From the Superintendent's Desk - July 12, 2012
The first day of school—Wednesday, August 22—is just over a month away. This is an exciting time of the year. We’ve passed our budget, wrapped up our second annual Charleston Educator Symposium, and soon we will be in full “back to school” mode, counting down the days to a successful 2012 - 2013 school year.
As we prepare for the upcoming school year, it will be my sixth year as Superintendent, and I couldn’t be happier about the progress we have made, as well as the depth of talent that exists across our district. We still have a lot of work ahead of us – especially around closing the achievement gap – but I am confident we will get it done.
I truly believe it’s all about focusing on what works and building upon past successes. This is what Vision 2016 is all about. Two key priorities, literacy based education and educator effectiveness will help us achieve our goals. They are the backbone of our plan. If you haven’t had a chance to read the plan, check it out at vision2016.org.
As you may know, I spent the day in Columbia yesterday outlining our plan for continued improvement at Burke and North Charleston High Schools. We are happy the state board recognized that each of these schools are making progress, and that the district as a whole is trending upward. This is a sign of the great work being done by our students and teachers—and everyone who supports them.
Having said that, we have to accelerate our efforts at Burke and North Charleston High Schools, and I look forward to assembling a plan that will work from the top down, as well as the bottom up. As part of this effort, I will make a recommendation to the school board that Principal Cannon and Principal Grimm each be offered three-year contracts in order to ensure stability and consistency at each of their schools. Leadership turnover has been a big challenge at both of these schools.
Speaking of school leaders, it is my pleasure to recognize our new principals. Due to retirements and other transitions, we have a number of new principals – most recruited from within in the district – who will be taking the helm this year. We look forward to their leadership and commitment. To learn more about these new principals, visit our website.
And finally, summer is definitely in full swing as students across our district are taking advantage of our top notch summer meal program. This year, there has been a concerted effort to offer healthier options as well as hot meals and it is paying off. Last summer, on average, 2,700 breakfasts and 3,500 bagged lunches were served daily. This year, 3,450 breakfasts and 4,100 hot lunches are being served each day—a 15 percent increase in lunches and almost a 20 percent increase in breakfasts. I would like to take this moment to recognize the folks in Food and Nutrition Services for their hard work.
Each week, as always, I’ll keep you posted with key updates as we count down to August 22nd.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.
-- Dr. Nancy J. McGinley