Lowcountry school district superintendents to work on early literacy

North Charleston, SC - The Superintendents of the four school districts in the tri-county area, which include Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Two and Dorchester Four, are collaborating to identify and implement best practices in Early Literacy. At their regular meeting this month, the superintendents formed a small team with representatives from each district to identify classroom-based literacy practices within the region and across the country that have proven both effective and scale-able in support of all children in Grades K-3. The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) has agreed to support this initiative and to have an initial report of the best practices identified and validated no later than March 31, 2017.

In announcing the effort, Joe Pye, Dorchester District Two Superintendent said: “It is critically important that children learn to read by 3rd grade so that they can then read to learn. The Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester districts have in common the need to do a better job in every classroom and every elementary school, especially in support of those who come to Kindergarten already behind.”

While the focus of this initiative is on Grades K-3, the issues that cause children to be unprepared for kindergarten are already a part of TCCC’s work, as are disparities in academic achievement based on income and race. To be considered as a best practice in this process, there would need to be evidence of sustained improvement across all income levels and ethnic backgrounds.

In commenting on this initiative, Charleston County School District Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait said: “While we are not limiting this nation-wide search in any particular way, my colleagues and I are especially interested in practices that are demonstrably effective in training and supporting classroom teachers, in districts that look like ours. She went on to say: “The situation is little different in regard to math skills in the early grades, and were this team to uncover effective practices in early math teaching and learning, it would be a double win.”

The Low Country Education Consortium (LCEC) is comprised of four Superintendents: Ms. Brenda Blackburn – Berkeley County School District, Dr. Gerrita Postlewait – Charleston County School District, Mr. Joe Pye – Dorchester School District Two and Dr. Morris Ravenel – Dorchester Four School District. The LCEC was formed more than one year ago in support of a common agenda in service to the more than 100,000 children in public education in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties.

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative (TCCC) is a community-wide movement in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, South Carolina focused on improving the quality of life of its citizens and its workforce through education by aligning resources and working toward common goals. Using data and focused community collaboration across a continuum from “cradle-to-career,” TCCC works to build and implement strategies that will facilitate widespread systemic change, with the ultimate goal of increased student success and economic prosperity for all.