Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome Mrs. Mohr to Dutch Fork High - New Staff Member Profile

Visual Arts Teacher, Mary Mohr
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I grew up in the Midwest (Poplar Bluff, MO and Marion, IL). I have a degree in architecture from Southern Illinois University. I worked at an architectural firm and taught at a community college before deciding to get my master's in art education. I recently graduated from the University of South Carolina. I have been married to my husband, Austin, for five years.

Why did you become a teacher?
I love being able to share my knowledge with students and watch their skills and confidence in visual arts grow.

What appealed to you about Dutch Fork High School?
Dutch Fork High School has the reputation of a place where great students worked hard and were successful. Now I know it's true!

Tell us some interesting about yourself?
My husband's and my birthday are only a day apart- I am nine hours older!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SAT Weekend Workshop

Junior and Senior Parents,

If you would like to see improvement in your child's SAT score, you will want to sign him/her up for the PowerScore SAT Weekend Workshop, which will be Oct. 8th and 9th. Your child will work with experts from 9:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. each day. The workshop guarantees a 150 point score increase (be sure to ask about this when you call to register)...which may be just what your child needs to qualify for scholarships or get into his/her college of choice! To register call 1-800-545-1750. Mention that your student attends DFHS and get the reduced rate/$150.

Welcome Mrs. Huckabee to Dutch Fork High - New Staff Member Profile

English Teacher, Stephanie Huckabee
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I did my student teaching in 1996 at Irmo High School and though I had a great experience there, I knew the minute I met some of the staff at DFHS that I wanted to be a part of the Silver Fox family. I began my teaching career in the English Department at DFHS in 1997 and after a couple of years in teaching, I entered the field of pharmaceutical sales. The company that hired me was recruiting teachers specifically as we are known to be incredibly organized and highly effective under pressure.

I've also been involved in the fitness industry since 1996 and spent some time focusing on workout video production, website marketing and television sales. Despite the success in other fields, I always felt like a little piece of me was missing. When my daughter entered her first year in our district, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to return to the classroom. I also knew that my goal was ultimately to return to DFHS.

Why did you become a teacher?
I went to college to become a broadcast news professional and along the way had roommates who were studying to become teachers. Though I enjoyed the work in the College of Journalism, I found myself often thinking of lesson ideas in context of teaching English after seeing their projects. The decision to go to graduate school to become an English teacher was a natural move for me. As an English teacher I'm able to do what I love most - teaching students the power of words and the benefits of communicating effectively with others through the written and spoken word.

What appealed to you about Dutch Fork High School?
Dutch Fork demands a level of professionalism among staff members at all levels of teaching. Whether you're teaching a struggling class or the brightest students, I believe that we as a staff honor one another with the respect our calling deserves. I love that our student body is diverse. I treasure the fact that in this one school we're charged with educating students from every end of the spectrum in abilities and resources so that they can graduate and take on the next challenge. And of course, we work hard, but we play hard too!

Tell us some interesting about yourself?I've choreographed and been the lead instructor for almost 30 workout videos for brands including the Firm, Weight Watchers and QVC and still have many titles on the market. Teaching fitness classes is my stress reliever and I'm also a certified personal trainer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Smiling Faces in Special Places @ Dutch Fork High

By: Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Assistant Principal for Instruction

As we embark upon another successful school year, we are reminded each day of the quality of our staff members at Dutch Fork High and in School District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties. To highlight all new teachers at Dutch Fork High, we are running a series in the Silver Fox Report entitled "Smiling Faces in Special Places." We will spotlight all new and returning teachers to our school and share some interesting information about them. To learn all about our new teachers, make sure you follow the Silver Fox Report!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dutch Fork High Meets Chris Crutcher

English Teacher Susan Aplin with Chris Crutcher
Several students and staff had an experience that will certainly extend the curriculum for Dutch Fork High. Recently at the Richland County Public Library, Dutch Fork High students, members of the Silver Screen Report, and staff members had the opportunity to listen to Chris Crutcher!  He is one of the most successful -- and most frequently banned -- authors of realistic fiction in the Young Adult industry, with 11 novels, two short story collections and one autobiography to his credit. His writing features teens coping with serious problems across a variety of topics. There were also two very eloquent high school students who spoke about their experiences with books and shared their thoughts on banning books.

An awesome experience for our students and staff!

Monday, September 26, 2011

All Clear!

At approximately 5:56pm, law enforcement officers completed their investigation, and determined that the campus (all buildings, parking lots, and adjacent fields) were clear and allowed all staff members to re-enter the building. Earlier this afternoon, the Richland County Sheriff's Department received a bomb threat of a credible nature through the emergency switchboard. In consultation with school officials, an order of evacuation was issued with teachers and students being moved to a safe distance (Dutch Fork Middle School) from the building. The response teams from the various state agencies worked aggressively to assess the extent of the threat and determined that the building was safe to re-enter.

We are thankful that students were never in any danger whatsoever. The precautions taken were in the best interest of all students and staff members. We appreciate the patience of all parents with the combined dismissals at both schools.


Dutch Fork High School has been evacuated because of an alleged bomb threat. All students have been relocated to Dutch Fork Middle School and are safe. Law Enforcement officials are assessing the building and we expect a decision shortly.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SAT Scores at Dutch Fork High

By: Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Assistant Principal for Instruction

Each fall, SAT scores are released by the CollegeBoard. This year, the composite average for Dutch Fork High is 1544. This is the combined average for the critical reading (515), mathematics (540), and writing (489) sections of the exam. Our composite average of 1544 remains seventeen points higher than the district average (1527), one-hundred eight points higher than the state of South Carolina Average (1436), and forty-four points higher than the national average (1500).

Last year, we set a goal for our school to continue to prepare students for experiences beyond our school walls. In order to do so, we wanted to increase the number  and percentage of test takers. Looking at figure 1.0 below, we were able to increase the number of test takers from 288 (2010) to 332 (2011). We also were able to increase the percentage of test takers (see figure 1.1) from sixty-five percent (2010) to seventy-five percent (2011).

Figure 1.0

Figure 1.1

Our three and five year comparative analyses indicate that we are consistently performing at a high level on the SAT (see figures 1.2 and 1.3 respectively).

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.3

While we remain positive, we are constantly looking for continuous improvement in all areas of standardized performance. Dutch Fork High personifies excellence in everything that we do and we will continue to work extremely hard in all aspects of our school and demonstrate that in our performance results.

We are extremely proud of our students, teachers, parents, and community for their continued academic excellence.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Interim Pick-Up Night - Monday September 26th at 5:00pm

By: Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Assistant Principal for Instruction

Dutch Fork High School will host the first of two Interim Pick-Up Nights for 2011-12 on Monday September 26, 2011 from 5:00-7:00pm. This event provides parents an opportunity to:

1. Meet all teachers
2. Familiarize yourself with your child's schedule
3. Check on your students academic progress/performance with teachers
4. Learn ways in which your child can get any needed assistance
5. Obtain registration materials for the "Parent Portal"
6. Speak to your child's counselor and/or administrator

All administrators, guidance personnel, and support staff will be available to answer all questions throughout the evening. Members of student council and the Teacher Cadets will be on hand to serve as guides for parents.

We would like to encourage all parents to join us on Monday September 26, 2011 beginning @ 5:00 pm for our first Interim Pick-Up Night!

Friday, September 16, 2011

College Fair + Academically Gifted Program Parent Night

By: Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Assistant Principal for Instruction

Dutch Fork High is hosting two very important events over the next two weeks. These are very important events for students and parents.

For Students
Juniors and Seniors (parents are welcome to attend) are invited to our annual College and University Fair. It will be held in the arena on Monday September 26, 2011 from 10:00 - 11:00am. Seniors are welcome from 10:00 - 10:30 and Juniors from 10:30 - 11:00. Approximately seventy college and university representatives will be available to answer questions and provide key information.

For Students and Parents

Parents of new and returning students to Advanced Placement and Honors classes are invited to our annual parent night on Monday, September 19, 2011, at 6:00 PM in the Dutch Fork High School Auditorium. Parents can ask questions about our programs and learn about the advantages and responsibilities of taking AP classes, what PAGE 5 means for your student, what opportunities—both academic and extra-curricular—are available, and, ask questions. College admissions officers will also be available for questions about preparing students for the college admissions process. We expect a very large turnout from our parents as we strive for continuous excellence.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dutch Fork High English Teachers Publish Article!

By: Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Assistant Principal for Instruction

Congratulations are in order to Mrs. Jessica Thur and Mrs. Deborah Gascon for an article publication entitled: “It’s Not About the Book: Finding Ways to Make Canonical Literature Approachable.” The article will be printed in the South Carolina English Teacher's Journal.  The issue will be distributed at the January, 2012 conference for the South Carolina Council of Teachers of English. This is yet another example of how teachers at Dutch Fork High are modeling authentic writing to encourage students to do the same. We are so proud of these teachers for their accomplishment.

Save The Date!

By: Monica Harvin, 9th Grade Counselor

Ninth grade parents mark your calendars for Thursday September 15, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. for a special program. Freshmen counselors will provide pertinent information to assist with the transition to high school while enjoying some delightful refreshments. For further details you may contact your student's guidance counselor. Trina Offing is the 9th Grade Counselor for students with last names A-L and Monica Harvin is the 9th Grade Counselor for students with last names M-Z. We look forward to seeing you and your student for this informative event in our Senior Cafeteria on the night of September 15th.

Friday, September 2, 2011

ACT Scores Released!

By: Robert S. Jackson, Ed.S., Assistant Principal for Instruction

Our ACT scores have been released for 2011. The ACT is a national college admissions test that examines a student’s ability and knowledge of four key subject categories:

• English
• Mathematics
• Reading
• Science

ACT scores (along with an applicant’s high school grades, curriculum, and class rank) are the largest determinants into whether a college will accept an applicant. The ACT test is based out of 36 points, with scores ranging from 1 to 36. The average ACT score of all 1.4 million test takers nationwide remains consistent from year to year, and was just above 21.1 in 2011. Almost 30% of ACT takers score between a 19 and 23. 55% of all ACT takers score between 17 and 25. The ACT is accepted by all four year colleges and universities located across the country.

At Dutch Fork High, 47.2% (215 students) of the class of 2011 attempted the ACT at least once during their sophomore, junior, or senior years and received a composite average of 22.9. This remains higher than the district average of 22.7, state average of 19.9, and national average of 21.1.

Getting a high ACT score can mean thousands of dollars in scholarships for college. For high school students, taking the ACT is one of the critical elements of the college admissions process. Receiving a High ACT score qualifies a student for many scholarship opportunities. Post Secondary Institutions give a large amount of weighting to college entrance exams, such as the ACT. For example, the University of South Carolina accepted Seventy-five percent of admitted fall 2011 freshmen who scored a 24 or higher on the ACT, and also earned a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. AT USC, admissions consideration requires excellent high-school grades and strong scores on the ACT. Higher ACT scores may offset grades or vice versa. Fifty percent of fall 2011 honors freshmen received scores between 31 and 33 on the ACT.

Taking the ACT is one of the most important parts of the college admissions process. Make sure you achieve a high ACT score, and you will be able to get into many of the prestigious colleges and universities across the country and qualify for many scholarships. Do not underestimate the importance of a high ACT score. Take your preparations for this admissions exam seriously while you are enrolled in the appropriate classes that will better prepare you for your college experience. Doing so, will inevitably prepare you for a lifetime of academic and personal achievements.