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June 1, 2011

CCSD Hosts Inaugural Teacher Quality Symposium

Nothing matters more to a student's academic achievement Teacher Quality Symposiumthan an effective teacher. Charleston County School District (CCSD) is committed to recruiting, training, and retaining a highly effective teacher for every classroom. In support of this goal, the district's Office of Teacher Quality is holding its inaugural Teacher Quality Symposium on June 8 and 9 at Charleston County School of the Arts. This two-day event is designed to equip participants with innovative teaching strategies while allowing participants to share this knowledge with colleagues district-wide.

Relying on privately-raised dollars and special revenue funds, the symposium is a product of outstanding community support for effective teaching in Charleston County. The symposium would not be possible without the funds generated by the March 2011 "Evening with the Stars Gala.” The event allowed community and business partners to raise money for the symposium while delivering the "red carpet” treatment to more than 60 of the district's best educators.

More than 400 participants—including principals, at least two teachers selected by school leadership from every CCSD school, and representatives from private institutions and districts across the state—will attend the Teacher Quality Symposium. The event begins at 8 a.m. each day and offers over 60 diverse sessions ranging from improving teaching strategies, implementing evidence-based practices in the classroom, incorporating strategies for a healthy lifestyle, and developing leadership skills.

Sessions are taught by both local leaders who are excelling in their field, as well as nationally-renowned experts. The keynote speakers for the event are Kim Bearden from Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta and John W. Hodge, the President of the Urban Learning and Leadership Center. Bearden has earned numerous national awards for her dynamic teaching style, including being selected as the Disney Outstanding Middle School Teacher and receiving the Award for Excellence in Education by the Milken Family Foundation. In his role with the Urban Learning and Leadership Center, Hodge drives the organization's focus on student achievement and reduction of the achievement gap. He has served as Director of An Achievable Dream Academy, a high performing, high-poverty school that has been awarded numerous national honors.

In exchange for this professional development opportunity, all attending teachers are asked to present the information to their colleagues in August, therefore allowing the strategies to be incorporated in every school throughout the year.

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