By Al Dozier

As Lexington-Richland District 5 copes with enrollment shifts and crowded schools it may hire a professional consulting business to plan for the future.

The board heard a presentation at Monday’s meeting from Mike Zuma of Milone & MacBroom, a Connecticut-based civil engineering and landscape architecture firm that has experience providing those services to schools in the Midlands area and throughout the nation.

Zuma said his company has performed 15 enrollment and demographics studies, 21 redistricting plans and 24 long-range facilities plans for various school districts.

He said his project team “will align your facilities with your community,” and develop redistricting alternatives. The project would include an on-line computer presence, community workshops and public meetings.

The cost of the service has not been announced. District officials said the board would have to consider a contract for the services in an executive session.

During the meeting’s School Board Spotlight period, a presentation was made on Project Search, a program sponsored by Prisma Health for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The district has worked with Prisma Health and the S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation since 2015 on the project.

Business leaders help foster the program, which has prompted job offers this year for students enrolled in the program. Leaders of the program and student participants were recognized during the presentation.

The district’s Summer Reading Camp was recognized during the superintendent’s report as a successful project.

The five-week camp housed at Harbison West Elementary School included independent reading, assisted reading, writing workshops, and access to books. Educators say the camp focused on improving reading skills but also gave students tools to help them become lifelong learners.

This year’s camp included a total of 46 students: 38 third-graders and eight second-graders.

The program included five different summer feeding sites. A grant from The United Way provided students with backpacks and tee-shirts.

In other action the board gave first reading approval to school policy upgrades recommended by the state on Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations, and on rules relating to staff recruitment. The board also approved revisions to board policy on “ntraDistrict transfer and Withdrawal.

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