News

  • As the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) works to track cases of COVID-19 across the state, there is an understandable delay in reporting confirmed cases in public schools. Berkeley County School District is committed to providing stakeholders with accurate and timely information so the BCSD COVID-19 Case Dashboard has been updated to reflect the number of confirmed cases reported directly to Berkeley County School District. These numbers will be updated every business day to provide our community with a more accurate accounting of confirmed cases in Berkeley County schools.  

    The content of this database is general information for each location. Any necessary contact tracing is conducted by SCDHEC. This information is updated at the close of each business day. Please note the numbers provided are numbers of confirmed cases reported to the Berkeley County School District and are 14-day cumulative counts.

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  • At the regular meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday, October 27, the Board approved revisions to the Berkeley County School District (BCSD) instructional calendar to add four half-day virtual instructional program (VIP) days for students. Teachers will use the second half of those four days as workdays. 

    On these VIP days, students will be learning from home independently for half of the day. All student assignments will be loaded to Google Classroom and/or other learning management systems by 7 a.m.

    BCSD half-day VIP/teacher workdays

    • Thursday, November 12, 2020
    • Monday, December 7, 2020
    • Tuesday, December 22, 2020
    • Monday, May 10, 2021

    To further support students, each teacher will set office hours that are posted or will be posted in Google Classroom and/or other learning management systems.

    Much like the eLearning days of the 2019-20 school year, teachers will have the flexibility to use time not spent assisting students to work in their classrooms, with their teams or participate in personal professional development.

    Again, this is a remote learning day, and all students will be learning from home independently. 

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child's school. 

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  • Rachelle Halle wears many hats at Mount Holly Elementary.

    She serves as a Lead Site Coordinator for Communities In Schools (CIS) – and her position is unique because she is the only person with such a role in the district.

    In addition to working directly with children, she has formed partnerships outside the school to provide programs to assist residents in the community.

    CIS is a national dropout prevention program. Hall’s role is to case manage potentially at-risk students – students who maybe need assistance in attendance, behavior or academics.

    CIS of Charleston’s website states the program was established in 1989 following a study by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland that advised Charleston County School District to implement dropout prevention programs.

    CIS of Charleston has since grown to serve nearly 8,000 students in 15 Title I schools in Charleston and Berkeley counties.

    Hall’s caseload at the end of last year was 53 students whom she sees weekly or biweekly in small groups. They follow a particular curriculum; students work on social-emotional skills, and Hall incorporates the school’s Leader In Me traits into the small groups.

    Hall received her Master’s degree in social work from the University of South Carolina in 2009.

    “Being in a school as a social worker is a completely different role form anything I’ve ever done before and I love it,” she said. “It’s a great place to be.”

    She is not a district employee but works for the Communities in Schools of the Charleston Area program, which she has been a part of since 2017. She is housed at Mount Holly Elementary, where she came on board to fill a need for case managing students at the school. She is the only CIS employee in Berkeley County School District and has been at the school for seven years.

    “Typically…schools will approach CIS and say, ‘We’re interested in your program, how can we get you into our school?’” she said.

    Children are referred to her based on need, and that can come from parents, teachers or administrators.

    Hall said she enjoys providing extra support to students and being “an extra caring adult in the building.”

    “I have a lot of kids that aren’t case management come by every day just to stop in and say hello or chat for a few minutes,” she said.

    Ideally, CIS would have more on-site coordinators at feeder pattern schools to follow students as they go on to middle and high school and ensure the students graduate on time.

    “It would be awesome if that’s how it went…if we had Communities in Schools site coordinators at every feeder school, all the way until they got to Goose Creek High. That would be ideal,” she said. “But we’re still making a difference here at the elementary as much as possible.”

    In addition to case managing students, Hall is also a volunteer coordinator for different programs at Mount Holly Elementary. One example is the school’s Lunch Buddy program, which is on a hiatus right now because of the pandemic but would otherwise consist of volunteers who come in to mentor and tutor students during lunch.

    Hall also coordinates the school’s community partners, such as Lowcountry Food Bank. Mount Holly Elementary has a “school market” within the school where normally residents are welcome to come and “shop” for grocery items. The students usually run the school market. However, the school is still giving out pre-sealed boxes with items – residents can request the boxes on the school website.

    In the spring and fall the school hosts a Fresh For All community event for residents to come and gather fresh produce. It is similar to a farmers market and Hall coordinates the event with Lowcountry Food Bank.

    Through the Growing Food Locally program, Lowcountry Food Bank invests in small-enterprise local farms and sources surplus produce to distribute to food insecure children, families and seniors. By working with local farmers to procure fresh vegetables, Lowcountry Food Bank is able to keep donor dollars in the local food economy and provide the most nutritious produce possible. This method contributes to the financial stability of local farms by covering the production cost of crops that farmers are unable to sell at market.

    The school hosted a drive-thru Fresh For All event last spring and is hosting another one on Nov. 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the bus loop.

    Mount Holly Elementary also has Lowcountry Food Bank's Backpack Buddy program: the school gives away pre-bagged grocery items to identified students to take home. Parents can sign up for this program online as well.

    These are not programs that are provided by CIS, but rather programs that can be brought into schools.

    To Hall, “success” means having all of her students at school, in their small groups, and seeing her students succeed in whatever challenges they are facing.

    “Overall I think it’s all about being here and servicing kids and families and the community, just making sure I can provide whatever they need,” she said.

    A good day is seeing students put those social-emotional schools to good use.

    “I’m here to work through all that with them so that they can continue their day with a positive attitude,” she said.

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  • The purpose of this site is to share information for parents to understand the different technologies being used for instruction as well as provide tips for troubleshooting when tech challenges arise.

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  • Mount Holly Elementary is celebrating a major milestone as a school that instills leadership in its students.

    The school was notified earlier this month that it has been recertified as a Leader In Me Lighthouse School.

    A Leader In Me school implements “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," a school transformation model centered around building leadership among students and staff.

    Being named a Lighthouse School is a benchmark recognition for Leader In Me schools. Mount Holly Elementary became a Lighthouse School two years ago, making this its first recertification.

    Becoming a Lighthouse School recognizes that a school has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes by implementing The 7 Habits. Leader In Me schools maintain their Lighthouse Certification for two years, and then may recertify to maintain the certification.

    Principal Creighton Eddings said his students really live out this model at school, and said the recognition is an honor.

    “Our school has been transformed through Leader In Me,” he said. “Students have taken ownership and feel like this is their school, which is what we wanted.”

    The concept of a Leader In Me is implemented in multiple ways, including following a leadership model that teaches students to set, track and achieve their goals; learning and applying the leadership principles in school staff work; and giving students leadership roles at school.

    Eddings said Mount Holly Elementary’s students take on leadership roles at every grade level, from simple tasks like collecting library books in the morning to more complicated tasks like delivering announcements over the intercom.

    “They’ve set and achieved goals and utilized their strengths to achieve them…we’ve just tried to create an environment where that is everyday life,” he said.

    St. Stephen Elementary and Boulder Bluff Elementary have previously been named Leader In Me Lighthouse Schools. Devon Forest Elementary and Sangaree Elementary are also Leader In Me schools.

    Mount Holly Elementary’s administration hopes to celebrate this achievement with the students in the fall. Eddings said they miss the students and their families.

    “We miss interacting with our leaders and certainly have made the best of trying to stay in touch,” he said.

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  • Please review our 2020-2021 handbook. Believe. Lead. Succeed.

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