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Oct 12 2020

Letter To The Editor: School Board Priorities

Fellow Islanders,

 I have followed with great interest the work of the Charleston Shared Future Community Scenario Project on the future of education in Charleston County. The CCSD website home page (scroll down to More  – Mission Critical Actions) provides detailed information about the project, including an executive summary and a report from CCSD Superintendent Geritta Postlewait.

 I share this information to give you an understanding of why I am once again running for a seat on the D9 Constituency School Board. Although our role is limited to discipline, transfers, rezoning and a yearly report to the CCSD Board of Trustees, I strongly believe that the responsibility of the D9 Board is to align our work with that of the priorities set forth by the Board of Trustees.

A new elementary school for D9 is on the November referendum. My vision for the current Mt. Zion Elementary is that it can become an early childhood and family engagement center to serve Child Development, Kindergarten and Head Start students from Johns Island. Wadmalaw Island provides early childhood education through the Montessori program at Frierson Elementary.

I believe that high expectations of students and staff and rigor in curriculum are necessary in order for all of our students to be eligible for acceptance into the honors classes at our Constituent Magnet Middle School.

I believe that our students can then enroll in our local high school, where they will continue to have equitable access to programs that serve students from all backgrounds.

 I believe that all students are entitled to quality opportunities in their education, and I will continue to work toward that end.

D9 Board meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. and are currently on Zoom and available to the public.

As a board member, I try to attend all School Improvement Council meetings at our five schools. SIC meetings are also on Zoom and open to the public. I attend PTA meetings at our schools whenever possible.

I have volunteered in our local schools for a number of years in classrooms, teaching small groups, or with individual students as a reading partner. I have helped teach crock pot cooking classes in four of our schools through the generosity of the Sea Island Hunger Awareness Foundation. I am a volunteer with the Begin with Books organization to register children from birth to 5 years of age to receive a monthly free book in the mail from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

As a retired Title 1 public school educator, I believe in the need to prepare our children early with a strong foundation that will enable them to begin first grade ready to learn on grade level.

With your vote, I will continue to work toward equality and equity for all of the students in our D9 schools.

Thank you,

Pat Cline

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