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      Scotland County schools off to a great start despite budget woes

      The elementary school students in Scotland County are loving their new playground. But, Superintendent Dave Shalley said it's not all fun and games. He wants students to do better in math.

      "Right now,we're trying to kind of target some of our math scores and we want to make improvements on those," said Shalley. "We're doing pretty well in everything else. We're going to be accredited again. We've got 14 areas met. "

      The district is also taking a giant leap into the 21st century; they're adding wireless internet.

      "We're currently working on trying to go wireless through the entire district. Hopefully getting us in a position to where we can step up into the technology age like other schools in the area and maybe provide some of that for our kids."

      Shalley said wi-fi makes it easier for students to use their personal e-readers in school.

      While students enjoy the new amenities, administrators are grappling with the budget. Shalley predicts the district's budget will have a $300,000 shortfall, due to a decline in funding from the state. It's also losing $120,000 in its transportation reimbursement.

      "We have a lot of money in reserves...about 2 million in reserves," said Shalley. "So, we're trying to tap into our reserves a little bit and then when the economy straightens out completely, and they can come back and completely fund the formula, where we won't get hurt as bad...we should level out."

      The district has a new elementary school principal-Nathan Pippert. The district has five new teachers including Sharon Dawkins, Early Childhood, Shaina Dochterman, 7-12 P.E./Health, Ed Koser, 4th grade, Sara Hawkins, Junior High Social Studies, and Michael Falk, Band/Chorus.