The Aiken County school board adjusts end of semester testing policy; Christmas bonuses approved


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County school board members making a lot of decisions Tuesday night with one being to not count semester exams as 20% of a student’s grade.

“We were concerned that students in virtual and students in face-to-face were working off of different rules,” said Superintendent King Laurence.

Aiken County students enrolled in South Carolina virtual do not have to take a semester exam. School leaders want to even things up. 

Superintendent Laurence explained, “When you’re looking at class rank when you’re looking at GPA when you’re looking at scholarship opportunities, we would just prefer that all of our students be on a level playing field.”

The school board also approved Christmas bonuses. Right now, the state has put a hold on teacher pay raises but Christmas bonuses for Aiken County teachers will happen.

“This gives us the opportunity to say to all of our employees you are appreciated. We want you to know that. We can’t do the things that we wanted to able to do for you, which was to give you your well-deserved step increase, but we can show you as a Christmas bonus,” said Superintendent Laurence.

Monday, middle and high schoolers on a hybrid schedule returned to four days of in-person instruction. The plan is to have all hybrid students back on their regular schedules on November 3.

Superintendent King Laurence also has more goals for students.

He said, “Whatever it is, we got to make sure they’re ready for it so all of my goals go into that primary desire that all of our students be ready.”

The Aiken County school board will meet again on November 17. Four board members are up for reelection.

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