Ideal Elementary is “College-Bound” and We Need Your Help to Get There!

Written by Amanda Cote

On March 11, 2011

In our last blog post, Dwayne talked about some of the elements of success that the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) has built into its seamless system of college-bound programs and services.  They include starting programs in early childhood, expanding learning opportunities through extended-day and extended-year services, and increasing parent involvement, just to name a few.

At the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, we’re taking that advice  (and evidence of success) to heart, and have committed to working hand-in-hand in partnership with the Charleston County School District to transform four Neighborhood elementary schools (Sanders-Clyde, James Simons, Mary Ford and Chicora).  Together, we have one shared goal:

By 2016, all four CPN elementary schools will be among the best in Charleston County, and will be models for other schools in the County who desire to dramatically and rapidly improve the educational achievements for the children they serve.

So, how’re we going to do that, you might ask. Good question! In early February, we shared our detailed Elementary School Infusion Strategy and now we’re in the action-planning process of building the roadmap to help us achieve our goal.

Introducing Ideal Elementary

Our first step is to set the bar high.  For the last several months, we’ve been creating our recipe for success by researching evidence-based programs, combing that research with input from local, regional and national experts, and then putting it all together to develop what we’re calling, “Ideal Elementary.”

Ideal Elementary doesn’t yet exist, except right here on our website. It is a “concept school” – an evolving model “template”  or “vision” of  our Neighborhood elementary schools in 2016.

Even though we’ve put it on our website (in keeping with our commitment to transparency), it’s still in “VERY Draft” form.  In fact, it’s evolving every day and we expect that it will continue to do so over the next several weeks as we elicit comments, feedback, and new ideas from CCSD, our existing governmental, business, and nonprofit partners, our Community Engagement Council, and the public-at-large.

We Need Your Help

Since we’re “crowdsourcing” input on our work, it will only become stronger with your support.  Here are just a few of the ways you can help:

  • Download a pdf of the current version, read through it in detail, and then share your thoughts by commenting below.
  • To view the most updated version, click through the links on our website starting here.
  • Use the Facebook “Like” button to share the pages you most like with your friends, or use the “Sharing” buttons at the bottom of each page to forward to a friend (or just use old-fashioned email if it’s easier).
  • Email me your comments and thoughts directly.

Thank you in advance for your support and feedback.  Together, we can ensure that every child can succeed in school, be college-ready and achieve amazing things in life!

Warm regards,

Laura Deaton