With fifty-thousand students, Charleston County School District is the second largest school district in the state. As we begin a new school year, News 2’s Octavia Mitchell sat down with the leaders of our local school districts about plans to move forward this school year.
This is the third year at the helm for Charleston County School District superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait. The district is the second largest in the state with 50-thousand students in 86 schools and programs. This year, the district opened the new Carolina Park Elementary, Early College High School, and Camp Road Middle. Postlewait says , “Students are at the heart of our work, and our job here is to support our teachers and principals so that students learn everyday. We’re looking forward to a great year. The district received an almost 25-million-dollar grant from the federal government. There was a schedule for rolling out technology in all of our schools. Some of our schools have already received the one to one technology, others have technology on carts that are shared that teachers can use in classrooms. As quickly as the funding becomes available and we have evidence that approach is working, our board is moving forward with a plan to distribute to all schools, but with 86 sites that does take time.”
The district faced its share of controversy as well, including teacher evaluations. Postlewait says, The misunderstanding that we would ever use one single test score to evaluate a child, a teacher, or any other human being was really painful for everyone involved. and we do not want to repeat that.” Dr. Postlewait says they are working to make sure their messaging is clear. They started a new Parent Advisory Cabinet. “A parent from each of our schools, a teacher from each of our schools, one of our support staff members from each of our schools, principals cabinet and a cabinet for business and community members, we will meet with them quarterly, says Superintendent Postlewait. We want their involvement in refining our strategic plan, in planning the way forward. We want to listen to their concerns so we can be responsive in a much quicker time frame than we were able to respond this past year. Charleston County Schools is focused on students. Charleston County Schools is determined to make this a great place to learn and a great place to work.”
The district also plans to continue community listening sessions to give parents and the community an open line of communication.