TCCC releases “Constructive Disruption” report

TCCC today released its Regional Education Report: Chapter 4. Click here to download and read a copy.

This report, titled “Constructive Disruption,” is intended to provoke the disruption of the status quo in public education so that meaningful, systemic improvement resulting in significantly improved student outcomes takes place.

Every citizen in the tri-county region needs to own the responsibility of educating our children. Changing public education is too important and too complex to leave just to educators and school boards.

We encourage you to share this report with your family, friends and colleagues and start a discussion within your own network about how to speak out, engage and insist every child receives an excellent education. We’re happy to help facilitate and provide guidance on those conversations.

We’re also available to discuss the report’s findings with your staff, church, school, club, chamber, association and any other groups. Should you wish to get print copies of this report or schedule a presentation, please contact Ashley Heffernan at or 843-732-8222.

4 credits of math in high school

TCCC’s Math Pathways Project Team (MPPT), made up of math professionals at the district and college level, evaluated the region’s high school math curriculum in the fall of 2017 and released recommendations for each of the four tri-county school districts.

Geoff Schuler, who convenes the MPPT, and John C. Read, CEO of TCCC, will discuss their recommendations with Berkeley County School District’s Board of Education during tonight’s meeting. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at H.E. Bonner Elementary School.

Here are the MPPT’s recommendations:

  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.

Click here to read the MPPT’s full statement and recommendations.

Chapter 4 coming soon!

For the past three years, TCCC has produced a Regional Education Report to highlight successes and show where work still needs to be done in the tri-county region.

Chapter 4 is in its final production stages now and will be published in April!

Kindergarten Readiness Network launches 3 groups

TCCC’s Kindergarten Readiness Network recently kicked off three working groups: Family Connects, Birth to 8 Framework and Family Engagement.

The Family Connects Work Group, led by Project Manager Mary French, will develop a business plan for Tri-County Family Connects.

The Birth to 8 Framework Work Group is inspired by the Birth to Eight Framework, created by the Institute for Child Success with the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation. The goal for this work group is to create a strategic vision for Kindergarten Readiness with drafts, input and vetting from the community.

The Family Engagement Work Group was formed from a gap analysis that identified intentional family engagement as missing from the network. This group will support the goal of adding caregivers to the guiding team and network. Select members from the working groups will make up the re-envisioned Guiding Team, which will kick off during the first quarter of 2018.

The Kindergarten Readiness network also partnered with Dorchester County First Steps and SC First Steps to conduct community conversation focus groups to garner the early childhood education aspirations of center directors, staff, parents of young children and early childhood resource providers in December and January.

TUW leader to retire

Trident United Way President and CEO Chris Kerrigan announced this month that he’ll retire in early 2019.

Chris, who is a valued partner and member of the TCCC Board of Directors, will be missed.

TCCC stands ready to support TUW during this transition phase and wishes the best for Chris!

TCCC supports continued Algebra Nation funding

The S.C. Legislature and the S.C. Department of Education are now considering an appropriation for Algebra Nation, and TCCC supports continued funding for the program.

Algebra Nation, a web-based instructional tool that was created in Florida and implemented in South Carolina in 2017, is being used in more than 60 districts across the state. Through the program, teachers can assign videos to students based on their learning needs, making it possible for students to progress at their own pace through Algebra 1.

Students can test themselves using a practice tool and receive personalized feedback to address gaps in their understanding.

It was brought here following a recommendation by TCCC’s Math Pathways Project Team, comprised of math specialists from the four districts and math professors from six of local colleges and universities to address a critical shortfall in math proficiency and Algebra in particular.

While it is too early to tell whether this program is impacting student achievement, early evidence is very positive, and the program is quite popular among students and teachers.

While there are many competing programs for consideration in the appropriations process, we believe this $1.5 million initiative is worthy of support.

Slideshow: FAFSA Blitz at Stall High

(Photos/Danielle Caradine)

The FAFSA Project Team, within TCCC’s High School Graduation Network, partnered with GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) to host a FAFSA Blitz at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston on February 7.

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is how students apply for federal grants, work-study funds, student loans and scholarships to pay for college.

It’s not too late to apply! Visit to learn more, and click here to see a slideshow of photos by Danielle Caradine from the FAFSA Blitz.

TCCC has also hired Mike Ward, a retired associate principal and educator, to oversee the FAFSA Project.

Mike worked in Charleston County School District’s central office as a Title I and language arts team associate for 14 years and spent more than a decade at R. B. Stall High School as a curriculum specialist and associate principal for curriculum and instruction before retiring in June of 2017.

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 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

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.

Algebra Nation a lifeline to some S.C. students

Special thanks to The Post and Courier’s Paul Bowers for writing about Algebra Nation, a web-based instructional tool that was created in Florida and implemented in South Carolina in 2017 to help teachers facilitate highly personalized learning of Algebra 1.

Through the program, teachers can assign videos to students based on their learning needs, making it possible for students to progress asynchronously through Algebra 1. Students can test themselves using a practice tool and receive personalized feedback to address gaps in their understanding.

They can also receive personalized, real-time feedback from teachers, tutors and peers on the Algebra Wall, which empowers them to learn collaboratively inside and outside of school.

Whenever a student helps another student on the Algebra Wall – such as directing them to an appropriate video to address their question, explaining how to start solving a math problem or by showing their classroom where they’ve made an error – the helper is awarded Karma Points.

Click here to read the P&C story, which includes a quote from TCCC CEO John Read.

Muhiyidin d’Baha

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative is deeply saddened by the loss of Muhiyidin d’Baha.

Muhiyidin was a tremendous champion and advocate for quality education and amplifying student voices. He was a member of TCCC’s Community Engagement Committee and helped influence the shape of our work.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Muhiyidin’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Click here to visit a GoFundMe page created by Muhiyidin’s family to raise money for his transportation back to the Lowcountry and funeral expenses.

The bricklayer and the cathedral

Karen Kuchenbecker with the Charleston Regional Development Alliance mentioned Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative in a recent blog post about the parable of the bricklayer and the cathedral.

“While it’s difficult to see progress in the day-to-day labor of laying bricks, with time, patience, and an unwavering commitment, all Charlestonians will one day be empowered to reap the benefits of a rewarding, family supporting career,” she wrote.

Read the post here: