Charleston principal hoping to change reputation of Burke Middle High

Charleston principal hoping to change reputation of Burke Middle High
Published: Apr. 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Replacing rumors with facts, the principal of Burke Middle High School says it's time for his school to be seen for what it really is.

Test scores are improving after years of low scores on state report cards. The school was once at risk of being taken over by the state.

School Principal Maurice Cannon wants the community come into the classroom to see the improvement.

"The perception of Burke is that it's a school that's out of control, students are cutting class, there's a lot of fighting but that's not the truth," said Cannon.

Cannon is trying a new approach with the community. He's leading the first official Walk and Talk tour around campus.

Cannon said, "The purpose ultimately is to allow the community to come in and really see how we operate day to day."

The Walk and Talk attracted Burke alumni with children who will attend the school next year.

Parent and alumni Latrina Frost said, "We got involved with some of the classes and it's very interesting."

Reverend Alma Dungee said, "I want the best for Burke and our students. We are supposed to care for students, even if it's not your child."

Burke has been around since the early 1900's. While it hasn't always had the best state report card scores, students are now showing improvement.

Cannon said, "If we knew in advance what the community is asking for, then I don't see a reason why we could not work to provide those resources for them."

Cannon says teachers can't do it alone; they need the help of the community if students are going to continue to succeed.

The school goes from 7th to 12th grade with room for 1,200 but Cannon says there are fewer than 400 students enrolled. His goal is for that number to go up.

Cannon said, "The community must embrace their school that the Burke name will become that name that is associated with high success."

The Walk and Talk tours will go from 10 to 11am every Tuesday until the end of the school year.

The school is on President Street in downtown Charleston.

To sign up for a tour you can call the main office of the school at 843-579-4815.

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