Winter09 Newsletter

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					                                                                                                 Winter 2009

                                                                                                 Volume 1, Issue 1




                   Palmetto Charter Network……
                      Expanding Educational Opportunities
       PCN Board of
           Directors                    PCN 2009 Annual Conference a Success
Chairman
Michael Sinclair
Brashier Middle College                The Palmetto Network of Char-       Speakers included Dr. Jim
1830 West Georgia Road                 ter Schools held its 2009 An-       Rex, South Carolina Superin-
Simpsonville, SC 29680
                                       nual Conference, “Expanding         tendent of Education, Brian
864-963-0171
msinclair@brashiermiddlecollege.org    Educational Opportunities for       Carpenter, national authority
                                       South Carolina’s Children” in       on charter school govern-
Vice Chairman
                                       Columbia, SC, on September          ance, and Dennis Bega, Sen-
Mr. Thomas “Tom” McDuffie
Discovery School of Lancaster County   18th and 19th. This year’s          ior Advisory for the U.S.
302 West Dunlop Street                 conference was intended to          Department of Education's
Lancaster, SC 29721
                                       support those persons and           Regional Office in Atlanta.
803-285-8430
tmcduffi@lcsd.k12.sc.us                institutions committed to pro-
                                       viding alterna-                                      Dr. Rex at
Secretary
                                       tive and diverse                                     his first ap-
Ms. Lilian Thomas-Wilson                                                                    pearance at
Midland Valley Preparatory Charter     educational pro-
School                                 grams through                                        a statewide        received by the entire audi-
2432 Jefferson Davis Highway
                                       charter educa-                                       charter school     ence.
Graniteville, SC 29829                                                                      conference has
803-594-1028                           tion, with the
lwilson@mup.k12.sc.us                  goal of improv-                                      been suppor-        In all, more than 36 pre-
                                       ing student                                          tive of the        senters were on hand to
Treasurer                                                                                   charter school     speak about topics to in-
Ms. Robyn Verdery                      achievement.
Midland Valley Prep/Fox Creek High
                                                                                            movement in        clude a Cracker Barrel ses-
School                                 The two-day                                          South Carolina     sion on SC charter school
805 Plantation Point Drive             event drew more than 150            and wants to expand quality         legislation with PCN Gov-
North Augusta, SC 29860
803-510-3119
                                       attendees, including leaders of     charter schools in the future.      ernment Relations Liaisons
rverdery@comcast.net                   major South Carolina busi-          He is leading a “Race to the        Bob Knight , CPA and Kyle
                                       nesses, board members, and          Top federal grant application       Michel, Kyle Michel Law
Director                               educators who work for, and/        for $30 million that will feature   Firm , a demonstrations of
Ms. Audrey Breland                     or on behalf of our charter         charter public schools as a         the applications of Virtual
Richland One Middle College
                                       schools. Numerous educational       strong component in improving       Education by Mickey Reve-
316 S. Beltline Blvd
Richland Hall, Room 131                workshops, seminars, ses-           education in South Carolina.        naugh, co-founder and Sen-
Columbia, SC 29205                     sions, and panel discussions        His message: “Charter               ior Vice President at Con-
803-738-7114
                                       focused on a broad spectrum         Schools-Providing Hope, Op-         nections Academy, a lead-
abreland@richlandone.org
                                       of charter school best prac-        portunity, Options” was well        ing national provider of vir-
                                       tices.                                                                  tual, cont. pg 2
Director
Greg Abel
Langston Charter Middle School
212 Roper Mountain Road Extension
Greenville, SC 29615
864-286-9700
                                        In the Spotlight: Discovery School, cont. pg 3
gabel@langstoncharter.org

                                       Discovery School of Lancaster         ronment that focuses on the       gram, the Thinking Maps
                                       County opened in August of            integration of a variety of       program, a multiple intelli-
                                       2000, with 72 students in grades      research-based programs           gences “flow room”, a Par-
                                       kindergarten through three.           and methodologies that            ents As Partners contract,
                                       Since opening the school has          include the following: Core       and the Renzulli Learning
                                       added fourth and fifth grades for     Knowledge curriculum, mul-        System.
                                       a total student enrollment of         tiple intelligences theory
                                       108.                                  and application, positive         Through a partnership with
                                                                             discipline, arts inclusion,       the Lancaster County
                                       The school is dedicated to serv-      foreign language instruc-         School District’s Gifted and
                                       ing a diverse population of stu-      tion, problem-based learn-        Talented Program, all stu-
                                       dents in a unique learning envi-      ing, the Brain Boosters pro-      dents at Discovery School
Page 2                                                                                    Palmetto Charter Network……




President’s Message

For charter schools, 2010 is shaping up      for charter schools in S.C.                   I look forward to us gathering in Co-
to be a critical year. Everyone’s eyes                                                     lumbia on January 20th at Richland
are fixed on the much anticipated char-      I am asking that we all come together         One Middle College on the Beltline
ter school law working its way through       and demonstrate a united voice and            Campus of Midlands Technical College.
the House Education Committee. This          effort in pursuing legislative and ad-        During this Business meeting, we will
change will impact charter school fund-      ministrative supports that will               elect three Board members, discuss
ing and administration for many years        strengthen the public charter school          the charter law, and begin planning
to come. Joel Medley is also working         choice option in S.C. Bob Knight is           events for the year.
to renew our Public Charter School           working tirelessly to promote our
Program Grant to provide funding for         agenda in the State Assembly. Some            Until then, work hard and focus on the
Planning and Implementation grants,          member schools have independent               students. They are
Dissemination Grants, Office of School       lobbyists, and I ask that every effort        the purpose of our
Choice support, and many other critical      be made to coordinate the message             mission!
programs. Finally, pending adequate          and strategy to build unity and not
                                             division. An unprecedented number of          Michael Sinclair,
funding, the number of new charter                                                         President
schools could grow by as many as 12          Senators and Representatives are sup-
next year.                                   porting charter schools. Now, we need
                                             to support them with accurate informa-
For all of these reasons, and many           tion, quality schools, and voices of
more, 2010 stands to be a pivotal year       encouragement.




PCN 2009 Annual Conference a Success,
cont. from pg. 1
public school services as well as vari-      of the Year Award and The SC Asso-
                    ous presentations        ciation of School Administrators
                    on school finance,       (SCASA) and Carolina First Bank rec-
                    facilities, govern-      ognized Greenville Technical Charter
                    ance, technology         High School as the recipient of “The
                    and academic ses-        Carolina First Palmetto's Finest
                    sions for elemen-        Award “.
                    tary, middle and
                                             The conference was sponsored by The
                    high school teach-                                                     dents, teachers, and school administra-
                                             National Network of Digital Schools
                    ers.                                                                   tors to succeed.
                                             Management Foundation which is dedi-
                   During the confer-        cated to providing customer-centered          Watch your e-mail for the date for
                   ence, Senator Law-        services utilizing highly-trained and         next year’s 2010 PCN State Charter
rence K. “Larry” Grooms representing         committed staff to individualize educa-       School Conference.
District 37 was honored as Legislative       tional strategies that empower stu-


PCN Administration
The next meeting of the Palmetto                   Each school that qualifies as a Full    school in South Carolina. Associate
Charter Network will be from                       Member shall designate its repre-       Members shall not have voting rights
January 20, 2010.                                  sentative who may vote for up to        but shall have all the rights and privi-
                                                   three separate candidates. The          leges of Full Members otherwise
All members of the PCN are in-                     three candidates receiving the
vited to attend. However, only                     most votes will be the elected offi-    A member of a planning committee
those members who have been                        cials. In the event of a tie, then      that receives its charter who has
operating with students enrolled             ties will be broken by a lottery procedure    served for a period of one year would
for a period of one year have voting         to be done at the annual meeting. To          qualify as a director of that particular
rights. Because the PCN elects half of its   serve on the Board, a Board candidate         charter school. However, if the person
board annually, three board seats are up     must have at least one (1) year of as a       did not serve as a member for one
for election/re-election this year.          director, officer, attorney, accountant,      year or the school did not have its ap-
                                             administrator or employee of a charter        plication approved would not qualify.
                                                                                                                                   Page 3




Legislative Update

All eyes are awaiting a bill                                            several occasions      locally funded charter school receives;
being drafted by the Chair-                                             with the Chair-        Provide for additional entities that can – if
man of the House Education                                              man and ex-            they choose – authorize a charter school;
Committee Phil Owens.                                                   pressed our            Allow charter school students to partici-
                                                                        wishes in regard       pate in athletics at whatever school they
For many months now, Chair-                                             to this legislation.   are zoned to attend.
man Owens has been meet-                                                We have provided
ing with key stakeholders to                                            him with a laun-       PCN expects to actively support Chairman
create the first major revision                                         dry list of items      Owens legislation during the 2010 ses-
to the Charter School law                                               that we believe        sion.
since its creation. There was                                           are critical to the
speculation the bill would be                                                                  In addition, we expect to support a
                                                                        success of our         budget amendment to clarify rules re-
ready by the pre-filing days                                            schools. Included
of 2010 legislation but the bill                                                               garding charter funding for the gift &
                                            in that list are: Facilities funding; Ensur-       talented and AP students.
did not appear on either November 17 or     ing that per-pupil, and per-staff member,
December 1. Pre-filing is likely to occur   generated dollars go directly to Charter           If you have any questions about any of
on December 15th.                           Schools; Parity with locally funded schools        our legislative matters please contact Bob
The Palmetto Charter Network has met on     – the $12,000 per child the state funds            Knight at 803-513-0858.
                                            compared with the less than $6,000 a



In the Spotlight: Discovery School,                                       cont. from pg 1

are exposed to strategies that have         ment of Education a total of six times         Program.
proven to be successful with academi-       and has met AYP requirements each
cally talented students. Another part-      year. In 2007, Discovery School, was           Over the years, Discovery School has
ner, Nihon University in Japan, pro-        recognized by the Center for Education         received over $800,000. in grants from
vides a teacher intern each year, ena-      Reform as one of the National Charter          a variety of sources, including the SC
bling Discovery School students to          Schools of the Year.                Also,      Department of Education, the Springs
learn the basics of Japanese language,      in 2007, Discovery                             Foundation, the Challenge Foundation,
customs, and culture over a period of       School was featured                                          and the J. Marion Sims
eight weeks.                                as a demonstration         “This blended approach            Foundation. The school
                                            site during the annual                                       also maintains a positive
                                                                       to instruction has paid off
This blended approach to instruction        conference of the                                            working relationship with
has paid off over the years through         National Association       over the years through            the Lancaster County
high student achievement, strong pa-        for Gifted Children,                                         School District and pro-
rental support, and recognition at the                                 high student                      vides multiple opportuni-
                                            drawing teachers and
local, state and national levels. As        administrators from        achievement.”
                                                                                                         ties for professional devel-
evidence of this recognition, Discovery     across the nation to                                         opment for teachers from
school has received the Palmetto Gold       learn more about its Brain Boosters                          other schools within and
and Silver Awards from the SC Depart-                                                      outside the district.



A Special Guest
Three English teachers (Rachel Hamil-       his writing process and how every ele-
ton, Hadley Green, and Aaron Tem-           ment and character in the novel has
ples) at Langston Charter Middle            meaning. His theme centered around
School in Greenville hosted Canadian-       the idea that Greatness comes from
American author Theo Caldwell on            being Good – that anyone can be great
Tuesday December 1st.                       by doing good in life.
Mr. Caldwell spoke to all of the stu-       To thank him for his generosity, stu-
dents during their English class periods    dents presented a check for $300 to
and gave them each an autographed           the Hugs-for-Hounds shelter in honor
copy of his new book, Finn the half-        of Mr. Caldwell and his 5 rescued dogs.
Great. Using the book, he described                                                            Canadian-American author Theo Caldwell
Page 4

                                                           About the PCN………………………………….
    Palmetto Charter Network
                                                  Founded in the fall of 2008, the South Carolina Palmetto
   805 Plantation Point Drive                     Charter Network (PCN) has grown to more than a dozen
   North Augusta, SC 29860                        school members. A growing organization, PCN is striv-
                                                  ing to represent its members at every level of govern-
    Phone: 803-510-3119                           ment: federal, state, county, and local municipal-
    Fax: 803-202-9490                             ity. Currently, it is growing to provide services to its
                                                  members in marketing and publicity, advocacy, net-
    E-mail: rverdery@comcast.net                  worked technical support, and communications. As the
    www.palmettocharternetwork.org                                                              membership
                                                                                                grows, PCN
                                                                                                plans a con-
                                                                                                tinued ex-
   Charter Schools-Providing Hope,                                                              pansion into
                                            We’re on the web……………….……..
       Opportunity and Options                                                                  a future of
                                            www.palmettocharternetwork.org                      membership
                                                                                                services and
                                                                                                communica-
                                                                                                tion and the
                                                                                                provision of
                                                  reasonable educational services. Members of PCN enjoy
Did you know……………..                               a coordinated voice at the SDE, as well as into related
                                                  SC legislation. Other benefits include access to technical
                                                  support, free publicity for events/programs, and re-
the SDE finance department publishes a monthly
                                                  duced rates at annual coalition conferences.
newsletter that can be accessed around the 20th of
each month at http://ed.sc.gov/agency/Finance-and-
Operations/Finance/old/finance/newsletter/index.html


                    PCN Members and Upcoming Events

         PCN Member Schools             South Carolina Virtual Charter School
                                                                                Mark Your Calendars!
     Aiken Performing Arts Academy          Spartanburg Charter School
                                                SC Calvert Academy              The next meeting of the Palmetto
          Brashier Middle College
                                                                                Charter Network will be from
     Columbia East Point Academy             SC Connections Academy             10:00—2:00, Wednesday, January
                                                                                20, 2010, at Richland One Middle
 Discovery School of Lancaster County                                           College, 316 S. Beltline Blvd, Co-
           Fox Creek High School                  PCN Business                  lumbia, SC. For Directions contact
                                                                                Ms. Audrey Breland, 803-738-7114
  Fuller Normal Advanced Technology            Associate Members                or
            Charter School                                                      abreland@richlandone.org. Lunch
                                                  Aventa Learning               will be provided for one delegate
  Greenville Tech Charter High School
                                             Calvert Education Services         per member. Additional lunches
   Greer Middle College Charter High                                            may be purchased for $10 per per-
                School                       Connections Academy LLC            son. Please RSVP to Lilian Thomas
                                            Freeman & Major Architects          -Wilson at
    Langston Charter Middle School                                              lwilson@mup.k12.sc.us.
    Lake City College Prep Academy                 Horace Mann

     Lloyd-Kennedy Charter School                      NNDS

   Midland Valley Preparatory School    South Carolina Association of School
                                                  Administrators
         Palmetto Scholars Academy
                                               Triangle Construction
          Palmetto State E-cademy
                                                    Young Office
      Richland One Middle College