Lexington School District Two Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade was the featured speaker at the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber Breakfast, Tuesday at Stone River in West Columbia. Wade took over as superintendent in 2020, in the middle of the COVID Pandemic.
“We’re proud of how the district addressed and handled COVID,” Wade said. He said it was easy to get stuck in the COVID crisis, but the district had to figure out a way to navigate through COVID and ensure progress. Wade noted that Lexington Schools didn’t close in January during the Omicron variant of COVID.
“We’ve made the best decision, he said, “at the time, to keep our schools open. We made it work and provided some semblance of consistency.” Wade said the district strives to be transparent and he remains accessible to talk to anyone, because communication is important.
Wade also spoke about Lex 2.5, the district’s after school program that helps students with reading, math, English and homework organization. He said the program is “very successful” and in demand from many families.
Lexington Two has also brought in a dozen social workers to help students cope post-COVID with issues including stress, anxiety, grief, and depression. He said the effort saves lives.
Because of the growth in the number of new students coming into Lexington Two, the district, Wade said, now employs four interpreters who teach English as a second language. “Teachers are enthusiastic,” he said of the work of the interpreters, and it has done a “world of good.”
Other district initiatives Wade discussed are:
- Upgrading technology to prevent Internet outages and increase the quality of virtual services
- Equity in funds for each school and the teachers
- Equity in funding for Airport and Brookland-Cayce High Schools athletic programs
- Progress on the district’s performing arts center, scheduled for completion in Jan. 2024
- Internet access to school board meeting agendas via Board Docs
- Planned overhaul of the Lexington Two Website
- A planned published newsletter and a planned Podcast
- 130 job-seekers at the Lexington Two Recruitment Fair (some have already been hired)
- Process for curriculum consistency in each classroom at each school
- Standards-based grading
- Planned Lex Two Launch, a K-12 Accelerated learning Program
- A long-range capital-improvement plan
- Addressing growth, especially in the Springdale and Pine Ridge areas
- Addressing attendance levels