Chicora Elementary School is part of Charleston County School District's "Acceleration Schools Initiative," which focuses on serving our students' academic, social, and cultural needs and works alongside staff, families, and our community to develop and support the whole child. The "Guiding Principles" are the following: Exceptional People: Every student will have a great teacher and a strong school leader; Rigorous Content and Instruction: Every student can achieve their college or career goals; Community Partnership: Every student and their family are proud of their school; School Transformation: Every division is committed to transforming schools with an equitable and relentless focus on leadership, talent management, instructional infrastructure, and climate and culture.
Using this turnaround framework, Chicora Elementary is helping all students develop the world-class skills and life and career characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by focusing on critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, Chicora Elementary piloted a new ELA curriculum-Expeditionary Learning (EL), and gained collaborative partnerships with Leading Educators and Darden University. The EL curriculum works on developing the character of students (SEL) and their intellect. Chicora Elementary delivered rigorous, standards-based instruction to students at grade level. This curriculum also challenged students to use critical thinking skills. We also implemented a new digital platform, iReady. This platform allows our teachers to meet our students exactly where they are and provides data to increase their student's learning gains.
With the partnerships of Leading Educators and Darden University, school leaders and teachers are provided monthly professional development to ensure success by taking a bold, comprehensive approach to transform learning and make rapid improvements in closing the achievement gap and providing equity for every student.
This school year, through the implementation of EL and iReady, our students developed skills of perseverance and self-direction to reach their personal goals.
Chicora Elementary School fosters collaboration among our teaching staff. Our teachers work together during Professional Learning Communities within and among different grade levels on thematic units. We also hosted family events such as our virtual and in-person Family Reading and Math Nights, Christmas Concert, Black History Program, and Parenting Programs such as Make It Take It, Pops, and Cops Reading.
We teach our students to work as members of a team to support their learning and classmates. As we create a sense of shared responsibility around collaborative work, students can demonstrate the ability to work effectively and respectfully with peers.
As a PBIS and Second Steps school, there is a schoolwide discipline plan that allows students to develop interpersonal skills that will help them throughout their lives by implementing social-emotional learning and guidance lessons.
We are committed to the health and wellness of our students and staff. Our Wellness Team encourages teachers and students to make healthy choices through Wellness Challenges and healthy eating habits.
We have a partnership with Charleston Promise Neighborhood (CPN) and Metanoia. They both have supported family nights allowing for STEM activities which helped keep our families involved with their child's learning. CPN and Metanoia co-sponsored our summer enrichment program. We regularly communicate with parents through our Monthly Newsletters, marquee, school website, and Facebook page.
At Chicora Elementary, we look forward to continued partnerships with our families and communities to support our students in becoming lifelong learners.
Monica Smalls, Principal
Kelly Evans, SIC Chair