From the Superintendent's Desk - June 21, 2012
Our charge is to invest in our students—all of our students. Period. That’s the essence of the next stage of our strategic plan Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016. This week, we focused on preparing for the plan’s first full year—perhaps the year that is most critical to our success.
We kicked off the week by opening the doors of our brand new registration centers in North Charleston. These “one-stop shops” at North Charleston High and Northwoods Middle centralize the process for families registering for any CCSD school in North Charleston or Ladson. Instead of traveling to multiple locations and calling a variety of offices, parents are able to speak directly with highly-trained staff members who guide them through all of the necessary paperwork. We are excited about this new system.
We also continued principal interviews and look forward to the appointments of several new leaders, which are scheduled for our upcoming Board meeting on Monday evening. This meeting is going to be a crucial one; the Board will also be voting on the final passage of the budget for next school year.
As I shared in a meeting with our central office staff today, we must continue to bring resources closer to our schools. The proposed budget reflects this. It includes an investment in our people (including a 2% cost of living and a two-step salary increase) and the expansion of our literacy academies model, which has already produced dramatic and life-changing results.
During our planning, we continue to ask ourselves if the district’s current staffing configuration (in other words, our organizational chart) appropriately reflects our priorities. As you may remember, we made some huge shifts a year ago. Our goal was to get everyone on the same page so that we can better support our teachers and students. We continue to refine our structure and place schools at the center of our work.
Phase II of the reorganization, which will be effective July 1, builds on what has worked and aligns us, more fully, behind our Vision 2016 goals.
As this fiscal year comes to a close, I thank all staff for the positive progress we have made. Our district and students have seen some impressive outcomes in the past few years, including our most recent report card results (the best ever for our district with a “Good” absolute rating and an “Excellent” growth rating). Half of our students now attend an "Excellent”-rated school (nearly twice the state average). Our graduation rate has increased, and more CCSD students moved to “Exemplary” on elementary and middle school standardized assessments when compared to the state average.
We are encouraged by these results, but we can and must continue our journey toward excellence. With the right leaders, a budget that invests in our talented educators, and our strategic plan, we will do even better for all of our students.
Thank you for your continued partnership and investment.
-Dr. Nancy J. McGinley