From the Superintendent's Desk - September 28, 2012
We have some great news to share with you. On Monday, we received our 2012 SAT scores. More CCSD seniors took the test this year and they outscored their state peers in all subject areas and average composite scores. We also increased our district average by 16 points due in large part to the double digit increases some of our high schools scored. Kudos to Academic Magnet, Baptist Hill, School of the Arts, St. John’s, Wando and West Ashley on a job well done. This is great news because it indicates more graduating seniors are entering college ready to learn and prepared to succeed at the post-secondary level.
There is also other great news I want to share. Yesterday, the US Department of Education awarded us a very competitive Teacher Incentive Fund grant totaling $8.8 million for the first two years with a possible total of $23.7 million over five years. It’s no secret that academic progress like our jump in SAT scores and our improving PASS scores is a direct result of our great principals and teachers. This grant will help us continue to recruit and reward high quality principals and teachers.
This grant award is significant. We were one of 35 chosen, out of a pool of 120 applicants, and we are the only school district in the state to receive this funding. These funds will enable us to make good on the promise I made to Charleston teachers over two years ago when I said we are going to create a balanced and fair value-added compensation system. More importantly, we will incorporate teacher and principal feedback as well as hear directly from national experts on this important topic. We want to avoid the missteps that other districts have experienced when constructing plans that alienate good teachers and principals. This will be an all inclusive process that will require a great deal of hard work and I look forward to hearing from our teachers, principals, parents, and community partners.
Speaking of recognizing high quality teachers, we are always taking nominations for Teacher of the Month. I look forward to this year’s TOM Program and I encourage YOU to nominate a teacher.
This week, I visited Lambs Elementary, Burns Elementary, and Burke Middle/High School. I visited classrooms and spoke with many teachers. I was pleased with what I saw and heard. It appears that this year is off to an exceptional start in all of our schools. Teachers are committed and working hard to meet student needs.
In other news, make sure to mark your calendars and attend the School Choice Fair on Saturday, October 20 from 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Burke High School. This exciting event features opportunities to learn first-hand about CCSD’s portfolio of school options (neighborhood, magnet, partial magnet and charter), supplemental Educational Services (SES), and the Title I Parent Advisory Council. Please stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the date.
On a closing note, our Trident United Way campaign ends today. If you contributed to this year's campaign, thank you! I am eager to see the final results and I am confident we met our goal of $125,000.
Thanks for reading my desk letter and as always, e-mail me if you have any thoughts or suggestions.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
-Dr. Nancy J. McGinley