Special thanks to our HSGN Guiding Team!

Our High School Graduation Network’s Guiding Team, which is a subset of members from the Network who are designated to lead the Network’s work, met last week on the Boeing South Carolina campus.

The Guiding Team meets bi-monthly and includes key stakeholders, content experts, process facilitators and members of the TCCC backbone staff.

During the April 26th meeting, the Guiding Team discussed and made plans for the Network’s four Project Teams (FAFSA, College and Career Readiness, Students with Disabilities and Disconnected Youth).

To learn more and to join the network, contact Sarah Piwinski, TCCC’s Director of Data Management and Analysis,  at sarah@tricountycradletocareer.org or 843.408.6598.

May 19: Free asthma camp for tri-county children

Impediments to education attainment in this region intersect with health issues all across the pre-natal to workforce continuum. For TCCC’s Networks, Consortia and Guiding Teams, health issues are an integral part of the work.

One of the most prominent physical health issues the impede proficiency and readiness in K-12 is asthma.

The American Lung Association in South Carolina is hosting a free asthma camp for children ages 6-13 and their parents.

At Camp Breathe Easy, South Carolina, participants will learn to manage asthma symptoms. Participants will take home peak flow meters and spacers, and there will be educational activities, giveaways and experts on-hand to answer questions. A parent or guardian is required to attend as well.

The camp will take place at Mary Ford Elementary at 3180 Thomasina McPherson Boulevard in North Charleston, on Saturday, May 19, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Download the application and return to the American Lung Association. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Learn more at www.CampBreatheEasySC.org.

Op/Ed: Student success depends on support from entire community

The TCCC Board of Directors, chaired by InterTech Group CEO Anita Zucker, voted unanimously last week to approve this Op/Ed submission to The Post and Courier.

“We believe every school in our region should have an excellent principal leading high-quality teachers who are setting high expectations for every child — no exceptions. We will work with superintendents to make this happen.

We will advocate to change laws and policies that are clearly impeding our progress and contributing to disparities based on race, including Act 388 and the Disturbing Schools Law.”

Click here to read the full Op/Ed.

Symposium on early childhood arts, STEM set for May 7

The Institute for Child Success is partnering with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts to host Creativity Connects Charleston: Early STEM Learning Through the Arts.

This free, one-day symposium will focus on early childhood arts integration and STEM. It will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 7 at The Gibbes Museum of Art, at 135 Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. Lunch will be provided.

The day will include interactive panel discussions, hands-on arts experiences and workshops exploring how integrating the arts into early childhood classrooms can enhance STEM learning for young children.

Click here to learn more and register.

Presenting to the Kiwanis Club of Charleston

Special thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Charleston for inviting our CEO, John Read, to speak during their April 19 lunch meeting!

Kiwanis is an international organization that is dedicated to improving the world one child, one community at a time.


Kindergarten Readiness Network vote coming up

TCCC’s Kindergarten Readiness Network, which is convened by Trident United Way, is expected take a key vote on May 23.

Last year, the network voted to proceed into a due-diligence period with Family Connects, an evidence-based program that’s intended to serve all families with newborns in the region.

 Through Family Connects, nurses visit newborns and their families at their homes in the first three months of life to connect them with community resources and health care providers.

Intensive planning for the program has taken place over the past nine months during the due-diligence period, and now the network will decide if the program should be fully implemented.

Network members are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at Palmetto Goodwill2150 Eagle Drive, Building 100 in North Charleston.

HSGN working to embed soft skills in curricula

TCCC’s High School Graduation Network is working on the following topics:

  • College and Career Readiness
  • Disconnected Youth
  • FAFSA Completion
  • Students with Special Needs

The College and Career Readiness project team met earlier this month to discuss next steps, and it has become evident that the work is pivoting toward a set of outcomes and attributes that align with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Common Skills in High Demand report and the Profile of the S.C. Graduate.

Detailed discussions are currently underway to determine how best to embed these attributes into school-based curricula, after-school programming and summer programming.

The High School Graduation Network is comprised of community members who are committed to improving the on-time graduation rate in the tri-county region and ensuring students are ready for college or a career in the modern workforce.

If you are interested in participating in this project team or the High School Graduation Network, please contact Sarah Piwinski at Sarah@TriCountyCradleToCareer.org.

Principal development program in the works

A ready supply of well-prepared principals as instructional leaders in every school is an essential component of an educator talent development strategy. In the 2016-2017 school year, about a quarter of tri-county schools had principals who had been at their school for two years or less.

There is, at present, no discernible pipeline that assures excellent preparation and continuous development of aspiring principals.

The superintendents of the region’s four school districts, who meet regularly with TCCC as members of the Lowcountry Education Consortium, have recognized principal development as a common need among their districts.

In May, three organizations from around the country that run evidenced-based programs focused on training effective principals will visit the region and be interviewed by the superintendents. The goal is to establish a local best practices training program for aspiring principals.

Former educator joins TCCC staff

LaTisha Vaughn-Brandon

TCCC has hired LaTisha Vaughn-Brandon as Director of Networks and Community Engagement.

Vaughn-Brandon will take responsibility for TCCC’s Kindergarten Readiness Network and will lead TCCC’s efforts to expand and deepen connections with community groups across the education continuum. She will work with a board-level committee and grassroots community groups to engage parents, students, caregivers, teachers and others in education-related decisions that affect them.

Vaughn-Brandon replaces Alexa Stephens, who has left the organization with the grateful appreciation of the TCCC Board of Directors and staff for her service.

“LaTisha Vaughn-Brandon has a deep knowledge of the root causes of disparity in education, is committed to equity and understands the factors that impede kindergarten readiness and high school graduation rate and readiness,” TCCC CEO John Read said. “We’re excited to have her join the team and share that knowledge with our staff and community partners.”

Vaughn-Brandon is the owner and operator of Engineering for Kids Charleston and the owner and primary consultant for Vaughn-Brandon Consulting. Prior to her current work, Vaughn-Brandon was the director of education initiatives with Charleston Promise Neighborhood, assistant associate superintendent for the Charleston County School District and principal of North Charleston Elementary School.

She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Missouri, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Park College, now Park University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Georgia State University.

HSGN College and Career Readiness Workgroup

Thanks to those who participated in TCCC’s High School Graduation Network College and Career Readiness Workgroup meeting today!