Lt. Gov. Cagle applauds action on Charter System renewal
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.
Pictured left to right: Dale Pullen, Stephanie Jones, Dr. Brittney Wilson, Dr. Michele Taylor, Beth Vaughn, Rhoda Washington, Peter Coombe.