A five-year plan to dramatically improve the achievement of every student in Charleston County VISION

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1 A five-year plan to dramatically improve the achievement of every student in Charleston County VISION

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview Mission, Vision, and Values Who we are and what we believe Achievement Goals Where we ve been and where we re going Four Focus Areas How we re going to get there: Literacy-Based Learning. Educator Effectiveness. Innovative Schools and Systems. Partnerships.

3 Overview This plan represents a bold Vision of excellence for every child in Charleston County. Its goals and strategies are rooted in a firm belief: with the right supports, high expectations and great teaching, every student can graduate from high school with the skills to succeed in college, the workforce, and life. It s a Vision of critical importance, because when we get this right, it will transform the lives of students and the future of our entire community. Vision 2016 is built on a foundation of success and improvement. From , under the leadership of superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley and the Board of Trustees, the Charleston County School District (CCSD) saw tremendous progress under its Charleston Achieving Excellence plan. Literacy academies boosted reading levels and narrowed achievement gaps in the early grades. CCSD moved more students to Exemplary on elementary and middle school PASS assessments than South Carolina districts did overall. Our high school students outperformed their state-wide peers on courses that test their knowledge in English, Algebra, and Science. The graduation rate increased. And parents empowered with a diverse and expanding portfolio of school options bought back into the public schools. Following ten years of decline, CCSD s enrollment increased for four straight years between 2008 and In 2011, the final year of Charleston Achieving Excellence, CCSD earned its best state report card in history, with a Good absolute rating and Excellent growth rating. During the school year, as district leaders, teachers, staff, parents and community members met to discuss the creation of a new five-year strategic plan, three things became very clear: It was time to extend, strengthen and revise the current plan. More must be done to close the achievement gap and improve literacy. Parents, district leaders and community stakeholders were encouraged, but not satisfied, with the results of Charleston Achieving Excellence. The new plan needed bold achievement goals with annual targets. It had to build on what was working and get clearer in focus and strategy. It had to place students and teachers at its center, and hold everyone accountable for student success. 2 VISION 2016 VISION

4 Mission, Vision, and Values OUR VALUES Results We will prioritize student achievement outcomes in everything we do, and align every strategy and action with a measurable goal. Access All students held to the highest expectations imaginable will be provided with excellent instruction, enrichment opportunities, and challenging courses. Parents will be empowered with a full portfolio of great school choices. Vision 2016 starts with who we are and what we believe. This drives our strategies, our actions, and our culture. OUR MISSION The mission of the Charleston County School District, a dynamic system of challenging educational choices, is to increase student achievement overall and close achievement gaps in order to prepare all students to compete in a global economy and make a positive contribution to our community and nation. Partnerships Student success relies on partnerships between schools, families, and communities. We will encourage transparency, collaboration and feedback, and strengthen partnerships with every person, agency, and organization invested in our students. Diversity We see diversity as a strength and an asset. Fostering an environment of dignity and respect, our students will be prepared for a competitive world and our employees will represent the community that we serve. OUR VISION Every child will graduate from CCSD with the critical skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and the 21st Century global workforce. 4 VISION 2016 VISION

5 Achievement Goals When you combine the right supports, high expectations, and great teaching, what do the five years of the plan look like for the students of Charleston County? OUR GOALS Close the achievement gap. Elevate achievement overall. Raise the graduation rate. WHERE WE ARE In 2011, following several years of improvement, CCSD schools and students are doing well a Good absolute rating on the state report card, a rising graduation rate, and strong results in literacy academies. Fifty percent of students attend Excellent rated schools nearly twice the state average. But achievement gaps have not closed, and far too many CCSD students are not graduating with the skills necessary to succeed in college, careers, and life. WHERE WE RE GOING It s time to aim even higher, and place a laser-like focus on closing the achievement gap. Vision 2016 is rooted in a core belief: with the right supports, high expectations and great teaching, every student can graduate from high school with the skills to succeed in college, the workforce, and life. Our achievement goals centered on a few easy-to-understand measures must reflect this belief. 3rd Grade Math 3rd Grade English / Language Arts 8th Grade Math 8th Grade English / Language Arts Graduation Rate 6 VISION 2016 VISION

6 Four Focus Areas HOW WE RE GOING TO GET THERE Our achievement goals make clear where we want to go. Our strategies driving just four focus areas provide the roadmap for how we re going to get there. OUR FOUR FOCUS AREAS 1 Literacy-Based Education Literacy is the foundation of all learning. Vision 2016 is all about getting focused on what works. It s about simplifying. Vision 2016 builds on and improves the foundation of Charleston Achieving Excellence, and centers the work of a large, complex organization on one truth: The Victory is in the Classroom! Vision 2016 has four focus areas: Educator Effectiveness Nothing matters more to a student s success than a great teacher. Innovative Schools & Systems Today s world demands placing an emphasis on innovation, data and communications systems, technology, and choice. Partnerships Students learn and perform better when schools, families, communities and districts work together and support common goals. 8 VISION 2016 VISION

7 1FOUR FOCUS GOALS: Literacy-Based Education WE WILL: Literacy is the foundation of all learning. A student s ability to read, write, speak, and think critically is critical to the development of other skills and to providing a foundation for success in the 21st Century. We will ensure all students have a strong foundation of literacy skills by the time they leave 3rd grade, and our overall approach to learning across all subjects and grades will emphasize and reinforce literacy. Launch the Literacy-Based Learning Division to facilitate expanded Primary and Middle School Literacy Acceleration Academies, as well as high school supports for literacy. Require teachers in grades K-2 to demonstrate literacy expertise through certification, professional development, or graduate coursework. Provide professional development in literacy that will enable CCSD teachers to infuse and reinforce literacy skills in their classroom. Infuse technology into teaching and learning across all settings. Ensure that literacy teams at every school identify, monitor, and intervene with struggling readers to ensure literacy mastery. Expand opportunities for rigorous instruction by strengthening Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement programs. Invite all eligible pre-school students to attend high-quality early childhood programs, ensuring that they enter kindergarten ready to read and learn. 10 VISION 2016 VISION

8 2 FOUR FOCUS GOALS: Educator Effectiveness Nothing matters more to a student s success than a great teacher. And in order to ensure effective teaching in every classroom and in every school you must have great leaders. We will reward, recognize, and promote effective teaching and leadership based on a combination of factors, including student growth. We will ensure that every school is led by an effective principal, and every student is taught by a highly effective teacher. WE WILL: Invest in our people and recruit talented professionals with competitive salaries and benefits. Develop a model to include student achievement growth in the definition and measurement of teacher and principal effectiveness. Recruit a new Director of Professional Learning to select, prepare, and deploy teaching and leadership coaches. Implement a Leadership Academy to recruit, prepare, and develop effective leaders for our schools and offices. Exit ineffective employees from our organization through collaborative efforts by Board, district, and school leaders. Staff our schools strategically, to increase the exposure of highpotential students to highly effective educators. Launch a district-wide performance management system that ties employee evaluation and compensation to students academic achievement and other objective targets. Increase diversity among our teachers and leaders to be a responsive, representative organization in our community. 12 VISION 2016 VISION

9 3 FOUR FOCUS GOALS: Innovative Schools & Systems WE WILL: Today s world demands an emphasis on innovation, data and communications systems, technology, and choice. We will ensure equal access to high quality school choices and enrichment offerings in every zone of the county; infuse effective technologies into our teaching and learning practices; and use data and communications systems to empower our students, parents, staff, and partners with timely information. Offer a portfolio of choices for families in each of our 4 zones, including Montessori, Arts-infused, Math and Science, and single-gender schools and programs. Increase our Career and Technical Education, Alternative Education, and English Language Learner offerings. Implement positive behavior supports for students in every school. Implement extended learning time when students need additional opportunities to meet their academic goals. Stabilize school enrollments through a new system for school capacity reviews and voluntary transfers. Build a technological infrastructure to support efficient business practices. 14 VISION 2016 VISION

10 4 FOUR FOCUS GOALS: Partnerships Students learn and perform better when schools, families, communities, and districts work together and support common goals. We will be a transparent, listening organization that actively pursues collaboration, encourages feedback, respects diversity, and promotes student achievement and parent and community involvement in everything we do. WE WILL: Expand Parent University and other opportunities for families to learn throughout the district, targeting our highest-potential schools and families. Increase the number and impact of Family-School Partnerships through proactive teacher contact with every student s family. Enhance the mental health and family supports delivered at our schools. Partner with institutions of higher education and non-profits to implement college and career preparation programs. Foster school partnerships with families, businesses, and faith-based and community organizations to expand the effective use of volunteers. Develop an integrated system of two-way communications using traditional means, new technology, and social media to listen, learn, and dialogue with all stakeholder groups. 16 VISION 2016 VISION

11 This plan communicates our Vision of excellence for every child in Charleston County. When we embrace the true spirit of Vision 2016, we will transform the lives of students and the future of our entire community. We invite our parents, teachers, partners, local residents, and students to join us in making Vision 2016 the reality that every Charleston County student deserves. Learn more at vision2016.org 18 VISION 2016

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