From the Desk of the Superintendent
Happy December, everyone!
It’s been a great, busy week—including school visits to Pinehurst Elementary and North Charleston High, the superintendents’ roundtable in Columbia, and leadership meetings on "rationalizing opportunities" across our four zones—but I want to focus my letter this week on the hard work and commitment of our staff.
On Monday, our Board voted to approve “Achievement and Quality Awards” for all of our teachers and staff. (Watch my Board report video and find out more about Monday’s Board meeting.) Our ability to award staff was made possible by sound financial management—CCSD just received the highest possible rating on its external audit—difficult budget decisions, and sacrifices. Our "rainy day" fund balance is now over 9% of our overall budget—nearly twice what policy requires.
Our staff members have persisted through years of budget cuts, furloughs, and no step increases or Cost of Living Adjustments. And their steady focus on what matters most—student achievement—has led to our first “Good” absolute rating in history and a three-level jump in growth rating from “Below Average” to “Excellent.”
I want our teachers—and all of our staff who support the victory in the classroom—to know how appreciative we are. I only wish we could do more. It is appropriate that the Board took this action just after the Thanksgiving break. I have much to be thankful for.
Speaking of gratitude, I want to thank the Chamber and all of our business and community partners for participating in this year’s “Principal for a Day.” On Thursday, our principals were shadowed by local leaders who got to see what our principals experience—a firsthand look at the day-to-day opportunities, challenges, and successes. Since bringing “Principal for a Day” to Charleston, I have said that this is not an event, but a strategy, because we know that our students’ success depends on the contributions of many.
Until next week,
-Dr. Nancy J. McGinley