CCSD approves ‘out of box’ curriculum changes for North Charleston High School

Charleston County News

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Charleston County School Board unanimously approved a plan to modernize curriculum at North Charleston High School in a meeting on Monday.

Principal Henry Darby is well known in the community for his love and service to North Charleston High School. He was recently recognized nationally after working a 2nd job at Walmart to help his students pay their bills.

Darby is now working to set his students up for success with fresh ideas in the classroom.

“We need something to keep up the pace with jet-like speed in the 21st Century,” says Darby.

Principal Darby presented a plan to the board that requested three waivers: seat time, teacher certification and flexibility of scheduling.

The first waiver, seat time, will allow students to work at their own pace.

“Would it not be a wonderful thing if students had the aptitude and the astuteness to complete a course in 45 days as opposed to 90 days?” asks Darby.

His 2nd request is a waiver for teacher certifications. This would allow community leaders and experts to instruct classes without a teaching certificate. Darby gave the example of Tom Brady:

“Somebody like Tom Brady, I think some say he’s the greatest of all time — some may disagree,” he jokes, “But nonetheless, if he wanted to coach here at North Charleston or teach P.E., he wouldn’t be able to do so because of the fact that he doesn’t have a teaching certificate.”

Lastly, the 3rd waiver is flexibility in scheduling. This would allow students to gain credit for work-based learning outside the classroom. He says this would help a number of his students who need to have a job or internship on top of their school work.

CCSD’s Executive Director of the Secondary Learning Community, Trevor Strawderman, says this plan is greatly needed to help students thrive at North Charleston High School.

“I think the factory-style education system that’s been around for 100 years works well for some students in some communities. It’s not really working right now for some of our communities; North Charleston being one of them,” says Stawderman.

Now that the board has approved these waivers, North Charleston HS leaders are excited to get the ball rolling. Over the next few months, teachers and students will be able to give feedback and help shape the school’s curriculum.

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