JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – The Florence County School District Five Board of Trustees approved the second reading Monday of its proposed general fund budget for 2019-20.

District Superintendent Randy Smiley said the proposed budget totals $10,012,330. The budget includes a 4 percent raise for certified employees and 2 percent raise for classified employees. There is no change to the millage rate.

At Monday’s meeting, the board also voted to appoint Chris Marsh to the board. He will serve Holly Wall’s unexpired term. It was announced at March’s school board meeting that Wall had resigned from the board because of a new opportunity as a magistrate judge. Wall served on the board for more than 10 years.

District Five board member Richard Sanders said Marsh previously served as a board member but resigned because he moved out of his district. He said the board wanted to appoint someone with experience to serve Wall’s unexpired term.

“He was our chair, a very good board member, as solid as they came,” Sanders said.

Eighteen students have signed up for the district’s summer reading camp, according to administrator Beth Snowden. She said eight second-grade students and 10 third-graders have signed up to participate.

“We just got our preliminary third-grade reading scores back from SC Ready,” Snowden said. “Based on the preliminary scores, it looks like we only have two children who will qualify for third grade retention and don’t have an exemption because of other circumstances.”

Snowden said having only two students qualify for third grade retention is a good thing, and both of them have signed up for the summer reading camp.

The camp will begin next week and be held for two hours after school until school is out for the summer. Then, the camp will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week, Snowden said.

Johnsonville Middle School administrators gave an update on the school’s progress and said students are improving in several areas and have been recognized for their participation in organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Junior Beta Club, academic challenge and sports.

Johnsonville High School Principal Sam Tuten said the school was recently ranked No. 71 out of 235 schools in South Carolina in a U.S. News & World Report.

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