Lt. Gov. Ca­gle ap­plauds ac­tion on Char­ter Sys­tem re­newal

Calhoun Times - - SECOND FRONT - Staff Re­ports

The Cal­houn City School District’s (CCSD) char­ter was re­cently re­newed for a 10-year term by the State Board of Ed­u­ca­tion. This ac­tion will al­low the CCSD to ex­pand on their ini­tia­tives al­ready in place as they con­tinue to in­sti­tute changes proven to in­crease stu­dent achieve­ment. Char­ter Sys­tems have been in­stru­men­tal in ad­vanc­ing in­no­va­tive po­lices to re­al­ize new ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties in Cal­houn.

“Our stu­dents de­serve ac­cess to every re­source that al­lows them pur­sue a ca­reer path that is in­tel­lec­tu­ally stim­u­lat­ing, em­pow­er­ing them to gain em­ploy­ment in their de­sired field upon grad­u­a­tion,” said Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle. “I want to con­grat­u­late Cal­houn City Schools on the re­newal of their sys­tem char­ter. This is an ex­cit­ing devel­op­ment for the stu­dents, par­ents, staff and com­mu­nity as they con­tinue to foster an en­vi­ron­ment that nur­tures ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­nity and suc­cess.”

As a part of the char­ter re­newal, CCSD will pur­sue in­no­va­tive course de­sign that ac­counts for var­ied paces of stu­dent learn­ing and unique stu­dent in­ter­ests, fa­cil­i­tate new think­ing about en­gag­ing in­struc­tional ex­pe­ri­ences and en­vi­ron­ments for stu­dents’ learn­ing needs through the in­creased use of dig­i­tal re­sources, em­bed­ded cour­ses, in­no­va­tive in­struc­tional mod­els, and ad­vanced learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties while en­sur­ing that CCSD can meet the unique aca­demic, re­source, and sup­port needs of all schools by lever­ag­ing flex­i­bil­ity in or­der to best ad­vance teach­ing and learn­ing at every school.

CCSD’s mis­sion is to “in­spire all stu­dents to be­come life-long learn­ers in the pur­suit of ex­cel­lence” while their vi­sion strives “to have all stu­dents ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions by the year 2020.”

Char­ter sys­tems have proven ef­fec­tive in ad­dress­ing the spe­cific and unique needs of in­di­vid­ual school sys­tems, em­bark­ing on new re­la­tion­ships be­tween each board of ed­u­ca­tion and their com­mu­ni­ties. Lt. Gov. Ca­gle has been stead­fast in his com­mit­ment to em­brac­ing new ed­u­ca­tion mod­els where the school be­comes an epi­cen­ter for com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, lead­ing to greater lev­els of stu­dent achieve­ment by in­creas­ing path­ways to ca­reer suc­cess.

The Char­ter Re­newal recog­ni­tion by the State BOE is just an­other way that Cal­houn City Schools has blazed the trail for in­no­va­tion and flex­i­bil­ity and has been a true pi­o­neer in ed­u­ca­tion by break­ing down bar­ri­ers for all Char­ter sys­tems in Ge­or­gia. While devot­ing their time, ef­fort, and ex­per­tise, they have cre­ated paths for other sys­tems to fol­low. Through the work of CCSD, they have been a van­guard for change sup­port­ing the vi­sion of the Ge­or­gia Char­ter Sys­tem Foun­da­tion to em­power lo­cal sys­tems with au­thor­ity and flex­i­bil­ity to serve stu­dents and the com­mu­nity. Through the strate­gic plan­ning process, CCSD en­gaged school gov­er­nance teams, lead­er­ship teams, stu­dents, teach­ers, par­ents and the com­mu­nity to de­fine what it means to be a school sys­tem of ex­cel­lence fo­cused on con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment. The Ad­vancED Ex­ter­nal Re­view Team, along with the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion Sys­tem Char­ter divi­sion, com­mended CCS for its strong lead­er­ship through­out the process. “We are ex­tremely pleased that we were the first and only Char­ter Sys­tem to si­mul­ta­ne­ously gain Ad­vancEd District Re-ac­cred­i­ta­tion and Char­ter Sys­tem Re­newal to lay the ground work for other sys­tems in Ge­or­gia,” stated Chief Aca­demic Of­fi­cer, Dr. Brit­tney Wil­son.

Cal­houn City School District is fo­cused on ad­vance­ment by set­ting them­selves apart from the tra­di­tional model. Cal­houn City Schools cur­rently holds a grad­u­a­tion rate of 95.2%, but un­der­stands that stu­dents need more to com­pete in the global econ­omy. CCSD be­lieves that the en­gage­ment of stu­dents fo­cused on in­di­vid­ual strengths and in­ter­ests is the way to im­prove­ment, achieve­ment, and en­thu­si­asm for life­long learn­ing. Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Michele Tay­lor shares, “Ex­cel­lence is a jour­ney, not a des­ti­na­tion. We con­stantly strive to cre­ate learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments where our stu­dents are chal­lenged and pre­pared for col­lege and ca­reers. Our goal is for every stu­dent to reach ex­cel­lence.” Cal­houn City Schools uti­lizes the flex­i­bil­ity of Char­ter Sys­tem sta­tus to rede­fine the class­room. No longer are space and time con­straints to stu­dents’ learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments. The new class­room con­tin­ues to de­velop through the use of in­no­va­tive sched­ul­ing, flex­i­ble cal­en­dars, and vir­tual learn­ing. Us­ing the Com­mu­nity as a Class­room, stu­dents are en­cour­aged to step out­side and en­gage in mean­ing­ful, rig­or­ous ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity lead­er­ship that fo­cuses on the con­cept of life­long learn­ing while pre­par­ing stu­dents for col­lege and ca­reers. Such ex­tended class­room set­tings al­low stu­dents to prac­tice and ap­ply learned skills in real world en­vi­ron­ments and sit­u­a­tions.

Cal­houn City School District pre­sented at the District Flex­i­bil­ity and Char­ter Schools Com­mit­tee meet­ing on May 4th at the State De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion. School gov­er­nance team mem­bers in­cluded Stephanie Jones, Dale Pullen, and Beth Vaughn. Sys­tem and school lead­er­ship in­cluded, Prin­ci­pal, Peter Coombe; Su­per­in­ten­dent, Dr. Michele Tay­lor; Board Vice-Chair, Rhoda Wash­ing­ton; and Chief Aca­demic Of­fi­cer, Dr. Brit­tney Wil­son.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Pic­tured left to right: Dale Pullen, Stephanie Jones, Dr. Brit­tney Wil­son, Dr. Michele Tay­lor, Beth Vaughn, Rhoda Wash­ing­ton, Peter Coombe.

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