CCSMS Update
July 29, 2020
Highlights
  • Options for the 2020-21 School Year with a Form
  • First day of school: August 18, 2020. We plan on starting the school year in "Temporary Remote Mode" with distance learning online on August 18th. We will monitor the regional COVID-19 levels and recommendations for when we are able to hold on campus instruction, which will be phased in with hybrid and full on campus options when it is safe to do so.
  • Save the Date: Drive-Thru Orientation with Chromebook Pick Up - August 13 and 14
Good evening CCSMS Families,

I am sorry for the confusion with the CCSD communication that went out earlier this evening. We were told we would see the communication first and we did not. You do not need to complete that form, since our school is not listed on it. Thank you for your questions, trust, and support this evening.

Here are the current plans we will move through together in phases for our CCSMS scholars and families who plan on joining us on campus this school year based on medical experts and data:
  • Temporary Remote Mode: We plan to start on August 18, 2020 with all of our scholars learning from a distance in “temporary remote mode” based on the current trends in COVID-19 for our area.
  • Hybrid: When it is safe to do so, we will have a hybrid option with alternating A and B days, see the chart below. Our A and B days will be aligned with the District’s and they are aligning families on the same days. Most scholars will be on campus 2 days a week and learning remotely 3 days a week.
  • Closer to 100% On Campus: When it becomes safe to do so, we would welcome for more of our scholars to join us on campus for 5 days a week we will make that transition from hybrid to what will look more like a “normal” schedule with some scholars still learning remotely.

We will have some CCSMS families who choose to stay in a virtual learning environment all year or for parts of the year. We have two options for our scholars and they both allow the scholar to stay enrolled at CCSMS:
  • Distance Learning Option A - The CCSMS Distance Learning Option: Scholars are served by CCSMS teachers and continue to stay in courses paced with their peers during the year. They will be able to come back into the hybrid or traditional model with some simple steps. We will have some scholars who need to quarantine or be out for extended periods unexpectedly and will be able to transition in and out of this option, as needed.
  • Distance Learning Option B - The CCSD Virtual Academy: Scholars are served by non-CCSMS teachers and are on a different schedule than CCSMS. You will be able to select the CCSD Virtual Option on the form we are providing if that is your choice, we will then help you get enrolled for their program which is planning to start on September 8, 2020. Any scholar taking a High School Course with CCSD’s Virtual Academy will need to complete those courses prior to transitioning back into CCSMS classes. Middle School scholars will be able to transition out at the end of each CCSD quarter back into CCSMS.  We will work with families to support these transitions.

Please use this School Year 20-21 choice form to let us know what your current choice to start the school year.

We will provide additional information in the coming days, but we wanted to get this to our families.

Sincerely,

Mary Carmichael
Executive Principal and CEO
Frequently Asked Questions about Next School Year
Updated 7/17/2020
When is the first day of school?
  • August 18, 2020. We will start the school year with distance learning. Depending on the levels of Covid-19, we will ready to serve scholars virtually, in a hybrid rotation, or with the majority of scholars on campus.

Will the academic rigor be increased with distance learning for the 2020-21 School Year?
  • Yes, we will have high academic expectations for our scholars with distance learning and when they are on campus.
  • There were expectations from SCDE and CCSD that we had to maintain in the spring that created some lower than normal expectations across the state.
  • This fall will look and feel very different for our scholars as we help them ramp back up to our high expectations. We will provide supports and strategies for our scholars who may need some help with self-motivation and time management.
  • We will have new learning platforms and options for communication for our parents and guardians to be able to see what is due, what is done, and what needs to be addressed. We understand many of you were frustrated by the lack of parent views with Google Classroom. There may still be some content or assignments on google classroom for scholars, but parents/guardians will have other tools to be able to check in and communicate with teachers, if needed.
  • CCSMS is already using many of the components CCSD intends to use in their Virtual Academy. We know the level of support our scholars have needed in the past to be successful on these platforms and we are making adjustments to be proactive. We are also identifying additional platforms and resources to support our curriculum.
  • Project Lead the Way has developed content support and instructional strategies along with training for our teachers for their middle school and high school courses. We will continue those components in hybrid and distance learning.
  • It has also been indicated that Trident Tech’s dual credit classes will be online for the fall semester. Our scholars will enroll in those as they have in the past.
  • Some courses may be purchased from proven online providers with CCSMS teachers delivering content and support.
  • We look forward to the time when we can fully immerse all of our scholars in our experiential learning curriculum both on campus and, more importantly, off campus where we engage in hands-on field experiences and authentic research in our surrounding community. We will get there together.

Will school buses run this coming school year?
  • Yes, when school is in session in the building we will have bus transportation. We have 9 brand new school buses that will be operating to serve just CCSMS. 7 were delivered this week and 2 more are on their way this Monday!
  • They will run similar routes as we have had in the past.
  • There will be a new app we will have more control over for families to track their buses.
  • They will run at 50% capacity based on health and safely guidance currently in place.
  • Scholars will wear masks.

Do you have a sample of what the hybrid model could look like?
  • With this hybrid model we would not have 100% of scholars on campus at any time. There would be some scholars on campus each day with the rest learning remotely from home. The district is working to align schedules so most families on an A or B schedule could have their children on the same schedule even if they are at different schools. This is an updated sample of what that could look like based on CCSD's current plans:
Will we have Smiles and Files (Fact and Fee Day) this year?
  • We will have the majority of forms moved to be completed and signed online for release the first week of August.
  • We will have a pick up day for all of our scholars and their families to pick up Chromebooks and textbooks. All textbooks will go home at the beginning of the year and they will keep them at home. Chromebook chargers will stay at home as well. It will be the scholar's responsibility to bring them to school charged.
  • We will have orientation for our new scholars and their families online. And as soon as it is safe to do so, we will invite our new scholars on campus in small groups to help them make connections and to learn about the procedures for being on campus this year.

Will scholars stay in class cohorts when on campus?
  • For Middle School, scholars will stay in one classroom for the majority of the day with one group of scholars all day as recommended. The teachers for subject areas will rotate between classes, as needed. There will be no transitions of scholars in the hallways in the middle school area. We will have times during the day where scholars go outside.
  • For High School, while cohorts are not realistic for a high school schedule, we already minimize hallway transitions with our 90 minute block scheduling and with the hybrid scheduling there will be a lower number of scholars in the hallways at transitions. We will coordinate how scholars transition in the hallways.

When will we have class schedules?
  • PowerSchool will be down for another week for the entire district.
  • We will then work on fine tuning the final schedule including plans for hybrid rotations with A day and B day groups, if they are needed.
  • We hope to have high school schedules ready no later than the second week of August and we will share those as soon as possible to address any needed changes prior to school starting. The add/drop period for high school will be prior to the first day of school if all plans are able to move forward. This will allow us to distribute textbooks and for teachers to plan accordingly.
  • We will share the middle school schedules soon after that. As of right now the middle school scholars will stay with the same cohort of scholars for the majority of the day.

Will scholars eat lunch in their classrooms? What about recess for middle school?
  • Yes, they will need to eat in their classrooms in the main building. We will have some outside time during the day for scholars. There are recommendations for recess and the importance of outside time in both state and national guidance.

If we enroll our scholar in the CCSD Virtual Program do they withdraw from CCSMS?
  • CCSMS will have our own option to serve the needs of our scholars and families. You will not have to withdraw for this option and we will have flexibility to move from virtual to being on campus as needed.
  • For the district option, the scholar will not have to withdraw from CCSMS. There will be a charge to CCSMS for the enrollment and the family will have to follow the dates and guidelines of CCSD while enrolled. High school will need to stay enrolled for an entire semester and middle school for each quarter, at least.
  • If they enroll in a state-wide virtual charter school, private school, or decide to homeschool and withdraw, we will not be able to retain their seat.

Will we have clubs and activities this year?
  • Yes, they may look a little different and we may launch them from a distance but we will be ready to be creative and supportive.

Will scholars and staff be required to wear masks?
  • Yes, they will wear masks in all common areas, on buses, and in any situation where there are not partitions or physical distancing. We are further studying when masks can be removed and protocol.
  • CCSD and others are researching the use of the face shields.

Will there be plexiglass partitions between desks or on tables?
  • Yes, we are working with CCSD and others to design and build partitions between scholars so they have times during the day where they are seated and may take their masks off. Below is a sample of what CCSD has designed as a sample. In our hybrid model, we would only have about 12 to 14 scholars in a room at a time. There will be assigned seats and teachers would have one seat at each cluster of 3 students so the teacher can sit and help with small group work.
Sample from CCSD.
Our desks and rooms will look different from this.
Riptide Athletics Update
In an Executive Committee meeting this week, the SCHSL voted to postpone the start for ALL fall sports from Friday, July 31st until Monday, August 17th.

Fall sports seasons will be modified with priority during the regular season placed upon Region-play.

Finally, the SCHSL Executive Committee reserves the right to continue postponement for the start of ALL fall sports seasons beyond August 17th, should COVID data suggest a less than safe environment for a return to play.

Questions regarding this information can be directed to Marc A. Klatt, Athletic Director, mklatt@charlestonmathscience.org or (843) 720-0009.
Bus Transportation Registration
Even though we are planning on starting with distance learning, we want to have our routes ready. Please complete this form so we can plan on your scholar joining us on the bus.

We are leasing brand-new 2020 buses for the coming school year. Our drivers and Mrs. Sellers are very excited to be able to have the latest in safety and technology to best serve our families and scholars.

Based on current COVID-19 related guidelines, we will only be able to fill the buses to about 50% capacity.

Scholars who ride the CCSMS school buses will have assigned routes and seats. 

Siblings and those living in the same household will need to sit together.

Face masks will need to worn at all times on the bus.

We will have a new app for families to track the bus locations.

If you plan on utilizing bus transportation, please register your scholars using this form.
CCSMS Guiding Statement for Planning and Implementation
We are guided, perhaps more than ever before, by the mission of CCSMS:

The mission of the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science
is to educate students for success in college and careers by providing an innovative learning environment that is academically excellent, developmentally responsive, and socially equitable.

We are committed to:
  • Making decisions based on the best information at the time with our first priority being the health and safety of CCSMS scholars and employees along with their families.
  • Developing, implementing, and refining plans based on the academic and developmental needs of our scholars.
  • Coming out of this extraordinary experience a stronger school than when this began by taking time to reflect, realign our collective work, and grow together.
Additional Resources
The Accelerate ED Task Force has released the following documents and guidelines this week:

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health partnered with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services to launch SC HOPES, a statewide, toll-free support line for people who need mental health or substance use support during these difficult times.

CCSD Information