I got home early tonight and noticed Dr. Berg and Buddy Price were on Wistv.com Live! Figured I’d shoot them a quick note and also see how it was going. Turns out we had several folks in the area with questions and comments. I appreciate Dr. Berg and Buddy making theirselves available on line and thought if you missed it, you would want to see what’s on everyone’s mind.

4:48 WIS: Good evening and welcome to WIStv.com Live! Tonight, we have Buddy Price and Superintendent Dr. Herb Berg from Lexington/Richland District 5 . They’ll be answering your questions about district issues. We will begin at 5pm!

5:00 [Comment From RSES Parent]
Why do we not have hand sanitizer in the classroom during this flu season?

5:04 [Comment From DFHSparent]
Do you have measures in place to help prevent the spread of swine flu?

5:08 [Comment From DFMS]
Why did you not give the parents an option to purchase agendas? If it was not in the budget, parents would have purchased.

5:11 [Comment From CRMS and DFMS parent]Why do the buses seem to be more overcrowded this year and why are the bus routes longer. It feels like my CRMS child is going to be spending more time on the bus than in class this year.

5:11 [Comment From DFHS PARENT]
Can you explain the computer issues causing some students (my child) to miss the first 2 days of school due to having NO schedule?
5:16 Dr. Herb Berg:
To: DFHS Parent
The school district has converted to a new system and today the system went down but is expected to run normally tomorrow.

5:17 Dr. Herb Berg: To DFHS Parent regarding buses
This was the first day and with over 100 buses it takes a few days to adjust routes and student loads. Our supervisor is working on this tonight. It will be better shortly.

5:20 Dr. Herb Berg: To DFMS Parent regarding swine flu. We are encouraging parents and student to take precautions by washing hands frequently and covering their mouths when coughing. Our nurses have been working closely with DHEC and we will continue to share information with parents during the year.

5:20 [Comment From OPES Parent]Is it true that 3 students have confirmed cases of swine flu as the teachers are saying?

5:21 [Comment From Parent from D5]I would just like to say we love District Five and all the teachers at our schools…but I am a parent that has a child with medical concerns, I would just like for D5 Nurses to know how much they are appreciated. Sometimes they go un-noticed but from this parent they are not forgotten!! So Lets make sure to let them know how essential they are in our district!!

5:21 Judi G ,: Hello everyone! Thanks to Dr. Berg for being our guest for today’s live chat.

5:22 Dr. Herb Berg: To OPES Parent:
I have no information about confirmed cases in our district.

5:22 Dr. Herb Berg: Comment from parent from D5. Nurses are an important part of our team. Thanks for the comment.

5:23 [Comment From Oak Pointe parent]What’s up with the developer going to court with D5 over the old road at Oak Pointe?

5:25 Dr. Herb Berg: This is something our attorney’s are looking at right now. We do not believe the school district is liable.

5:26 [Comment From comment from CRMS parent]Who do we need to speak with to handle bus route matters.

5:26 [Comment From erin mom to vivian]I heard that Leaphart Elem. might become a magnet school for math and science. Is that true?

5:28 Dr. Herb Berg: To Vivian:
This is not a rumor. We have great plans for a wonderful program for science, math and engineering.

5:30 [Comment From IHS Mom]
when will IHS get a face lift. it is and old school that is showing its age.

5:31 [Comment From Elem Concern]
What do you plan on doing about larger class sizes in Title one schools? I understand that numbers are larger at other schools, but I feel that it is important for the District office group to understand that there are differences and concerns that come with being a Title one school and not treat those schools like others that do not have those issues.

5:31 [Comment From Irmo Student]
Our classes are an hour and a half long. That’s too long. Many teachers have trouble keeping us busy and interested for that long. I have friends in other districts who have one hour classes. Why can’t we reduce the length of classes to one hour?

5:32 Dr. Herb Berg: We are planning the face lift at this time. A design team of our principal, SIC and parent group, as well as the district architects have been developing plans during the late summer. We hope to have them ready for a wider public review in late September. We think they will be great.

5:34 Dr. Herb Berg:
To Elementary Concern

To begin with District 5 has a long standing commitment to some of the smallest class sizes in all of SC. Title One designated or not, we have consistently believed that smaller class sizes are better for students. We do provide extra resources and support personnel to our Title One schools. We understand that educating poorer children is more complex and we are proud of our commitment.

5:36 [Comment From Guest]
Are there plans for a pre-k school like Lex-4?

5:36 [Comment From music lover]
Lex 1, Richland 2 and other districts have a performing arts facility. Will Lex 5 ever get a district auditorium? Our fine arts programs are amazing. Will they get a place to display their talents or continue to be stuck in gyms and cafeterias?

5:36 [Comment From IHS Mom]
That’s great news about the facelift for IHS. Thanks.

5:36 Dr. Herb Berg:
To Comment from Irmo Student:
The length of classes is a function of block scheduling. About 15 years ago, high schools across America begin moving to longer class time thinking that teachers would use the class time for more intense instruction.

5:38 [Comment From Leigh]
Not a concern but a compliment to DFMS – I work with the best staff ever… I have been with District 5 for 20 years and would go to work if I won the lottery!!

5:39 Dr. Herb Berg: To Music Lover:
We have a great music and fine arts faculty and wonderful students, And all of us are proud of our music, dance and drama programs. In our November referendum there was no money earmarked for a district auditorium. That will have to be considered at a later date.

5:39 [Comment From Nathan Ballentine]
Dr. Berg and Buddy, I got home early today and just saw y’all on TV. I appreciate your willingness to be online! Proud to see the District incorporate social media like Twitter and Facebook too!

5:40 Dr. Herb Berg: Dr. Leigh:
I could not agree with you more. There is a great team at all positions in District 5.

5:40 [Comment From Pam Mason]
When will the ground breaking and construction begin on the new high school and middle school in District 5?

5:41 Dr. Herb Berg: Dear Rep. Ballentine:
Thanks, we ARE “high tech” guys!

5:42 [Comment From Joan]
Why has it taken so long to get things going on the constuction at Leaphart??

5:42 Dr. Herb Berg:
Dear Pam:
We are in design at this time. It takes about a year to design a new high school. With some luck, we should be able to bid the new high school and CATE center in the summer of 2011. The middle school is several years later.

5:43 [Comment From Guest]
I want to know what are they doing about teacher cutbacks.

5:43 Dr. Herb Berg: Dear Joan:
Leaphart was the very first project. It is not late…its the first.

5:43 Judi G,:
Nathan Ballentine – how do you like the live chat?

5:45 Dr. Herb Berg:
Dear Guest:
Thanks to Federal stimulus money we were able to restore 72 positions.

5:46 [Comment From Construction]
Is there a construction schedule posted anywhere? I’d like to know when construction of various schools will begin and end.

5:46 [Comment From Chapin HIgh mom]
My daughter attends Chapin High. Last year, the lunch room was over crowded and students did not have enough time to eat and if you had 4th lunch, there was no food available. She had 4th lunch scheduled today and she said that there were so many students that you could not even get into the lunch room for lunch…..how can this problem be solved? If my daughter does not eat, she gets headaches and I do not want her to have to go through this again this year.

5:47 [Comment From Buster]
Are you planning to provide laptops to all Lex 5 high school students like they do in Kershaw?

5:47 Dr. Herb Berg:
To From Construction:
Absolutely. Go to www.lex.5.k12.sc.us and you will find a complete schedule that is updated regularly.

5:48 Dr. Herb Berg: Dear Buster:
I am very proud of the laptop intiative in Kershaw County. It is still the only such iniative in SC. For right now, there is not enough money, due to the recession, for Lex. 5 to start an iniative like that. I would love to be able to do it.

5:49 [Comment From Guest]
What precautions will be taken during flu season. Protocol!!!

5:49 [Comment From Construction]
Thanks Dr. Berg and Mr. Price!

5:49 [Comment From Nathan Ballentine]
Judi – I’m proud my district is willing to do this. Just wish they would let my emails to teachers go thru their servers! : )

5:49 [Comment From guest]
I would just like to say that Gregg Morton is a wonderful principal who does not get enough praise. He and his staff do a wonderful job day in and out at DFHS. My child is a student at DFHS, and I could not be more pleased with the quality of education he is getting at Dutch Fork

5:51 Dr. Herb Berg:
Dear CHS Mom:
You are correct in your facts and it is a serious problem. The principal is aware of it. The real resolution is the new and remodeled high school.

5:51 [Comment From employee]
I would like to remind parents that your front line people, the support staff, do a wonderful job getting your child and you where you need to be. Amidst a summer of many changes to include major software programs, policies and procedures brought down from the district level, your students always come first. Please be patient!

5:51 Dr. Herb Berg: Dear Guest:
Gregg and his team are doing a great job.

5:51 [Comment From Tom]
Why must band students at CHS pay $350 each for band fees. Are the same fees imposed at IHS and DFHS? If these funds are required for band students. Why are football players not assessed similar fees. If gate receipts pay the expenses for football. Why not give the band 20% of the gate receipts as they provide the half-time entertainment?

5:52 [Comment From Paul]
Note to Buddy, I saw Nathan’s comment that his emails are not getting thru to teachers. Gary’s team can “white list” Nathan’s email address in the D5 filters so all of his emails will go thru.

5:52 Dr. Herb Berg:
Dear Tom:
I am not completely up on this. I will ask our Chief Financial Officer to look into it. Thanks for your question.

5:53 [Comment From Chapin Resident]
I think it ridiculous that so many portable are going into the front parking lot of Chapin High School. This is a complete eye sore for the town of Chapin. Your thoughts?

5:55 WIS: We’re getting some great questions here tonight folks. We want to remind all of you that tonight’s chat ends at 6pm — just five minutes from now. Get those last questions in!

5:55 Dr. Herb Berg:
Dear Chapin Resident:
Most of those portables have always been on campus…just in the rear. They have been moved to the front to allow room for construction. It is only temporary. Please come to CHS Tuesday night at 6 p.m. to show off the new plans. I think you will be impressed.

5:58 Judi G,: Lots of great info in tonight’s chat! Big thanks to Dr. Berg for joining us for the hour. Remember you can send story ideas to countonwis@wistv.com.

5:58 [Comment From Future D5 parent]
What are your thoughts on the Sept 1 cut-off date for kindergarten students? Are parents allowed to make requests for their child who is a young 5 yr old to start kindergarten the following school year?

5:59 [Comment From CES parent]
How long will you be staying on as Superintendent?

5:59 Dr. Herb Berg:
Dear Future D5 Parent:
Sept. 1 is the state law. I am not familar with a waiver or challenge procedure. I will look into it. Thanks for the question.

6:00 Dr. Herb Berg: Dear CES Parent:
I am having a great time working with fabulous people and feel like I am making a contribution to the education of children. I am honored to be the D5 superintendent.

6:01 [Comment From Guest]
As a parent in District 5, I have enjoyed reading all the questions and answers … thanks!

6:01 WIS: Well, folks. That wraps it up for us tonight. We want to thank Dr. Herb Berg and Buddy Price for coming in and answering your questions. Have a good evening!