FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence School District One hosted its annual professional practices conference to help prepare teachers and staff for the upcoming school year.
It is the second year more than 1,500 people converged on the campus of South Florence High School and the first time Florence One invited Florence School District Two to join the conference.
"However we can help everybody, we will, and being the biggest district we have a few more resources available and that to me is bridging the gaps and working together and make it beneficial for the one in the seat in the classroom," said Bryan Chapman, a FSD1 board member.
The professional practices conference is organized by school district coordinators, the technology department and falls under the direction of the assistant superintendent of instruction, Dr. Randy Koon.
There are over 250 breakout sessions led by district-wide administrators and also presenters on the national, state and local level. Katrina Rouse, the social studies coordinator for FSD1, helped put on the conference and believes it sets the district apart in a very beneficial way, and shows parents they are doing what's best for the kids too.
"We are trying to reach all our teachers' needs and we listen to them. So, if a teacher says, 'You know, I would really like to see a session on teacher development next year,' then we will do our best that we meet the needs of all of our people here in the district," said Rouse.
The different agencies invited to attend include the Southern Regional Education Board, the State Department of Education consultants, Discovery Education, Francis Marion University, law enforcement and child advocacy agencies.
"The best session I went to was using Google in the classroom and we learned about virtual field trips with the new technology they have that's offered right now," said Zac Calcutt, a Montessori teacher at McLaurin Elementary School. "Downfall is funding, and having the technology and equipment available in schools, but the possibilities are endless."
Calcutt said he prefers this year's style of conference instead of previous years, when it was held at the Florence Civic Center.
"A lot of times you can't really take on what's going on, but this is a hands-on approach," Calcutt said. "You can pick and choose from a wide variety of things that fit for each teacher, each age group and school. It's great to have a district that supports us."