CCSD unveils Vision 2016 at State of the Schools

(Felicia Allyn/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)-- The Charleston County School District unveiled their vision for the future Thursday morning.

Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016 is a five-year plan to dramatically improve achievement for all students. CCSD Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley released details during a state of schools event at the School of the Arts to a packed crowd of business members, elected officials, teachers and parents. "We will raise awareness though an ad campaign," said McGinley. "We've had lots of support from our business community to put up some billboards and say we're going places in Charleston and we need your help."

During the presentation, student leaders took the stage, sharing what their vision of the future held for them. One student announced his plans to be the first US Army commissioned officer in his family.

The Vision 2016 plan unites four core concepts: effective educators, literacy-based learning, strategic partnerships and world-class schools and systems that bring everyone together to work as one.

Vision 2016 has been a year-long process. Ideas came from more than 750 teachers, principals, parents and members of the community attending 10 strategic planning meetings. The plan is a huge part of the district's plan to move up and onward, never forgetting where the district was just five years ago.

"Our state report card in 2007 was below average. Last year it was good and excellent and we're very proud of that," said McGinley. "We are enormously encouraged but we are not satisfied and we won't be satisfied until zero percent of our children attend schools that are rated below average or at risk."

According to McGinley, 50 percent of CCSD students attend schools that are rated as excellent. To reach these goals, she says a lot of the work needs to be done at home as well as at school.

"We need parents to be involved, not necessarily on the PTA but with their own child, checking homework, talking with the teacher throughout the year and not just when something happens," said McGinley. "We have programs that we intend to expand such as our Parents University where we help teach parenting skills."

"When teachers and parents work together, that's when we have the best outcomes."