are in awe of our staff and what they have continued to do to provide for our students and support our families. We remember meeting with the administrators on March 13, 2020 and reviewing the plan we were going to have ready to put into place if we needed to activate it in the coming weeks. Little did we know that schools would close across the state the following Sunday. It was this day that our food service and transportation staff delivered breakfast and lunch to students across our community, ready to feed our children in this new and different way at a moment’s notice. It was this day a year ago that our teachers, support staff, and administrators quickly put into place our distance learning plan so students could begin right away with this new way of learning and not miss a day of instruction. It was this day a year ago that everyone pitched in doing whatever was needed in our schools and across the district to transition as smoothly as possible into a new way of life. As a community, we talked many times about the new challenges we would face. Everyone working together made it happen.
In the local newspaper in August were the following words, “In a time of uncertainty, one thing is for certain: we have an incredible community and wonderfully supportive businesses, organizations, and stakeholders. We feel our Barnwell community has been supporting our school families with well-wishes, thoughts, and prayers. We are grateful to be in Barnwell, and we are fortunate we have local businesses, organizations, and individuals who care so deeply about our school district and our children.” How true this is! We have seen, over the past year, our community, organizations, district alumni classes, churches, and many other civic groups reach out to the district and provide support in so many ways.
To our parents and families, thank you for working with us and your children to allow them to continue to learn and collaborating with us to implement safety measures so our students could attend school five days a week from the start of the school year. You have always been our partners in educating your children, and that has become so much stronger throughout the pandemic. You are amazing, and we thank you for your support!
As a district, we continue to thank our stakeholders and Barnwell 45 Family for their continued support of our schools. We feel our people are our greatest resources, and this includes not only our students but also our staff, our families, and our community members. We are grateful to live in a community that wraps their arms around our schools and partners with us to help our students be successful and grow academically, emotionally, and socially. Our district takes very seriously our responsibility to prepare our students for their future, and we continually seek ways to provide increased opportunities for the students in Barnwell School District 45. That has been no different during the pandemic as we continued to seek partnerships to benefit our students, including piloting ABii Robots as part of a research study with Van Robotics and expanding our early childhood opportunities. Working together with our stakeholders, our community, and our families, we take great pride in assisting our students as they grow and develop into our future South Carolina graduates and leaders.
At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we shared the following quote, “In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.” We have repeated those words so many times this past year – as we have faced decisions we thought we would never have to make, as we have analyzed the data to determine learning loss during the closure, as we have implemented new safety measures and protocols to address the many challenges Covid-19 has brought, and so many other times. While no one ever could have imagined this is how the last year would have gone and we wish with all our hearts that our world had not faced what it has had to endure, it is so uplifting to see how our district family came together during this time. We thank everyone, from our students to our families to our staff members, for their resilience and flexibility during the uncertainty we have faced.