#GivingTuesday is Here!

We consider ourselves fortunate to work with so many talented, caring and faithful supporters in the tri-county region who are committed to improving educational outcomes for all students. Thank you for being one of those supporters!

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday kicked off the holiday buying season, but today is the worldwide kickoff of the charitable season. It’s Giving Tuesday!

This global holiday celebrates the true meaning of what this season is all about. Last year, more than $177 million was raised across nearly 100 countries.

This year, we hope to see even more generosity! Please join the #GivingTuesday movement and give back to your favorite charities.

How can you participate in Giving Tuesday? Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Consider making an online tax-deductible gift to TCCC by clicking here
  • Help us get the word out on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #GivingTuesday
  • Post photos and testimony on social media demonstrating why you love TCCC
  • Do something in support of our teachers, schools and colleges

Your support allows us to continue working on our mission. We appreciate whatever you choose to do!


Happy Thanksgiving!

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative office at 6296 Rivers Avenue, Suite 308 in North Charleston will be closed from Thursday, November 23 through Friday, November 24 for Thanksgiving.

To reach a staff member, please email or call them directly. Contact information for each staff member is listed here.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

CRBJ: Fewer teachers want to be in S.C. classrooms

Patrick Hoff, a staff writer for the Charleston Regional Business Journal, wrote a story about the state’s teacher shortage and included comments from TCCC CEO John C. Read.

Read said no silver bullet exists for solving the problem and that communities need to work together to better support teachers.

“We have to honor the profession, we have to encourage students in math to prepare for a career in teaching, we have to make it rewarding for them,” he said. “Those are the things that we as a community need to do. The school district can’t do it alone; business leaders need to put pressure on the school boards to say, ‘This has to happen, or we’ll take our jobs elsewhere.’”

Click here to read the story or check out the Nov. 13 CRBJ print edition.

Letter to the Editor

TCCC CEO John C. Read and Coastal Community Foundation President and CEO Darrin Goss, Sr., co-authored a Letter to the Editor in today’s edition of The Post & Courier.

The letter addresses the number of articles and letters attacking Charleston County School District Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait.

“This personalized and vitriolic assault on an individual doing her best in an impossible job has no place in the community’s efforts to improve education attainment or in any civil society.”

Click here to read the full letter.

Chromebook Giveaway!

During the STEM Career Fair last month, we asked students to take a quick survey about the FAFSA. We then put all of the names of the participants in a bucket for a chance to win a FREE Chromebook! Watch the video to see the lucky winner with his prize.

Special thanks to all of the students who took the time to fill out our survey!

If you are or know a high school student, please don’t forget to fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is how you apply for federal grants, work-study funds, student loans and scholarships. If you don’t complete the FAFSA, you could lose out on thousands of dollars to help you pay for college.

If you plan to attend college between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, you should fill out your FAFSA now!

Here are some tips for completing the FAFSA:

1.) The official FAFSA website is fafsa.gov. You should never be asked to pay to complete the FAFSA. It’s always FREE.

2.) Fill out the FAFSA form as soon as possible. Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and some states and colleges run out of money early. Even if it seems like your school’s deadline is far off in the future, get your FAFSA done ASAP.

3.) It’s important to get an FSA ID (username and password) before filling out the FAFSA form. When you register for an FSA ID, you may need to wait up to three days before you can use it to sign your FAFSA form electronically. Create an FSA ID at StudentAid.gov/fsaid.

4.) Colleges can’t see the other schools you’ve added, so you should add ALL colleges you are considering to your FAFSA form, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll apply or be accepted. You can add up to 10 schools at a time.

Kindergarten Readiness Network

On Tuesday, our Kindergarten Readiness Network met at Palmetto Goodwill in North Charleston to discuss the Family Connects project, Birth to 8 Framework and proposed state legislation that impacts children.

Special thanks to all of the Network’s participants and Convener, Trident United Way!

To join the Network, contact Kate Buckholz, Trident United Way’s Director of Education Innovation, at kbuckholz@tuw.org  or 843.740.9000.


TCCC will be participating in #GivingTuesday, an international giving campaign, on November 28. We hope you’ll consider donating to us! Stay tuned for more details.

DD2 students set Academic Awards district record

Dorchester School District Two reports that students from Ashley Ridge High, Fort Dorchester High and Summerville High broke the district record for most academic letters and medals in a year!

Here are some results of the Academic Awards celebrations for the 2016-2017 school year:

  • A total of 1,105 sophomores, juniors and seniors earned Academic Awards this year, setting a district record. Last year, there were 973 honorees.
  • There were 267 students who received the Board of Trustees Award for earning an A in every subject.
  • Including this year’s recipients, 13,000 Academic Awards have been presented to district students since the program began.
  • Eleven businesses and organizations were sponsors of this year’s awards programs.
  • Program sponsors provided a $1,000 scholarship for a senior receiving an Academic Award from each of the three high schools.
  • Academic Award honorees nominated 319 teachers as Special Teachers this year. Special Teachers receive a personalized certificate commemorating the honor, an Academic Awards Special Teacher pin for first-time recipients and a copy of the Academic Awards program booklet that includes a listing of Special Teachers.

Way to go, Dorchester School District Two teachers and students!

District, college math professionals propose high school curriculum changes

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative’s Math Pathways Project Team (MPPT), made up of math professionals at the district and college level, has reviewed and evaluated the region’s high school math curriculum.

Today, the team has released a statement with recommendations for the regional school districts, which include Berkeley County School District, Charleston County School District, Dorchester School District 2 and Dorchester School District 4.

These recommendations are intended to open pathways to college and career access related to science, business, technology, engineering and other STEM-related disciplines.

Statement regarding the tri-county region’s math curriculum

After careful study, the Math Pathways Project Team has reached consensus on the following recommendations directed to the four school districts serving Lowcountry students:

  1. All students should complete four credits of math in high school, including Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry and a fourth higher-level math course beyond Algebra 2.
  2. All students should enroll in and complete a math course each year of high school. Students who complete required math credits prior to ninth grade may receive graduation credit for that coursework; however, these students should still enroll in and complete a math course during each high school year.
  3. Students planning on pursuing a STEM career should take an Algebra-based course, preferably Pre-Calculus, as their fourth level math course. If Pre-Calculus is completed prior to senior year, students should enroll in and complete an additional Algebra-based course.
  4. High school math courses beyond Algebra 1 should include a final course exam that is common across the district and aligned exclusively to the set of priority standards that are set for that course.

In a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, findings showed that of all pre-college courses, the highest level of math a student completes has the strongest influence on postsecondary-degree completion, and completing a course beyond Algebra 2 more than doubles the odds that a student who enters a postsecondary program will complete their degree.

Local high school graduates arrive at college largely unprepared for college-level math courses. Almost nine in 10 tri-county students enrolling at Trident Technical College require math remediation, while nearly 40% of those taking the math placement test at other MPPT-member colleges fail to pass and must either remediate or lose access to STEM-related majors.

This lack of proficiency is, in part, because students do not take a math course their senior year of high school, and consequently do not have the required level of knowledge to succeed in college-level courses.

Requiring a math course every year would significantly improve the prospects of college-bound students to access a STEM-related field and avoid remediation. While the MPPT recognizes that many students will graduate high school with no interest in STEM or no interest in attending college, being current and capable in math equips all students with critical thinking skills important to any career as well as the completion of a two- or four-year degree down the road.

The MPPT has also concluded that most final exams for high school math courses beyond Algebra 1 are not common, district-wide assessments, and, therefore, may have little to no accountability for the content assessed.

To ensure that all students are assessed on their proficiency with the standards applicable to each course, the MPPT strongly encourages school districts to create or obtain and use common final course exams that are tied exclusively to the state adopted South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Standards for Mathematics.

Respectfully submitted,

Geoff Schuler, Math Pathways Project Team Convener

Todd Ashby, Charleston Southern University

Mei Chen, The Citadel

Catherine DeMers, Charleston County School District

Karen Fonkert, Charleston Southern University

David Harris, Trident Technical College

Deborah Jeter, College of Charleston

Robert Mignone, College of Charleston

Sarah Piwinski, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

Kelly Purvis, Dorchester School District 2

John C. Read, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

Candace Rice, Dorchester School District 4

George Roy, University of South Carolina

Ann Sanderson, Dorchester School District 2

Wendy Sheppard, Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative

Melissa Stowasser, Trident Technical College

Ryan Thomas, Charleston Southern University

Jennifer Thorsten, Berkeley County School District

Andrew Tyminski, Clemson University
David Virtue, University of South Carolina

Jan Yow, University of South Carolina

New board member elected

Today, Rev. Dr. Larry Goss, Sr., who is the pastor of The Destiny Worship Center in North Charleston, was elected to the TCCC Board of Directors.

The Board now consists of 27 community leaders.

Welcome to the team, Rev. Dr. Goss!