Charleston Co. School District reviewing new "Mission-Critical Actions" plan

Charleston County School District headquarters (WCIV)

There’s a new effort to turn around some Charleston County public schools.

On Monday, Charleston County School District board members were back at the table with Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait to review some new findings to take into consideration. Board members voted to approving moving forward with “Mission-Critical Actions.”

It’s a list of recommendations based on and in support of the district’s Strategic Plan, Clemson Equity and Inclusion Findings, AdvancED Accreditation Requirements and Shared Future Scenarios.

“We know that about half of the children in Charleston County schools are doing extremely well and about half of the children are not thriving in our system,” said Postlewait. “We are not reaching some of the children that most depend on public schools to get things right for them. This is a systems problem, it’s not an employee problem.”

The Mission-Critical Actions aim to improve schools in four key areas—North Charleston, Downtown Charleston, West Ashley and Magnet/Choice schools.

Board member Todd Garrett voted to approve proceeding with the plan.

“To ensure that we do a better job of serving the half of CCSD students that we don’t serve well right now,” Garrett said. “If you look back at our district, very little has changed over the last 20 years.”

Reverend Chris Collins represents some of the schools that need the most help.

“To address the chronic conditions, the chronic failing conditions at schools in North Charleston,” Collins said of his hopes for the plan considerations.

Some recommendations include forming community and businesses alliances to support student needs. Others recommend things like change attendance lines as needed and to seek out and implement existing educational models with proven success.

Collins supports those that improve communications, training teachers how to be successful in high-challenge settings.

“I’ve been here many years, I’ve seen many plans come and go and most of them don’t work,” Collins said. “But a plan of effective teaching, effective communicating, that will work.”

The board members will give official approval on February 25 to proceed with development of these Mission-Critical Actions. If it gets approval, the recommendations will then be finalized by the end of May.

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