On February 21, members of the Greater Good Greenville community participated in our first Community Lunch and Learn: Greenville County Schools, Ensuring Students are College and Career Ready. With a panel convened by Catherine Schumacher of Public Education Partners, the program gave great insight into Greenville County Schools. Below are Greater Good Greenville’s Top 5 Takeaways.
- Dr. Burke Royster, Superintendent, kicked off the program with his “State of the District” overview. GCS is the 46th largest district in the country, has 77,500 students, employs 11,000 people including 6,000 teachers, and operates 107 facilities. 90% of the schools received an Excellent, Good or Average rating on the SC Report Card (and 44% received an Excellent rating), and the average ACT/SAT scores of GCS students are higher than the national averages.
- Kelley Nalley, Academic Specialist for K-12 IB, Magnet, and World Languages, explained that the academic programs of each magnet academy offer a theme or focus designed to give students an opportunity to explore a special interest, gift, talent or skill. Magnet academies are designed to meet the following district goals: offer unique educational choices for students, provide a unique or specialized curriculum or educational approach, improve achievement for all students participating in the magnet program and promote and maintain diversity.
- Eric Williams, Executive Director for Career and Technology Innovation, discussed the many options for CTE learning in the district, and he highlighted the exciting plans for the CTE Innovation Center at Roper Mountain. Check out the programs that will be included: Clean Energy Technology, Networking/Cybersecurity, Aerospace Technologies, Automation and Robotics, and Emerging Automotive Research.
- Vee Popat, Director of the Fine Arts Center, shared the center’s mission: Preparing dedicated students for 21st-century careers through rigorous, pre-professional arts training in a dynamic, inclusive, collaborative learning community. He covered the various artistic paths students can pursue there, from visual art to dance to filmmaking to architecture.
- Edward Anderson, Director of OnTrack Greenville, explained the mission of OnTrack Greenville is “To mobilize people and resources that eliminate barriers to success for students, families and educators.” The vision is a Greenville County where all students have the tools and opportunities to achieve their full potential, graduate from high school and become contributing members of their communities.
- Well, we couldn’t stop at 5… we had to include Greenville County Schools’ nationally-acclaimed food and nutrition services culinary program. The lunch they provided was outstanding. Check out School Food Rocks where Director Joe Urban demonstrates how FANS serves high quality, delicious food by using innovative (and fun!) techniques. Want more? Listen to this episode of Simple Civics Greenville County and hear more from Joe!
We are indeed fortunate to have these leaders serving our students in Greenville County! Thanks to Public Education Partners for facilitating a great conversation.