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BOT Meeting Highlights October 2016

October 24, 2016

Special Recognition

Pepperhill Elementary principal Tanya Underwood presented the 2016 Edmodie Award to Julia Zimlich. Julia started a partner-mentoring program between Academic Magnet High and Pepperhill Elementary in February 2016, and it lasted through May 2016. 20 third-graders were matched with 20 juniors; the goal of the program was to inspire a greater sense of motivation towards learning among students by providing them someone to whom they could ask questions and share accomplishments.

Sullivan’s Island Elementary School was recognized for its 2016 Bronze Award for the Healthier U.S. School Challenge: Smarter Luncheons. SIES was the only school from Charleston County School District to receive this national honor.

The school met specific criteria such as opportunities for physical movement throughout the day, nutrition education, and school-wide procedures for healthy choices.

The Board of Trustees and Charleston County School District thanked Colonel Tom Ducker and Mr. Tripp Wiles for their years of service on the CCSD Board. It was their final official full meeting as members of the board. Col. Ducker has served since November 2012, and Mr. Wiles has served since December 2013.


Health Curriculum Textbook - Making a Difference

The board voted 9-0 to approve a recommendation from the Strategic Education Committee to approve the 5th Edition of Making a Difference, without Appendix A. The appendix would have allowed middle schools to teach pregnancy prevention to 7th and 8th graders whose parents chose this option. The appendix contains information on AIDS, HIV, STDs, healthy relationships, abstinence and other birth control methods.

Parents who did not choose this option would have had additional choices of the textbook instruction, Health and Wellness, Heritage Keepers, or to opt out of reproductive health instruction entirely. Making a Difference! 5th Edition is an updated version of the curriculum that has been offered in middle schools for several years.


Make Up Days Lost to Inclement Weather

The board voted 7-1-0 to approve a recommendation from the Policy and Personnel Committee to schedule instructional make up days on January 2, 2017 and June 5, 2017, forgive two instructional days for students, and convert June 6 and June 7 to professional development days for teachers. All other personnel will follow administrative guidelines currently in place.

Effective Governance - Board Policies

The board voted 7-2-0 to approve a recommendation from the Policy & Personnel Committee to approve the proposed measures that support the CCSD Board’s identified Results and establish a calendar for policy review beginning in November 2016 and continuing through April 2017.

A multitude of research studies show that the way boards of education organize, focus, and use their time impacts student achievement. CCSD's board has been studying practices of effective school boards and will spend the next several months examining board policies and practices; establishing clear expectations regarding student achievement results that are meaningful to students, families and the community; and developing a year-long work plan for the board. 

A central part of the board's work plan is an intense focus on results and the creation of PreK-12 indicators of student readiness for success at the next level. Principals, teachers, and district staff will present to the board monthly information regarding the percentage of students who are on target and discuss approaches they are taking to accelerate the growth of those who are not.

St. Andrews Campus Plan

The board voted 9-0 to approve a recommendation from the Operations Committee to:
In accordance with the 2014 Memorandum of Understanding and Facilities Use Agreement, permit Orange Grove Charter Elementary School (OGCES) to continue using the old Oakland Elementary School at no cost to CCSD until OGCES has a permanent facility.
Direct staff to include a project for "Construction and equipping a new West Ashley Middle School on the St. Andrews Campus" in the Phase V Sales Tax Program
Discuss/decide various options to provide OGCES a campus in D10, consistent with the provisions of the SC Code of Laws Section 59-40-170.

Summary: The Board of Trustees voted on the future of West Ashley middle schools tonight. First, the Board extended Orange Grove Charter's use of the old Oakland Elementary building from 2021 to 2025 at no cost to the District. The second motion that passed established the former St. Andrews High School and Middle School Campus as the future home of West Ashley Middle School with the inclusion of the construction and equipping of a new facility in the next building program. The Board then voted to enter into negotiations with Orange Grove for their middle school to use the West Ashley Middle School campus once it is determined to be surplus provided Orange Grove maintains their charter and their Board of Trustees accepts the terms of the contract.

Early College High School

The board approved a proposal to create an Early College High School by a 9-0 vote.

The Charleston County Early College High School (a plan that has been formerly discussed by CCSD staff since January) is modeled around the smaller learning community philosophy and designed serve 400-500 students in grades 9-12, beginning with a pilot cohort of 100 rising 9th graders in 2017-18 and adding 100 students per year.

Among the goals are engaging adolescents in serious intellectual work; inspiring underachieving students to challenge themselves intellectually through curriculum and course sequence which provide opportunities for college credit during the high school junior and senior years, making it more likely that they graduate not only high school but college as well; offering young people a path to college through technical/career development that includes sustained guidance and coaching from adults; reducing the dropout rate; raising completion rates for high school graduation; and creating shared high school and college standards, facilities, and faculties.

A central component of the program of studies is a focus on the development of characteristics, including perseverance, responsibility, flexibility, and appreciation for diversity, which lead to success in college and careers. The development of these skills and characteristics will be supported through the implementation of a school wide AVID program. The framework also includes development of strong parent empowerment and community involvement strands.

Students will participate in a program of studies that allows them to earn a high school diploma within an embedded in a course of study leading to an associate degree, a technical college certificate, or an industry certification. In addition, all students will participate in AVID throughout their course of study at the Charleston County School District Early College High School. 


Capital Maintenance Plan

The Board approved a "capital maintenance plan" - a roadmap that paves the way for execution of about $100 million of capital maintenance projects over six years across all CCSD schools. These projects are designed to replace major building systems such as roofs, carpet and restrooms, that have reached the end of their useful life. The funds, like those that also fund construction of new CCSD schools, were made available through the passage of the 2014 sales tax referendum that provides sales tax proceeds from 2016 through 2022.

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