Richland Two urges for a safe 2023-2024 school year

Students in Richland County School District Two return to the classroom on August 8 with a new Superintendent and some significant security changes.
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 5:56 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - More than 27,000 students in Richland County School District Two will return to the classroom on August 8.

Students will begin the school year with a new Superintendent and some significant security changes.

The district will also start the new year with a brand new superintendent, Dr. Kim Moore. There are also big security changes,  screenings with metal detectors will now be a daily reality in Richland Two’s five high schools, like many other school districts in South Carolina, Richland Two is dealing with a shortage of teachers.

Richland Two’s Senior Chief Officer of Communications Greg Turchetta said that the number of teachers is constantly moving as the school year approaches.

”The numbers this morning are 89 teachers for right now, said Turchetta. We have 17 High Schools, 43 Middle, and 29 Elementary. We’re constantly hiring and we have people resigning in the last couple of days. The number is always moving.”

Retaining bus drivers has also been a problem for school districts across the Palmetto State. Richland Two retained 95% of their drivers heading into the school year. Richland Two will also implement a new crisis alert badge system for all faculty and teachers to help assist students throughout the school year.

When it comes to safety, the district has implemented new badges to help teachers, staff, and students stay aware during a time of crisis. Turchetta explained how the alert badges work to help students be safe during school emergencies. If you push that button three times, it sends an alert to school staff, said Turchetta. If it is pushed eight times, it puts the school in a full-fledged lockdown, it calls 9-1-1 and deputies are on their way.

The point is as obvious as it sounds. It will cut response time down in an actual incident, you can save lives. Whether it’s safety screening stations, crisis alert badges, or school resource officers, Turchetta emphasized that it’s all worth protecting students and making the campuses safe throughout the school year, parents should be aware that the safety screening stations will be at the main entrances of every high school.

There are multiple morning entrance points that are run throughout the day.

Any student drivers and car riders will need to arrive early as the line wait times could be longStudents will need to remove computers, binders, and metal of book bags before entering the school.

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