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794 Hammett Bridge Road -  Greer SC 29650 -  Phone: (864) 355-7800 -  Fax: (864) 355-7898     AD Office: (864) 355-7896

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HISTORY AND COMMUNITY

            Riverside High School opened in the fall of 1973 with 650 students on a 65 acre campus in a rural area near the town of Greer .  Over its 30-year history, the explosive growth of the nearby city of Greenville has surrounded the school with new subdivisions, shopping centers, and apartment complexes.  Greer has since annexed the school.

            The student body has grown to a population of 1358 drawn from feeder schools Riverside Middle and Northwood Middle.  In the beginning, students and families felt little allegiance to the area, but, over time, they have developed a strong sense of community and pride.  The sense of pride is based on the schoolís rise to the top as the leading academic school in Greenville County .  Four men have served as principal: John Durr, Wayne Rhodes, Charles Bayne, and, currently, Andrew Crowley.  They have provided the instructional leadership to maintain high expectations and support for academics.

            Our community is supportive:  parents volunteered 176,000 hours of their time for the 2003-04 year to participate, plan, and assist the faculty and students.

            Riverside will continue and improve its academic curriculum, test scores, and athletic prowess in the next five years.  The tradition of the first thirty years is a bulwark for the future.  One major change will be an entirely new school building.

    

            The Greer Development Corporation provided the following data based on census block groups.  The report summarizes the data in the following paragraphs.

            There are approximately 31,906 people in our attendance area.  Of those who identified themselves by race, 85.2% were white, 8.99% black, 3.4% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 3.1% Hispanic.  The latter two groups are growing rapidly.   The overwhelmingly majority is married.

            Demographic information for our area defines an overwhelmingly middle class to upper middle class community.  Over 64% of households have an income above $50,000 and a net worth of over $250,000.  Over 85% of owner-occupied housing is valued at $100,000 and above.  Annual expenditures vary, but the most significant items are restaurants (12.4%), groceries (16.4%), apparel (15.6%), and automobiles and auto repair (17.3%).  Almost 70% of community members have attended some college.

            There are 701 business establishments in the area.  The largest sectors are wholesale trade (109 businesses) and retail trade (134).  The largest employer in the area is BMW.  Over 95% of community members work in the private sector.

            Non-school facilities in the area include East Riverside Park , the Pavilion for ice skating and tennis, Riverbend Equestrian Park , and various other community parks, pools, and recreational areas.

            There are many opportunities for parents to participate in organizations that support the school.  The PTSA supports a plethora of activities covering most areas of school life.  Many programs, for example speech, have an active booster club which enables students to attend and compete in tournaments in other cities.  The Athletic Booster Club has done an extraordinary job upgrading athletic facilities.  The band and chorus also have booster clubs.

            The area is rich in post secondary institutions including Furman University , Greenville Technical College , Bob Jones University , Clemson University , Anderson College , North Greenville College , University of South Carolina Upstate , Wofford College , Converse College , and Spartanburg Methodist College .

            Our students come almost entirely from two nearby feeder schools:  Riverside Middle and Northwood Middle.

SCHOOL DATA/FACULTY AND STAFF

            Riverside High School has an experienced 71 member faculty, 58% of whom hold advanced degrees and four of whom are Nationally Board Certified.  Our faculty ranks comparably to other high schools in every positive measure:  72% are on continuous contracts, and 63% returned from the previous year. The faculty had a 98.4% attendance rate, earned an average of $44,313, and had an average 12.0 professional development days each. Additionally, there are three administrators, ten support staff members, one nurse, one School Resource Officer, one In School Suspension teacher, one Teacher of English Speakers of Other Languages, and one Curriculum Resource teacher.

            The faculty features the 1998 School District Teacher of the Year, the 2004 South Carolina Association of Student Councils Administrator of the Year, two of the Top Ten Finalists for Greenville County Schools District Teacher of the Year, one who finished as third runner up, one who was the South Carolina Science Teacher of the Year for 2003-2004, and one who has won Teacher of the Year at Furman University: Bridges to a Brighter Future for the second year in a row.

            Riverside has the equivalent of four administrators which is 6.9% of total faculty.  Our administration has also been an area of stability.  Mr. Andrew Crowley, now in his seventh year, is only our fourth principal since 1973.  Both assistant principals came in 1995.

            Based on available information, Greenville County expenditures per pupil for 2000-2001 were $6,263 compared to a state figure of $6,990.  This number represents an increase of $727 from the prior year. In comparison to the state amounts, Greenville ranks 78 out of 86 counties in South Carolina for student spending.

Year

Greenville

State

2000-2001

$6,263

$6,990

1999-2000

$5,736

$6,339

1998-1999

$5,429

$5,887

1997-1998

$5,076

$5,556

1996-1997

$4,723

$5,155

Because of budget cuts, average class size has increased.  From 2003-2004 to 2004-2005, the mean class size rose from 24 to 28, excluding Special Education classes.  Worse, the number of large academic classes showed an increase.  The number of academic classes with 31-35 students jumped from 23 to 80, and 19 academic classes with over 36 students.  The counseling ratio at Riverside is 452:1, up from 438:1.

 

ENROLLMENT

            In the 2004-2005 school year, Riverside ís enrollment is 1358.  Of these, 1102 or 80% are white, 132 or 10% are African American, Hispanics number 49 for 4%, Asians number 65 or 5% of the total, and the remainder is 2 Hawaiian Pacific Islanders, 3 white Asians, and 5 other for a collective total of 1%. 

The number of students receiving free or reduced lunch has varied within a narrow range.  Free lunch students were 4.2% in 1998-1999.  That number dropped to 3.3% in 2000-2001 and rose to 4.7% in 2002-2003. The trend continued for 2003-2004 with an increase to 5.89% and a rise for 2004-2005 to 8.64%.  The reduced lunch numbers have ranged from 0.8% in 1999-2000 to 2.06% in 2004-2005.  The increase in both areas, even though minimal, is contributed to the increased development of the area, increased number of students, and a slight change in attendance zones.

 

 

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