From the Superintendent's Desk - August 17, 2012
Welcome back, to the most dynamic group of teachers in the nation! This week, principals, teachers, and staff were back in schools preparing for what will be an exceptional school year. I could not be prouder of the team representing the Charleston County School District. They are poised and ready to move our students to the next level.
All across the county, there is a buzz in the air as we prepare to greet our most important visionaries – our students. Teachers are getting their classrooms ready, families are attending back to school nights, and churches and community organizations are holding back-to-school rallies in support of the BIG day, Wednesday, August 22. Our facilities team and central office team has been working tirelessly over the summer to ensure VICTORY is indeed in the classroom. In addition, we launched our back-to-school help Line—serving over 100 parents on Thursday—and made final preparations for the first day of school.
Every event this summer had a sense of purpose and positive energy tied to the new school year. Whether I was speaking at the Great Teachers, Great Leaders orientation at Stall High or attending the Innovation Zone Learning Community back-to-school rally at North Charleston High, one thing was crystal clear—our teachers, school leaders and parents are preparing for one of the most successful years on record.
As part of Vision 2016, we will be focused like never before on literacy improvement and teacher effectiveness. Over the course of the year, I’m going to keep in touch with you in many different ways, from face-to-face meetings, to Twitter (ccsdsupt), Facebook (ccsdconnects) and this weekly “desk” letter. The weekly "desk" letter has one main priority and that is to keep you updated on timely events and information. I will also, on occasion, use this letter to dispel myths that can distract us from our core business, teaching and learning.
For example, I want to make reference to our focus on wellness and healthy eating. Just this morning, I met with the Charleston County Medical Society to brainstorm ideas on how we can better promote healthy eating in our schools, offices, and departments. Along those lines, I would like to express my concern about candy and other unhealthy snacks being included on some school supply lists that were distributed to parents this summer. The school supply list is a tool that teachers and principals use to garner important resources for their classrooms and schools. Therefore, we want to ensure that our lists only reflect the necessities needed in the classroom.
Speaking of resources, please make sure to visit our back-to-school page for important information on student registration, transportation, school lunches, and much more. As part of this effort, don’t forget the Hand’s of Christ uniform distribution, Hootie’s Homegrown Roundup this Saturday at Burke High School, and the First Day Festival at Liberty Square this Sunday.
Lastly, at Monday night’s board meeting, we appointed Charity Summers, principal of Garrett Academy of Technology and Dan Connor, principal of Northwoods Middle School. Ms. Summers and Mr. Connor are capable leaders who will ensure students and staff will be ready on day one.
As we welcome back our teachers and families, let’s all get behind Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016. With the right supports, high expectations and great teachers – every student in our district can graduate from high school with the skills to succeed in college, the workforce, and life.
I’ll see you this Saturday at Hootie’s Roundup and Sunday at the First Day Festival.
Thank you for your continued partnership, and until next week…
-Dr. Nancy J. McGinley