Screven County is located in southeastern Georgia and lies on the state border adjacent to South Carolina. It is situated between the Savannah River to the east and the Ogeechee River to the south. Carved out of Burke and Effingham counties in 1793, the county was named after a Revolutionary War hero, Brigadier General James Screven. Jacksonboro, a coach stop halfway between Augusta and Savannah, was named the first official county seat in 1797. In about 1820, Jacksonboro was visited by the famous itinerate Methodist preacher Lorenzo Dow, who according to legend, placed a curse on the town because of cruel treatment he endured from the wild residents. In the ensuing years, the town began to wither away. In 1847, because of the quick decline of Jacksonboro, the county seat was moved to the then newly formed city of Sylvania, which in Latin means “Place in the Woods”. Today Sylvania and Screven County are still known for the surrounding picturesque forest and farmland. The county’s other major communities include Newington, Rocky Ford, Hiltonia, and Oliver.
The census of 2016 reported 14,044 people and 5,290 households residing in Screven County. Of the 5,290 households, 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them. Most residents belong to one of two major ethnic groups as 56.2% are white and 41.6% are black. People of Hispanic or Latino origin make up 2.1% of the total population and people from two or more races make up 1.3%. Less than 1% of the population is made up of people of Native American descent or Asian descent.
The median income for a household in the county is $34,466 and the per capita income for the county is $18,597. Twenty-seven percent of Screven County of residents live in poverty. The unemployment rate is 6.9%. After Koyo Bearings, Screven County School System (SCSS) is the second largest employer in the county with about 345 employees.
SCSS is comprised of three schools, Screven County Elementary (SCES) serves 1211 students in grades Pre K-5; Screven County Middle (SCMS) serves 509 students in grades 6-8; Screven County High (SCHS) serves 641 students in grades 9-12. There is one private school located in the district, Community Christian School, which houses grades Pre-K through 7 and has about 60 students.
SCSS serves 2361 students reflective of the overall demographic breakdown of the county. Of these students, 46% are black, 46% are white, 2.9% Latino or Hispanic, and 2.7% of two or more races. Less than 1% of students are of American Indian or Asian background. Due to the economic status of the county, nearly 80% of students qualify for free or reduced meals. Because of the high percentage of participation in the breakfast and lunch program, our School Food Service program offers the Provisional II meal plan which enables all students to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost.
Staff members of SCSS are highly qualified, effective, and stable. Average years of experience for certified employees is 16 while average years of served within the system is 10.3. Sixty-one percent of full-time, certified personnel have advanced degrees.
Screven County faces economic challenges that are common to many other rural communities. However, the close proximity to Savannah, Augusta, and Statesboro allow our residents access to urban experiences and opportunities while enjoying the simplicity of small-town life in a beautiful, rural setting.
Some of our SCSS points of pride include:
- Great students and families
- Highly trained, experienced and committed teachers and administrators
- Committed community partners that work to make a difference in students’ lives
- State of the art technology infrastructure
- 1:1 Chromebook Initiative K-8
- A robust capital improvement project plan funded through SPLOST
- One of the Highest Performing High School Programs in the area
- Improving CCRPI Scores at all schools and district
- Successful High School AP program
- Dual Enrollment program with Georgia Southern University, East Georgia College, and Ogeechee Technical College
- Georgia REACH Program Scholars
- Strong, award-winning FFA programs at SCMS and SCHS