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CCSD Board Approves Mission Critical Actions

CCSD Board Approves Mission Critical Actions
Posted on 02/11/2019
Mision Critical

The Charleston County School District Board of Trustees approved a list of “Mission-Critical Actions” at their Monday, February 11, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting in support of the District Strategic Plan, Clemson Equity and Inclusion recommendations, AdvancEd recommendations and Shared Future scenarios.

The recommended actions included a list of processes and timelines that will be developed by stakeholder groups in several of the District’s attendance areas between now and the June 24, 2019 board meeting. After that, more concrete recommendations will be brought back to the Board for approval.

The “Mission Critical Actions” approved are:

1. Develop a comprehensive plan for the North Charleston schools to ensure that all students have high quality PK-12 without leaving the North Charleston area.

Working with community representatives, envision how to • Recruit and employ highly successful principals and teachers; give them the authority they need to transform their school; and then hold them accountable for noticeable improvement 

  • Establish high-quality preschool programs/centers to ensure that students start school with a good educational foundation
  • Seek out and implement educational models with a proven record of success with students similar to North Charleston (public and public-private partnerships)
  • Provide training for teachers on how to be successful in high-challenge settings
  • Involve community groups and businesses as partners in identifying what students and schools need to be successful, and then advocate for needed resources
  • Give students who commit to hard work the promise of needed scholarships to attend college
  • Make every classroom a place where students can learn free from disruptive behavior
  • Change attendance lines as needed in order to give all schools the best chance for success
  •  Increase the quality and rigor of middle schools, considering early college middle school

2. Develop a comprehensive plan for the Charleston downtown schools to ensure that all students have high quality PK-12 without leaving the Peninsula. Working with community representatives, envision how to . . .

  • Better utilize schools where enrollment is significantly lower than the school’s capacity
  • Feasibly merge middle schools or programs to provide all students with more electives and opportunities currently available in the District’s larger middle schools; centralize services like nursing, food services, transportation and administration in order to improve services students receive
  • Create high school options on the Peninsula that will provide the appropriate level of rigor for all students living in D2
  • Determine which career and technology center(s) D20 students will attend to access programs beyond those offered on the Peninsula
  • Align programs across schools PK-12 for continuity to make sure elementary programs continue through middle and high school, such as International Baccalaureate, visual and performing arts, and math/science/engineering
  • Expand opportunities to enroll more D20 students at Buist Academy without lowering the quality of programs currently in place; this will require planning related to school location, school mission, entrance criteria, and waiting list issues.
  • Significantly improve the lowest-performing schools by searching nationwide for programs proven successful with similar types of students that could be replicated in D2
  • Provide training for teachers on how to be successful in high-challenge settings 
  • Change attendance lines as needed in order to give all schools the best chance for success.

3. Develop a comprehensive plan for the West Ashley schools to ensure all students have high quality PK-12 without leaving the West Ashley area. Working with community representatives, envision how to:

  • Improve the academic performance of the area’s low-performing or under- performing elementary schools
  • Create a unique academic focus to attract students to the new Stono Park Elementary opening in August, 2019
  • Examine the feasibility of combining the two middle schools that currently serve West Ashley to strengthen programs such as advanced academics, the arts, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
  • Strengthen the academic programs at West Ashley High School in preparation for the future opening of the new state-of-the-art career and technology center (CAS)
  • Provide training for teachers on how to be successful in high-challenge settings
  • Change attendance lines as needed in order to give all schools the best chance for success.
4. Clarify the purpose of all magnet, partial magnet and choice schools and make any needed changes to align with the district’s stated commitment to parent/student preference, quality, opportunity, equity, and access.

Working with stakeholders, envision how to . . .
  • Create magnet and choice school programs with a clear purpose for what each school is trying to deliver; examine each school based on the applicants (demand) compared to acceptance (supply); ensure that the schools and the selection process match the CCSD commitment to parent/student choice, quality, opportunity, equity, and access.
  • Legally and feasibly use zip codes or other geographic identifiers as part of the selection criteria to guarantee that more students in under-represented areas of the district have an opportunity to attend magnet/choice schools
  • Examine the district’s gifted and talented programs to ensure quality, equitable access and sufficient funding
  • Find a permanent home for Early College High School on the Peninsula and consider opening a second Early College High School in another area of the district (likely North Charleston).

5. Ensure that CCSD has the system capacity to successfully carry out these Mission-Critical Actions.
Working with stakeholders, envision how to . .

  • Recruit and hire principals and administrators at the school and district level with proven records of success; provide continuous training to improve their leadership; agree on the autonomy needed to carry out actions; hold them accountable for results
  • Recruit and hire the very best teachers; provide continuous training and support; provide compensation and working conditions to ensure their retention; recognize their success
  • Make the accountability system (school and student progress reports) simpler and more meaningful in terms of yearly student growth and achievement

6. Develop plans for rural schools and other Constituent Districts that include...

  • Completion of the purchase of land in District 1 (Awendaw area)
  •  Planning, staffing, and funding for the opening of all new schools being built in the next 24 months 
  • Investing in the expansion of the Montessori program in District 9
  • Working with stakeholders in District 23 and other constituent areas to continue to identify, prioritize and address student needs

7. Pursue a Legislative Agenda that includes...

  • Advocating for reducing and streamlining the amount of paperwork and reporting requirements of teachers, schools, and school districts
  • Support for full-funding from the state for educator pay raises
  •  Support for revising the state school funding laws and other restrictive statutes that negatively impact CCSD
  • Advocate for removal of the salary cap for retired teachers to allow top- quality teachers to remain in the classroom
  • Advocate for giving the local School Board authority to set the school start date in order to allow a calendar ending first semester before winter break

For more information on these Mission Critical Actions, visit the district website at ccsdschools.com. 

 

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