Robin Cox named new principal of Ravenel Elementary

posted Jun 30, 2020, 12:58 PM by Oconee Google

At a special called board meeting held on June 30, 2020, the Board of Trustees for the School District of Oconee County approved the hiring of Mrs. Robin Cox as principal of Ravenel Elementary School.  Mrs. Cox had previously served as Assistant Principal at Ravenel Elementary School for the past 4 years, and the 2020-2021 school year will begin her 21st year in public education.

Mrs. Cox added, "My vision is to continue leading Ravenel to be the best by preparing our students for continued success in their academic growth.  With that, I will be diligent to support students as well as faculty and staff, parents, and community in all aspects of education."  While reflecting on this hire, Dr. Thorsland added, "I am thrilled that Robin Cox will be leading Ravenel Elementary.  She is an extremely hard worker who always has the best interest of students and teachers in mind."

Walhalla High School named Green Steps Certified School

posted Jun 25, 2020, 12:42 PM by Oconee Google

The South Carolina Green Steps School's program was created in 2003 as part of South Carolina's Resource Conservation Challenge.  Green Steps is an environmental statewide educational initiative that encourages schools to take annual steps toward establishing and maintaining model quality and sustainability projects.  To earn a "certified" designation, school teams must establish and maintain two projects for each of the three categories:  conservation, protection and restoration.  To qualify, schools must work with qualified project mentors and submit documentation of students learning, doing and teaching others about their projects.

Over the past three years, Walhalla High School's Green Steps team, lead by science teacher Amanda Gladys, has developed a comprehensive recycling program, composting initiative, water quality monitoring program, honeybee monitoring program, established and expanded pollinator gardens on campus, lead "leave no trace" education, share table awareness and an upcycling initiative.

Ms. Gladys said, "At Walhalla High School, we believe it is our responsibility to offer our students the opportunity to be part of the solution through action."  Mr. Steve Garrett, principal of Walhalla High School, said, "It amazes me to see people so dedicated to a cause.  Amanda Gladys and the entire Green Steps Team are truly amazing.  Their passion for the environment and educating others on how we all can do our part to support our community's environmental health is a credit to Walhalla High School and Oconee County."

Oconee Adult Education Information for 2020-2021 School Year

posted Jun 25, 2020, 12:34 PM by Oconee Google

School District of Oconee County
Oconee Adult Education is excited to announce a new location for the 2020-2021 school year.  We will be located at the Bountyland Education Campus, formerly known as the Hamilton Career Center.  Persons who do not currently hold a High School Diploma or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED/GED©) or those interested in taking ESL (English as a Second Language) classes are encouraged to register for the new school year at the Bountyland Education Campus on August 10th, 11th or 12th from 9:00 am until 1:30 pm.  ESL classes will be offered at the Bountyland Education Campus as well as in Walhalla (177 Razorback Lane).

During the registration process, students will:
  • Provide one of the following:  valid SC driver's license, SC ID, or US Passport
  • Complete registration forms
  • Complete high school transcript request form
  • Register to meet with a Palmetto Youth Connections Counselor or Seneca SC Works Coordinator to determine if financial assistance is available to pay for registration and course fees.
  • Meet with bookkeeper to satisfy any fees ($45.00 registration fee for 1st session).  Persons qualifying for SNAP will work with the bookkeeper at this time to establish possible qualification.  Persons may also qualify for financial assistance to pay for registration and classes.
  • Meet with an ESL instructor (For those registering for ESL classes)
Orientation for Diploma and HSED (GED©) Classes
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, August 17th - 19th, from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm or 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Orientation will include a preview of the Adult Educational program, introduction to community members who may be able to help with financial assistance for Adult Education, meetings with possible employers as well as hear information from Tri-County Technical College.  Students will receive a login for Adult Education associated with a personal email account, WIN login, and GED login.  Students will also take a TABE pre-assessment (Test of Adult Basic Education) and will choose a specific time of day they will attend classes.  Class times offered are:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm or 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm.  ESL students will begin meeting with their ESL instructor (Seneca or Walhalla campus) on Monday, August 17th.  ESL instructors will communicate class times.

Classroom Instruction will begin class on Monday, August 24th

Please be aware that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be changes made to the above information regarding dates and times of classes.  Oconee Adult Education will communicate changes as soon as they are made.

Oconee Adult Education
Bountyland Education Campus
100 Vocational Drive, Seneca, SC  29672

School Board of Trustees Election - November 3, 2020

posted Jun 25, 2020, 7:20 AM by Oconee Google

School District of Oconee County
Three School Board Trustee Seats - District II, IV and V will be filled in the November 3, 2020 Election.  These are 4-year terms that will begin November 2020 and end November 2024.  The election will be advertised by the Oconee County Election Commission 60 days prior to the election.  The candidates will run from the respective council district in which they reside and will be voted on by residents in that district only.

The official filing date will begin Monday, July 27, 2020 at 8:00 am and end Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 12:00 noon.  Persons wishing to file for Seats II, IV or V may obtain a filing packet from the Oconee County School District Superintendent's Office.  For further information, please contact Shannon Gibson via email at or by phone (886-4400 x5717).

School Board extends Superintendent's contract

posted Jun 16, 2020, 4:24 AM by Oconee Google

School District of Oconee County
During Executive Session at a board meeting Monday, June 15, 2020, members of the school board voted to extend the contract of Dr. Michael Thorsland through June 30, 2025.

Mr. Jerry Lee, on behalf of the board, stated, "Dr. Thorsland scored proficient or exemplary in all areas and the board is well pleased with his performance.  His primary focus is always the children.  Dr. Thorsland and his team have done an excellent job in the instructional leadership area.  Under very trying and unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a distance learning plan, as well as plans for student meals, were implemented in just days.  I firmly believe our distance learning was one of the best in the state.  His personal qualities and ethics are unquestionable.  He is highly respected throughout the community and maintains an excellent relationship with us as a board."

Any salary adjustment will be addressed by the board after the approval of a state budget for 2020-2021.

SDOC Class of 2020 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

posted Jun 2, 2020, 7:09 AM by Oconee Google

Seneca High School Valedictorian - Ellie Cannon
Ellie is the daughter of Phil and Rachel Cannon, and sister to Sally.  As a student at SHS, she was involved in Band, Chorus, Beta Club, National Honors Society, and Future Farmers of America.  Ellie was named a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipient, and she was named a Rotary Scholar every year of middle and high school.  Next year, Ellie plans to attend Clemson University to study Communication.

Walhalla High School Valedictorian - Adam Thorsland
Adam is the son of Michael and Denise Thorsland and brother to John, Abby, and Emma.  While at WHS, Adam lettered in football, basketball, and soccer.  He was president of Mu Alpha Theta and an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society.  He was named a South Carolina High School League scholar, a four-year Rotary Scholar, a South Carolina High Honor Graduate, a recipient of the South Carolina Academic Honor Diploma, and a Palmetto Fellows Scholar.  Adam was also named a National Merit Scholar Finalist.  Adam will be attending the University of Alabama and is planning to major in Engineering.

West-Oak High School Valedictorian - Cooper Ratliff
Cooper is the son of Jay and Carrie Ratliff, and brother to Price and Cade.  He is a Palmetto Fellows and Rotary Scholarship recipient.  Cooper is the Student Body President and is on the Superintendent's Advisory Council.  He received the Warrior Leadership, Principal's Leadership, West Point Leadership, and the U.S. Marine Corps' Scholastic Excellence Awards.  Cooper attended Palmetto Boys State and was a High School Heisman school winner.  He served as the treasurer of BETA Club and National Spanish Honor Society.  He is a member of Interact and National Honor Society.  Cooper played football, basketball, and tennis.  He was a varsity basketball captain and received the Tri-County Tip-Off Club Academic, Academic-All Region, Basketball Scholar, and the Tennis "All-In" Awards.  Cooper is a member of Earle's Grove Baptist Church and is active in Young Life.  In the fall, Cooper will attend Clemson University and major in Engineering.
Seneca High School Salutatorian - Tyson Gentry
Tyson is the son of Jason and Stephanie Gentry.  During high school, Tyson has received the Rotary Scholars award 7th - 12th grade, has been recognized as an AP scholar with Honor, and has maintained all A's each year.  Tyson has also played varsity golf since the 7th grade.  He was the 2019 Region Player of the Year, a 2019 State Championship Qualifier, and the Bobcats Golf MVP in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons.  Tyson has been a part of the National Honors Society, Beta Club, and Student Government throughout his time at SHS.  Tyson is also very proud and fond of his participation in the AP Capstone program, as well as his participation in two AP visual arts classes.

Walhalla High School Salutatorian - Savannah Rex
Savannah is the daughter of Tyler and Heidi Rex and sister to Mackenzie, Christian, and Jackson.  While at WHS, Savannah lettered in cross country and track and was a member of the 2019 State Champion 4x800 relay team.  She was student body vice-president and treasurer of the Anchor Club.  Savannah was an active member of Mu Alpha Theta, the Beta Club, and the National Honor Society.  She was named a South Carolina High School league scholar, a four-year Rotary Scholar, a South Carolina High Honor Graduate, a recipient of the South Carolina Academic Honor Diploma, and a Palmetto Fellows Scholar.  Savannah will be attending Brigham Young University and is planning to major in Physiology and Developmental Biology in order to attend medical school.

West-Oak High School Salutatorian - Linley Nelson
Linley is the daughter of Mark and Natalie Nelson.  Linley  has been recognized as a Rotary Scholar six times during her middle and high school years.  She was a 2019 delegate to Palmetto Girls State and the recipient of a Girls State Scholarship.  Linley also participated in the Palmetto Girls State and the recipient of a Girls State Scholarship.  Linley also participated in the 2018-2019 Junior Leadership Oconee program.  She has participated in the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, Key Club, and the student council during her time at West-Oak.  Linley plays the alto saxophone and has been very active in the West-Oak band program since sixth grade.  She has been recognized as a member of the All-County Band and has participated in the award-winning Marching Warriors for the past four years.  Linley is looking forward to furthering her education at North Greenville University.

Virtual Summer 2020 Course Offerings

posted May 4, 2020, 7:17 AM by Oconee Google

School District of Oconee County

The School District of Oconee County is excited to announce a new partnership with VirtualSC that will allow us to provide a new and exciting opportunity for students to meet graduation credit requirements outside of the traditional setting.  We will now offer online learning opportunities that are taught by SDOC teachers.  This is a great opportunity for high school students to catch up to their peers, graduate early, or meet individual scheduling constraints.  For more information, click HERE.

Letter to Families of Students with Individualized Education Plans

posted Apr 2, 2020, 4:11 PM by Oconee Google   [ updated Apr 3, 2020, 11:51 AM ]

School District of Oconee County

This letter provides valuable information to families of students with disabilities regarding special education services during school closure.  Click HERE to access.

Haga click AQUI para Espanol

SDOC Math Madness Event Cancelled

posted Mar 12, 2020, 9:58 AM by Oconee Google

School District of Oconee County
Out of an abundance of caution in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, school district leadership has decided to cancel the Math Madness event scheduled for Saturday, March 14th.  This decision was made to best protect the health and safety of the more than 700 students, siblings, parents, grandparents, and others including SDOC staff that gather together to participate and cheer on the competitors.  We appreciate all the efforts of staff, students and families to prepare and look forward to hosting this great event again next year.

Coronavirus FAQ - 3/12/2020

posted Mar 12, 2020, 6:20 AM by Oconee Google   [ updated Mar 12, 2020, 11:03 AM ]

Due to the rapidly changing situation, these answers may change at any point.

Q. Do you plan to close schools for an extended length of time?
A. Any decision to close schools will be made in consultation with DHEC, the SC Department of Education
(SCDOE) and the Governor’s office. At the current time, the SCDOE has not recommended closing schools.

Q. If schools close, will there be any e-learning like other districts do on inclement weather days?
A. Discussions on how to best meet the instructional needs of students in the event of an extended closure are
happening now. Our instructional department is working on a plan to provide alternate methods of instruction
for students during a closure to help minimize impact on student learning. We are aware that some in our district
do not have home internet access. Therefore, we understand the need to develop ways to provide extra
instruction for those students upon return to school.

Q. Will we have to make up the days if schools close?
A. That decision would come from the SCDOE and the legislature. We would anticipate they would work with
local districts in a similar way as when we miss more than normal days for weather issues.

Q. What about school events like concerts, athletics, field trips, and others?
A. At this time, DHEC and the SCDOE are not recommending canceling school activities, events or field trips.
This is being closely monitored and we are in contact with both agencies to keep up to date of any new protocols
for our schools. As the situation evolves, SDOC may cancel trips based on travel advisories from the CDC. As
always, parents reserve the right to limit their children's participation in field trips due to safety concerns. SDOC
cannot guarantee refunds on prepaid travel expenses. However, we have asked trip organizers to reach out to
travel partners in regards to possible refunds if cancellation is necessary.

Q. I’m traveling for spring break, should I go?
A. Each individual family will need to make their own travel decisions. It is possible that you may have to self-
quarantine upon return based on CDC Travel Health Notices or directives from a state or federal agency. As of
today, CDC Level 3 nations, (which would require self-quarantine) includes China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
This means that a student or employee who has traveled to or lives with people who have traveled to one of
those areas are required to self-quarantine and will not be permitted to attend school until the 14-day quarantine
period passes. Additionally, those individuals who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with
COVID-19 are expected to self-quarantine and refrain from attending school for 14 days from the day of last

Both the CDC and the US State Department have given specific advisories for cruise ship travel. Both agencies
have advised US citizens against traveling by cruise ship during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially those with
underlying health conditions. For those who have been on a cruise ship, the CDC recommends monitoring your
health, limiting your interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S. In addition, if a case of COVID-
19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, you will be required to stay home during these 14 days and
practice social distancing. Please visit the following sites for more information

Q. I’m an employee, will I have to use annual leave if I have to quarantine or test positive for COVID-19?
A. It is our understanding at this time that employees would need to use annual leave days. However, there
has been discussion of federal intervention to come alongside individuals and families affected by the virus. We
will comply with any federal or state directive concerning time away from work due to COVID-19.

Q. If I choose not to send my child to school due to concern about the virus, will those days be excused?
A. We encourage parents to be cautious in keeping students at home at this point considering there are no cases in our local area.  With that being said, we do have students, or family members of students, with compromised immune systems or other health concerns that are at higher risk than most.  In light of this, the decision on whether missed days would be excused will have to be made on a case by case basis.

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