CCSD Board votes for North Charleston High School to qualify as ‘School of Innovation’

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board on Monday approved a motion which would designate North Charleston High School as a School of Innovation.

A School of Innovation is a public school that operates using “innovative, more flexible ways of educating children,” exempting the school from certain state regulations.

State law stipulates the following requirements be met for qualification:

  • A school district must identify each state statute, regulation, and local district policy from which the school is requesting exemption and specify how this flexibility will support academic achievement for students and the Profile of the Graduate. No district is permitted to request flexibility from all state regulations and statutes for any school or schools.
  • The district superintendent must submit a request containing the information in subitem (a) to the local board of trustees for approval, which must be considered in a public meeting and requires a two-thirds vote of the board for approval. Any change in the request must be approved by the local board by a two-thirds vote.
  • Once approved by a local school board, the district superintendent must submit the request to the State Board of Education for approval, which requires a two-thirds vote of the State Board. Any change in a request that is pending approval by, or has been approved by, the State Board of Education must be made in the same manner as provided in subitem (b) and this subitem for initial requests.

One requirement proposed by the CCSD Board in particular is that the board receive bi-annual reports to monitor the impact of the program.

The decision now moves to the State Board.

North Charleston High School is home to many underserved students. Principal Henry Darby was so moved by the struggles of his students that he got a job stocking shelves overnight at Walmart to help meet their needs.

Principal Darby’s unique approach to ensuring students get necessary support eventually led to thousands of dollars in donations to the school, and him being awarded the Order of the Palmetto.

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