CCSD outlines goals of strategic plan for students

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A longer school year and classes offered online. It could happen for students in Charleston County School District, as a five year plan to improve their success is implemented.

The superintendent, the school board, and hundreds of community members helped come up with a plan to increase student achievement called Vision 2016.

"Just interested folks came, gave their input, reacted to those goals that were set up, and now we're at a place we can put them out to the public and say, this is where we are going," Community volunteer Jean Norman said.

The plans have been in the works since last year. Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley says there are four focus areas including innovative school choice and technology, which could include offering online classes.

"Youngsters can go online and not self-taught, but taught online mathematics. I think there will be more and more products like that coming out and being developed," Dr. McGinley said.

The use of current technology like iPads will also be expanded.

The superintendent says the top priority of the plan is implementing a literacy based education.

"Building that foundation among the youngest students, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Once you establish that foundation, they will take off as learners," Dr. McGinley said.

Additionally Vision 2016 focuses on teacher effectiveness and community partnerships.

She says to achieve the goals of the program that may mean extending the school year.

"If we are going to hit these targets, these very ambitious goals the board has adopted and the community has endorsed, some of our youngsters are going to need more time," Dr. McGinley said.

Offering online classes and a longer school year are just ideas, but are not being implemented at this time. The superintendent says they are ideas that could help the district meet its goals in the future. The main goals of this vision are increasing the graduation rate, closing the achievement gap, and raising student achievement overall.

Vision 2016 is an extension of the district's current strategic plan "Charleston Achieving Excellence." Since that plan was put in place in 2007, the district has improved its state report card rating from below average to good. Absolute ratings include at-risk, below average, average, good and excellent.

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