CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - With less than two months on the job, Friday, newly-elected State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman got a first-hand look at schools within the Charleston County School District.
The tour started at Wando High School, where students in the culinary program treated her to breakfast, and was scheduled to end at Lowcountry Tech Academy.
Other stops on the seven school tour included Charles Pinckney Elementary, R.B. Stall, Pinehurst, W.B. Goodwin Elementary, and Meeting Street Academy at Brentwood.
Many of the schools offered different learning models, including Montessori, personalized learning, and technology programs.
"I wanted to come and experience this and learn so that I could give suggestions to districts across the state," she said.
The state superintendent also addressed parent and community concerns regarding the safety of district buses.
"Unfortunately, we have not funded a bus replacement cycle in the state like we should."
Spearman says the replacement cycle, which would fund new buses once every 15 years, costs between $35-40 million a year, and says that process has already begun.
"I'm definitely asking for that support through the legislature, and I'm pleased to say the House of Representatives in their budget last week, they have funded that."
Thursday, South Carolina House Representative Wendell Gilliard released a copy of a letter he submitted to Spearman.
The letter called for a comprehensive safety inspection of buses through Durham Bus Services, as well as any others owned by the Charleston County School District.
"To my knowledge, that's already being done, but we'll certainly beef it up if we need to," Spearman said.
During her visit at R.B. Stall High School, Spearman said she was impressed by the connection she observed between students and teachers, and their eagerness to learn.
"I feel that sense of family, and it's so important to students in their learning."
"I've seen that at every school today."