Charleston County School District’s (CCSD) Summer Teacher Residency program was named a finalists for the 2018 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC™ Award. The annual award, presented by the Riley Institute and South Carolina Future Minds, celebrates promising education initiatives for improving the lives of students across South Carolina.
As a finalist, CCSD’s Summer Residency received a $1,000 cash award at the WhatWorksSC celebration luncheon on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
The District’s Summer Teacher Residency is a program designed to recruit and retain highly effective teachers in high-needs schools.
“Summer Residency gives both master and emerging educators an opportunity to build relationships that last beyond the summer, gain instructional knowledge, and reflect on best teaching practices in a positive and supportive environment,” said Kirsten Williman a Master Teacher at Chicora Elementary School.
A committee of corporate leaders and education experts selected finalists from more than 100 entries in the Riley Institute’s WhatWorksSC Clearinghouse – a repository of resources that includes policy papers written by state leaders, case studies, and initiatives that explore and exemplify key strategies for improving South Carolina’s public schools.
In June 2017, CCSD implemented Summer Residency to provide targeted, enhanced professional learning for novice teachers, to promote teacher leadership for master practitioners, and to continue student learning through the summer. This learning lab paired experienced teachers from schools throughout the district with teachers who were about to start or recently started teaching in high-needs schools.
“The real crux of the residency program is that we are focusing on teachers and teacher leaders as a means to promote professional growth,” explained Kevin Eakes, who helped lead the program in its first two years of existence and is now at the College of Charleston’s School of Education, Health, & Human Performance.
Each morning, teaching teams co-taught with a focus on culturally responsive instructional practices and innovative learning approaches that include adaptive and personalized digital content. In the afternoon, students participated in enrichment activities through CCSD’s EPIC Program in partnership with Charleston Promise Neighborhood, allowing teacher teams to plan and reflect on the day’s outcomes. These teachers collaboratively developed and implemented a summer learning program for K-5 students at high-poverty schools.
Seventy-five students from Sanders-Clyde Elementary School participated in the first year; this past summer, a combined 120 students from Chicora Elementary School and Mary Ford Elementary School were involved in the program.
Jason A. Sakran, CCSD Director of Expanded Learning (Kaleidoscope) and his team organized the logistical planning and all the things needed to operationally stand up a summer program at both locations. Shelia Grier was heavily involved in planning as well.
CCSD’s Office of Nutrition Services also partnered to provide their Seamless Summer Feeding Program to the students, offering breakfast, lunch and two snacks every day.
Master Teachers for Summer 2017 and 2018