Electing the Course of Berkeley County’s Future
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
-President Abraham Lincoln
With the election finally in our rearview mirror, I can think of no better time to refocus on many of the experiences and initiatives that are defining who we are and shaping our remarkable future.
I’ll begin with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which obviously affected many citizens up and down the Eastern coastline. In total, seven Berkeley County Schools were activated by the American Red Cross to provide shelter and food to assist the victims of this natural disaster. My heartfelt thanks go to those participating employees at Berkeley Middle, Berkeley Elementary, Cainhoy Elementary, Cane Bay High, Cross High, Westview Primary, and Westview Middle and all the other district personnel who unselfishly pitched in to do whatever was needed to help our neighbors in need.
It is no secret that natural disasters tend to bring out Mother Nature’s worst and humanity’s best. I am humbled by those within the Berkeley County Schools family and our communities who pitched in to help those in their time of need. Thank you!
First, an update on the implementation of the district’s 1:1 Digital Initiative, which provides students with the best personalized and digital learning experiences available at their fingertips. After much research and field testing by our exceptional technology staff, we selected the Dell 11E Chromebooks, which have proven to be extremely durable for other school systems.
This year’s rollout provided devices to over 12,500 Berkeley County students in grades three through twelve at 23 of our 44 schools. The next phase, to be rolled out in August 2017, will provide an additional 6,900 devices to students in grades three through twelve in ten more BCSD schools.
We view this as a most worthwhile investment in our students’ futures in supporting as many learning opportunities as possible- from opening doors to distance learning, to industry certifications, to college credits, to global education. The possibilities are limitless!
Once again, our school district proves to be a destination of choice! This year, we welcomed 393 new teachers to our “family”! We are excited to have their talents and excellence on our team as we continue to provide the best public school education possible for our students.
Speaking of new faces, our Board has four newly elected members: Michael Ramsey (District 1), Laura Kelly (District 3), Kelly Spann, Jr. (District 7), and Ann Conder (District 9). They will be sworn-in at the regular Board meeting on Tuesday, November 15. We are fortunate to have these leaders working for the benefit of our students!
We concluded the last of our eight Moving Berkeley Forward public forums on November 1 at Hanahan High School. What a pleasure it was for us to welcome parents, community members, students, and BCSD employees to hear about where we are and the exciting places we are going! These two-way communication opportunities are vital to us working together as we continue to grow and have the educational opportunities our students need to realize their version of the American Dream. Our homepage contains a video from the Hanahan High School forum, a copy of the presentation from the Cane Bay High School forum, and a summary of FAQs from all of the forums.
Thank you for what you do for our students and the communities we serve! These updates are not only important to our students, parents, community leaders, and employees, but they remind us that we alone can elect to create the future we want and deserve.