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From the Superintendent's Desk - January 18, 2013

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

boyztogentlemanLast Saturday’s, “Boyz to Gentlemen Summit” embraced this quote to its fullest. As I walked and talked with students, parents, teachers, and community partners – the hope, passion, and focus that I witnessed was overwhelming.  We all have to keep moving forward and the summit’s goal of empowering young male students of color to aim high and achieve more – does just that.

I’d like to thank everyone who assisted with the summit. Thank you to the volunteers who spent hours planning this powerful event and the guest speakers who offered “real world” advice and guidance on a variety of important topics.

As we prepare to celebrate the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I want to take this time to remind the community that Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016 -- at its very core -- is about moving forward. It’s about progress. It’s about doing what others said is too difficult. It’s about looking at race and asking why it’s still a powerful predictor of success. And most importantly, it’s about closing the achievement gap.

I am hopeful we will get there and I am confident we are moving forward. As we all honor Dr. King on Monday -- please take a moment to ask yourself -- what am I doing to help CCSD close the achievement gap?

On a closing note, I want to quickly mention a few important items.

I know school safety is on the minds of many. As I mentioned in last week’s letter, all schools and principals conducted staff only safety drills yesterday and today. To all the principals and the security and emergency management team led by Jeff Scott – you all did great job coordinating these important walk through drills. I am confident these exercises helped staff gain awareness and reduce anxiety.

To the teachers and school based staff, these drills were met to get us all thinking about real world scenarios and asking additional questions. To the teachers and staff at Memminger Elementary School – your questions were timely and typical of many schools across the county. As we work to refine and improve our security procedures we will send out additional communications which will address some of your key questions. Thank you to every teacher and school based staff person that participated in these drills.

An Evening with the Stars Winter Gala: International Indulgence is just around the corner (February 22). This event honors all school-based Teachers of the Year. Visit the Gala website or the Honor an Educator page or call April or Cherie at (843) 937-6418 to learn more. Please spread the word about this opportunity to Honor an Educator!

timscottLastly, I want to personally thank US Senator Tim Scott for visiting our students at Military Magnet Academy on Wednesday. Senator Scott -- a graduate of Stall High School -- toured the school and visited classrooms. Senator Scott, we appreciate your support.

Until next week,

-- Dr. Nancy J. McGinley