FLORENCE, S.C. – The Fellows in Education gathered Tuesday at Theodore Lester Elementary School during their February meeting.

Fellows in Education is a program sponsored by The School Foundation, Florence One Schools and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

During the presentation, Theodore Lester Elementary School Principal Janette Williams informed the fellows about the school’s demographics, such as having one-third of the students in special education. She said this can be a challenge for the school in recruiting new teachers.

“It’s more difficult to get teachers to come to schools like Lester,” Williams said. “They see the population and don’t want to come here. They want to go to schools that don’t present as many challenges.”

Williams also said a lack of parent involvement is a challenge for the school.

Williams talked about a robot called Milo that the school uses with autistic students, which the fellows got to see during their tour.

“The more they look at Milo, we’ve found that they’ve been communicating more with people,” Williams said. “They make eye contact more.”

Fellows also learned about student clubs at Theodore Lester Elementary School, such as Track, the Young Gentleman’s Club and Student Council.

Yulaundra Heyward, who is retired from Francis Marion University, said after touring the school that she was impressed with the teachers at Lester Elementary but was concerned with the number of children in each classroom with autism or a disability.

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