- Charleston County School District
Board advances recommendations for approval in two upcoming meetings
The Charleston County School Board of Trustees agreed to proceed with a list of recommendations to be voted on at two upcoming meetings, some considered on Monday, November 18 and others needing more time were pushed out to a final vote on Monday, December 16.
These recommendations are the culmination of more than a year of analysis, collaboration, planning, and feedback gathering including Shared Future, AdvancEd and Clemson studies, Mission Critical Action teams, and most recently community listening sessions.
The recommendations to be considered for approval on November 18 are as follows:
- Transition Mary Ford Elementary to an Early Childhood and Family Engagement Center as a model for universal preschool and kindergarten from Mary Ford and Chicora Elementary. Mary Ford Elementary grades 1-5 would be rezoned to Chicora.
- In the next penny sales tax program, relocate and construct a new Ladson Elementary and convert the current school to an Early Childhood and Family Engagement Center
- In the next sales tax program, combine Lambs, Hunley Park and Goodwin Elementaries on one campus and create an Early Childhood and Family Engagement Center at one of the current campuses
- Approve the list of 15 Acceleration Schools that would focus on more rapidly increasing student achievement and seek greater flexibility and autonomy through waivers from some state regulations; Approve a process for vetting applicants for innovative schools or programs, and open a second-round solicitation
- Revamp the District’s gifted program to ensure that at least the top 5% of students in all schools are served; determine to fund needed to provide more equitable middle school honors courses
- Establish an Advanced Academic Program at West Ashley High School in partnership with the College of Charleston
- Return the fifth grade at Haut Gap Middle to the area elementary schools, making Haut Gap a 6-8 school
- Merge Constituent District 10 middle schools by putting all sixth-graders at West Ashley Middle and all seventh and eighth graders at C.E. Williams Middle
- Study the feasibility of creating one Montessori Middle School to house grades 7-8 from Murray LaSaine, James Simons, Malcolm Hursey, and Montessori Community for 2020-21; study the feasibility of a 7-12 Montessori school
- Combine Minnie Hughes Elementary and E.B. Ellington Elementary on the Ellington campus beginning with the 2020-21 school year in order to expand opportunities for students at both schools
- Develop a report by February 2020 on the feasibility of merging or rezoning all schools with fewer than 500 students within the next 3-5 years in order to improve opportunities for students
The recommendations to be considered for approval on December 16 are as follows:
- Consider future of partial magnet status at James B. Edwards Elementary, Jerry Zucker Middle, and Mitchell Elementary; each would become a special program neighborhood schools that accept additional students through the transfer process;
- Make Haut Gap Middle an advanced studies constituent magnet for District 9 and eligible District 3 students, with preference given to D9 students;
- Continue Laing Middle as a constituent magnet for Districts 1 and 2 with an attendance zone
- Permit all students currently attending partial magnets to remain until they complete the grade structure and study the cost of providing transportation to these students
- Create K-2 Advanced Academic magnet at Memminger Elementary with priority to D20 students; add kindergarten in 2020-21
- Work with D10 Constituent Board to create an attendance zone for Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary and continue the school as a constituent magnet
- Continue North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary and Jennie Moore Elementary as creative arts constituent magnets with attendance zones in D4 and D2, respectively;
- Continue the Advanced Academic constituent magnet at E.B. Ellington;
- Make changes to Buist Academy grade structure and application process:
- Phase-out grades K-2 by the 2023-24 school year;
- Expand grades 3-6 by one class per grade beginning next year
- Expansion classes would give preference to students at or above the 75th percentile in Reading and Math from schools with a poverty index above 80%
- Develop new admissions criteria for Academic Magnet High School
- Offer 30% of seats to incoming students who meet the entrance criteria and attend a middle school with a poverty index above 80%
Additionally, The Board voted to remove Sullivan’s Island Elementary and St. Andrews Math & Science Elementary schools from the list of partial magnet programs that would be eliminated.