NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- During a visit to Pinehurst Elementary School on Wednesday, Charleston County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Don Kennedy spoke about three major goals for the 2022-2023 school year.

“It’s very exciting. I left the house this morning a little after 6 a.m. I saw all these school busses on the road,” said Kennedy.

Raising Reading Levels

According to CCSD, 75% of Hispanic students are reading below grade level and 82% of African American students are reading below grade level.

There are 35 schools that have a new reading curriculum to help those numbers decrease this year. The superintendent says that without reading levels rising the district cannot fulfill its other goals.

“We want to have all students reading on grade level by grade five by the year 2027. Over the next few weeks we will continue to work with the board as the board goes out into the community to talk about this vision of reading,” said Kennedy.

Improving Math Skills

Advanced math classes are expected to be encouraged for eighth graders in CCSD to prepare them for high school level courses.

“A goal for eighth grade advanced math because that is a predictor of success in high school for our middle school kids moving into high school,” said Kennedy.

Preparing Students for the Future

Kennedy says that when he attended every high school graduation in the county last school year that there were some graduates who told him that they felt unprepared for their next step in life.

“We will also add a goal for college and career readiness. Currently, only about 67% of our graduates are college and career ready,” said Kennedy.

Goals for Teachers

CCSD wants to train teachers more, especially with talent development as a part of reading initiatives.

“One of the things we are definitely focused on is improving how we train teachers,” said Kennedy. “We are looking how we can continue to support teachers from a financial standpoint.”

Hiring more minority teachers has been a point for CCSD’s human resources office as well.

Men of Charleston Teach, a recruitment program for male teachers, has hired 12 teachers across the district. The goal is to have 60 new male minority teachers in elementary schools within the next three years.

Teach Charleston, an alternative route certification program, has 83 teachers in the program as it continues to grow.