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As the school district is coming up on budget retreat time, the curriculum committee is looking at adding a few costs to the budget this year to benefit cosmetology, esthetics, and band students. 

These programs may get a little more help with their programs from the district in the coming months if the school board passes their new suggestions at the next board meeting on Jan. 27. 

Sherrie Todd, district 1 member and curriculum committee chair, suggested that the district pay for the fees for cosmetology and esthetics students.

Cosmetology students face a $650 fee and esthetics are asked to pay $450, which includes their book, kit, and state testing. 

“That’s a lot of money, and we’re missing out on some great students,” Todd said, noting that those students who could be really talented in those areas might end up doing something else due to the extra cost. 

Currently the state limits how many students in those subjects are in each class, putting a cap at 20 students per teacher, but Todd said there is always a waiting list and she would like to try adding cosmetology and esthetics at other sites beyond the Academy of Technology and Academics. 

Currently with the number of students in those classes, paying for those fees would cost the district approximately $35,000.

Chairman Ken Richardson was all for taking on those fees.

“Isn’t that what we spend for one person?” Richardson said, bringing up the costs to the district for the college credit courses that are offered through some schools like the Scholars Academy.

Boone Myrick estimated for Richardson that the district does pay around $300 for each college course offered for those students.

District 5 member Janice Morreale concurred.

“This is similar to the dual credit classes we do,” Morreale said. “If we’re giving more children an opportunity…”

Todd said the cosmetology program was previously offered at Socastee High School and St. James High School, and she’d like to look at the process of offering at another building again. 

“Our goal is to be S.C. career ready … by the time they leave high school [through these programs] they have jobs,” Todd said. “It’s a career you can use in so many things.”

Band uniforms

Morreale moved on to discuss the state of some very aged band uniforms in the district, including the 29-year-old ones at Myrtle Beach High School. Carolina Forest falls just behind that with 21-year-old frocks for their band. 

She would like to ask the school board to pay for new uniforms for the high schools in the district on a rotating basis, which they would have on a pre-set schedule. 

Fine Arts Director Scott Scrivner worked with Morreale to canvas the districts in the state that pay for their schools’ band uniforms. Some of those included Greenville, Florence, and Richland 1 and 2. 

“There seems to be a theme for that – they pay for them at a yearly rotation,” Morreale said.

Scrivner said the uniforms all have about a nine or ten-year lifespan. 

Morreale said the cost to replace a school’s uniform each year would not exceed $75,000, considering that some school’s bands are quite large, and some don’t have as many students. 

She also is proposing to pay for five cleanings per year, as the vast majority of the uniforms require dry cleaning. This cost would not exceed $35,000 each year.

Lastly, she would like to look at spending no more than $45,000 to pay for transportation to away games and in-district band events.

The total cost each year would be no more than $155,000 each year. 

Morreale asked Scrivner to come up with some more detailed information to share with the full board to aid in their decision. 

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