Future of CCSD: Newly-proposed recommendations could have big impact on district

VIDEO: Newly-proposed recommendations could have big impact on CCSD’s future

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Newly released recommendations give a glimpse into what people living in Charleston County want to see changed in the Charleston County School District.

Proposed recommendation changes focus on moving attendance zones, merging schools, expanding school curriculum, and providing racial training for school staff members.

Some of those recommendations dive into tangible ideas, such as expanding Buist Academy, converting Mary Ford Elementary into an Early Childhood Center, consolidating CCSD Montessori schools into one site, and breaking School of the Arts into two campuses, as well as revamping the School of the Arts admission criteria.

Those recommendations are the result of a district-plan to restructure the entire district to fix its failing schools and came from both community groups and the district.

The group facilitators were selected by the district based off their experience leading groups. The community members were selected base off recommendations from Lowcountry elected officials.

The four Mission-Critical Action groups focused on downtown Charleston, North Charleston, West Ashley, and Johns and Wadmalaw Islands.

People living in those areas attended the meetings, looked at data from schools in that area, and made recommendations for what they would like to see changed in their area of the district. The designated group leaders then went through the feedback from the mission critical meetings and made suggestions on what could be put into action.

The groups came up with recommendations such as plans to increase school capacity, recruit more teachers of color, merge middle school programs so students will have more opportunities, and establish high quality preschool programs and centers.

Along with the mission critical action group ideas formed by community members, the district administration also came up with a draft list of board goals and directives.

That work was done simultaneously with the Mission-Critical Action community groups.

The district came up with recommendations such as closing Mary Ford Elementary and convert it into an Early Childhood Center, make recommendations to increase enrollment at Burke High, make Haut Gap Middle a 6th-8th grade school, and consolidated Montessori schools into one centrally located site.

The school board set aside $5 million in this year’s budget to fund some of the Mission Critical actions.

That allocation must be made by August.

Board members will hear these recommendations in Monday’s school board meeting.

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