From the Superintendent's Desk - August 9, 2012
In these final weeks before students return on August 22, we are working to ensure that the transition for students and their families is as smooth as possible.
We are hard at work making sure all our school buildings will be ready on day one. We are putting the final touches on this year’s Back-to-School Help Line for parents. The Help Line runs from August 16-22, from 7:00 – 5:00 p.m. The number for the Help Line is 937-6366.
In addition to the help line, we will again be working with Durham Bus Services to offer a transportation helpline for parents with specific questions about bus related issues. This help line will run from August 13-21, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and then August 22-31, from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Please make sure to visit our back-to-school page for important information on registration, transportation, school lunches, and more. As part of this effort, don’t forget the Hand’s of Christ uniform distribution, Hootie’s Homegrown Roundup on August 18 at Burke High School, and the First Day Festival on August 19. All three of these efforts provide tremendous resources and services to our families – leading up to the first day of school, August 22.
We know that every school needs great teachers and a top notch principal. On Tuesday, we held our first annual Great Teachers, Great Leaders orientation at Stall High School. Nearly 200 new teachers and assistant principals attended. Community partners from across the county were also there to offer their services and resources.
It was a great way for these talented and energetic teachers and assistant principals to get acquainted with the Lowcountry, and hear directly from me about Vision 2016, which includes the newly created Literacy Based Learning division, as well as our Office of Access and Opportunity. The Literacy Based Learning division will spearhead training for all grade and content area teachers in reading and writing across the curriculum. The Office of Access and Opportunity will aim to improve outcomes for students through early identification of Gifted and Talented students, timely supports for English Language Learners, and more transparent information on school choice options.
On Wednesday, this same group of teachers and assistant principals boarded school buses and toured the neighborhoods and communities in which their students live. Some of the tours were led by community leaders who are familiar with the neighborhoods. The tours provided these new staff members with additional insights about the challenges their students face.
I was honored to meet all of these new teachers and assistant principals. Through their hard work and belief in the limitless potential of every child, we will continue our momentum, and help equip our students with the tools they need to achieve. I hope they will continue to work with CCSD for many years to come.
There are various reasons teachers leave the profession, but two recent reports regarding turnover and retention make a strong case that the biggest factor is support from principals and school based leaders. We are all in this together. My job and the job of all leaders is to support the classroom.
Lastly, as many of you know – there has been great discussion around educator evaluation, both regionally and nationally. I want to make sure you were aware of the proposed Educator Evaluation Support Guidelines issued by the SC State Department of Education. If implemented, these changes may have a significant impact on how we evaluate teachers. As a district, we are monitoring the proposed changes, but are also asking interested parties to review the proposal, and make the necessary recommendations to the state. As always, we want to make sure you are updated.
If you have any questions or feedback about back-to-school resources, call us at (843) 937-6303.
Dr. Nancy J. McGinley