Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2019
The School Improvement Councils (SICs) at Chandler Creek Elementary School and Stone Academy of Communication Arts have been named to the SC School Improvement Council’s (SC-SIC) 2019 Honor Roll for their significant efforts to foster civic engagement in public education. They are among 11 schools statewide to receive the honor.
These Honor Roll SICs will continue in the running for SC-SIC’s annual Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence. Named for the former US Secretary of Education and South Carolina Governor and his late wife, the Riley Award was created in 2002 to recognize the vital contributions made by more than 1,100 local SICs and their nearly 14,000 SIC members across the state.
Five finalists from this year’s list of Honor Roll SICs will be selected in February, with one to be announced as the winner of the annual Riley Award for SIC Excellence on March 30.
Chandler Creek Elementary SIC Honored for Block Party Model
Chandler Creek Elementary chose to model their school improvement effort on the SIC Block Party. They identified a need to strengthen community involvement in the school by reaching out beyond the walls of the school building. “We targeted high-need areas which housed multi-family groups. These housing areas equaled to almost half of our student population and allowed us to meet with students, parents, grandparents, and guardians,” explained Principal Jane Mills. “With our efforts, community partnerships grew immensely from local businesses, churches, nonprofits, and high school service groups. Together, we host quarterly block parties serving food, doing arts and crafts with students, playing and dancing, and supplying clothing, and hygiene items to those in need. Our parent satisfaction levels have risen and our school has worked very hard to create new messaging about the positive impact of public education.”
Stone Academy SIC Identified 4 Areas of Need
The Stone Academy SIC worked with administrators to identify four areas of need: reading, math, technology, and parent involvement. The school’s reading coach coordinated events throughout the year, including programs that rewarded students for meeting reading goals and a reading celebration for kindergartners called Winter Wonderland. They implemented a school-wide focus on math that included multiplication visuals in the halls. Technology lunch and learns for parents provided games, apps, and tips to use with their children. Parent involvement was a key focus to educate parents on teaching methods that build confidence and competence in their children.
SICs were established in state law over 40 years ago. Part of the Center for Educational Partnerships within the University of South Carolina College of Education, the SC School Improvement Council provides the member training, technical assistance, statutory accountability, and other operational resources necessary for the continued success of the community-based SICs in each of South Carolina’s K-12 public schools.
More information on SC-SIC, the Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence, and award winners from previous years can be found online at the South Carolina SIC Website.