Read Colleton County Middle Choice Letter 8-1-11 text version

Colleton County Middle School 1379 Tuskegee Airmen Drive Walterboro, South Carolina 29488 (843) 782-0040 Scott B. Matthews, Principal August 1, 2011 Dear Parents/Guardians, Colleton County Middle School is ready to open its doors for the first time on August 15. We are excited that we will get the opportunity to start over as a brand new middle school. We are also excited about our small learning community concept. Colleton County Middle School will consist of three small learning communities, each with a different learning focus. The ACE Basin School of Natural Resources will use an outdoor focus to teach core academic standards. The Lowcountry School of the Arts will use the performing arts to teach core academic standards and the Tuskegee Airmen Learning Center will use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to teach core academic standards. Be encouraged by the fact that all focus and attention by faculty, staff, and district personnel are dedicated to implementing and fostering procedures to assist our school in meeting and exceeding expectations of No Child Left Behind standards. The No Child Left Behind Act is a public law that mandates the improvement of academic performance in primary and secondary schools by increasing the standards of accountability for states, school districts, and schools. It also provides parents more flexibility in choosing which schools their children will attend. South Carolina, in accordance with the NCLB Act, has set some of the highest accountability standards in the nation that schools must meet in 29+ targets. Failure to meet one or more of these targets indicates that a school is not making adequate yearly progress (AYP) and is identified as a school in "Needs Improvement." Colleton Middle School takes the education of your child very seriously but needs your help in order to make a positive difference. Included below is a summary of information about Colleton County Middle School, as well as some tips on what you can do as parents to be an active partner in helping Colleton County Middle School to meet AYP. What is Colleton County Middle School (CCMS) doing to improve students' PASS scores? The CCMS leadership team is excited about the new programs and planned opportunities that will be implemented in the 2011-2012 school year. We are confident that these strategies will have a positive impact on improving student achievement. Some of the strategies incorporated into our plan are as follows: · Small learning communities with an Arts, Natural Resources and STEM focus · Common professional development periods for teachers · Orchard Lab for math remediation · Read 180 and System 44 reading programs · Highly qualified, caring and concerned staff · Academic Coaches in Core Education · Standards-based curriculum/School-wide reading and writing literacy program · After-school GAP program · Career exploration and service learning opportunities · School Improvement Council and PTO for parent involvement · English/Language Arts tutorial/Math Tutorial · District level monitoring and input · Reteaching/Retesting In addition to these strategies, district-wide initiatives implemented here at Colleton County Middle school include MAP testing, which measures student performance in math and ELA, and reports on student learning and growth over time. Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI), Data Driven-Instruction, and district-wide benchmarks/common assessments structured like the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) further provide our students with a rigorous, challenging curriculum. What can parents do to help their children improve PASS scores? Parents are students' first teachers and this role continues throughout a student's formal education. Involved parents demonstrate to their children that they expect them to be successful in school. This can be demonstrated by making sure that students study at home. Parents also need to participate in PTO and School Improvement Council functions, attend conferences with their children's teachers, and hold high expectations for educational standards. When these expectations are met, parents need to give recognition, and when they are not met, they need to give encouragement. Parents can further become active volunteers in school endeavors when the opportunity arises. Parents must keep up with and insist that children complete homework assignments, and finally, parents must foster an appreciation for lifelong reading in their children. We are looking forward to working with both you and your child this year. We value and cherish the partnership that we share with you as we recognize that this is the key to our continued success and positive growth. Sincerely, Scott B. Matthews, Principal


Colleton County Middle Choice Letter 8-1-11

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