Dorchester School District Two starts 2020-2021 school year with new initiatives | Education

With the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Dorchester School District Two has implemented a new technology plan to provide instructional resources for students and teachers.

Plans are also underway for construction of a middle school in the Beech Hill area to alleviate overcrowding in district middle schools.

As district neared the start of a new replacement cycle for technology equipment this year, technology plans were developed to modernize the use of technology that included the following:

>Updated security cameras for schools.

>Individual electronic devices for all students to support learning in classrooms and at home.

>Interactive flat panels for classroom instruction.

Not only will this initiative benefit the instructional programs, but it will allow the district to convert school computer labs to much needed classrooms in all schools, according to a statement provided to the Journal Scene on Friday.

Conversion of these standalone computer labs is a cost effective way to add a total of 111 classrooms throughout the district, district officials said.

Construction of the new middle school will begin in 2021 and will be funded through a combination of impact fees and the issuance of bonds.

Funding for the technology updates and the new middle school is provided through issuing bonds up to the district’s legal debt limit of 8 percent of the assessed value of all school district property.

This method of generating needed funds is allowable under Section 15, article X of the South Carolina Constitution, district officials stated.

The debt repayment will be funded through increased millage of 11 mills for homeowners and businesses zoned in the Dorchester School District Two area.

To reduce the impact of the millage increase for taxpayers, Dorchester County is working with the school district to spread the millage increase over a two-year period, officials stated.

Tax bills will reflect a 5.5 millage increase on tax bills this fall and a 5.5 increase in 2021. The 5.5 mill increase would impact taxes as follows:

$100,000 owner occupied residence: $22

$100,000 non-owner occupied property: $33

$20,000 private passenger vehicle: $6.60

Source: Dorchester School District Two

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