Greenville County Schools

Annual Conference - San Antonio 2018

Greenville County Schools
Greenville, South Carolina
November 15-17, 2017

Greenville County Schools - Building a Better Graduate!

Noted as the #2 Best Place to Raise a Family (Market Watch, 2017) and the #29 Best Place to Live (US News and World Report, 2016), Greenville, South Carolina is located approximately halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte along the I-85 corridor. Formerly considered the Textile Capital of the World, Greenville has transformed its economy into one built around advanced manufacturing, entrepreneurship, hospitality, and health care. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Greenville area has emerged as a top tourist destination known for its economic vitality, local arts scene, amazing recreation opportunities, stunning natural beauty, and always bustling and vibrant revitalized downtown.

As a consolidated, county-wide school district with over 76,000 students, 101 schools and centers covering more than 800 square miles, Greenville County Schools (GCS) has been integral to the area’s rise to prominence. An Education Plan continues to provide a framework for decisions that keeps the focus on the community’s number one goal of increasing student achievement.  The BEST (Building Equity Sooner for Tomorrow) building plan, which came to a close in 2008, provided the district with the means to build new or renovate 69 schools and centers in a six-year period.  BEST is an example of the innovative solutions and public-private partnerships that were critical to Greenville’s resurgence.  Those same characteristics drive innovation in the community today and are reflected in the programs and initiatives that have led GCS to a 20 percent increase in its high school graduation rate over the past five years, two National Blue Ribbon Schools in 2016-17, SAT scores above the national average, a community Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant targeted toward addressing obstacles to education in the county’s neediest areas, and a district-wide framework focused on “Building a Better Graduate.”

A visit to Greenville County Schools provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the only elementary school of engineering in the State (A.J. Whittenberg), a state-of-the art middle school in a facility tailor made for project-based learning (Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School), two high schools (Carolina Academy and J.L. Mann Academy) that are implementing New Tech in totally different ways, and the first specialized art school in South Carolina (the Fine Arts Center). Currently, GCS is in the midst of a three-year personalized learning rollout that will put Chromebooks in the hands of every student grades 3 through 12.  Diverse programs, beautiful facilities, committed educators, quality leadership, and community support add up to great opportunities for the students of Greenville County Schools!


Wednesday, November 15
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.   Registration, Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown
50 W Broad Street, Greenville
Optional: Pre-conference Tour of Downtown     
Greenville’s River Walk and Liberty Bridge at Falls Park
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.       Welcome Reception, Courtyard Marriott
Featuring Fine Arts Student Showcase and District Sponsor Gallery 
Thursday, November 16
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.            Registration, Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown
Full Breakfast (included for Courtyard guests)
8:15 a.m.   Buses Depart Hotel for Tour A:
 J.L. Mann Academy of Math, Science, and Technology – Auditorium,
160 Fairforest Way    
8:45 a.m.   Welcome
Building a Better Graduate – G+
Dr. W. Burke Royster, GCSD Superintendent
•  2018 SC Association of School Administrators Superintendent of the Year
•  2017 Education Week National “Leader to Learn From”
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tour of J.L. Mann Academy of Math Science and Technology    
•  New Tech @ Mann, School within a School New Tech Network
•  Magnet Academies and AP Capstone
•  ACCELERATE – SC’s Engineering Launch Pad
•  Teacher and Student Panel Discussion
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.    Lunch
12:30 p.m   Buses Depart for Tour B:
Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School, 700 Millennium Boulevard
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Tour of Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School:
 An Innovative Approach: Full STEAM Ahead      
•  Project-Based Learning with G+ Career, Business, and College Connections
•  Internationally Recognized Innovative Facilities Design
          o 2015 Council of Educational Facilities Planners International Award
          o Education specifications, architectural design, energy efficiency, and environmentally friendly
          o Design serves the environment and community while enhancing education
•  Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)
•  Hubbell Lighting
•  Clemson University Adjunct Instruction for Middle School
•  Learning Communities, Digital Media Center, STEAM Studio, Prototype Gallery, and more!
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.      District Sessions, Breakout Briefings on Take-Aways
4:30 p.m.  Buses Depart for Hotel
6:00 p.m.                          Evening event - TBD
Friday, November 17
7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. Registration, Courtyard Marriott
Full Breakfast (included for Courtyard guests)
7:45 a.m. Buses Depart for Tour C:
Kroc Center & A. J. Whittenberg School of Engineering
8:00 a.m.    Framework, Protocol, and Support for a Culture of Personalized Learning,
 Kroc Center, 424 Westfield Street
Mr. Jeff C. McCoy, Associate Superintendent for Academics
Dr. Charlotte McDavid, Executive Director of Academic Innovation and Technology
8:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Tour of A. J. Whittenberg School of Engineering,
420 Westfield Street           
  •  First engineering school in SC, with uniquely designed curriculum and STEM Labs
  •  NASA Certified as an official 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Site
  •  First Lego League Robotics, 3-D Printing
  •  Maker Spaces
  •  Green Steps Environmental Education Initiative - Champions of the Environment, Urban Naturalists, and Green Teams
  •  Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, featuring glass walls, green roof, and solar panels
  •  Engineering Partners Monthly Instructional Program
  •  Partner with the Salvation Army and Kroc Corps Community Center (shared campus)

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Innovating Healthy Meal Services
  • GCS Food and Nutrition Services - Full Service Food Truck
  • Artisphere Festival’s “Best In Show” Chefs from the Donaldson Career Center and Golden Strip Career Center Culinary Program
12:45 p.m.   Buses Depart for Tour D: The Grand Finale’
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.      Tour of The Fine Arts Center, 102 Pine Knoll Drive
•  Advanced comprehensive arts instruction in architecture, theatre, dance, visual arts,  music, creative writing, and digital filmmaking
Tour of Carolina High Academy, 2725 Anderson Road
•  New Tech Network – National Model Demonstration Site
3:45 p.m.              Buses Depart for Hotel or Greenville-Spartanburg Airport
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