Peek of the Week

Beech Hill Elementary School

Theme: Still Blue for a Reason

  • September 30, 2020 Edition
  • Mission Statement: Beech Hill will lead the way to lifelong learning through excellence, leadership and empowerment.
  • Vision Statement: All students will meet or exceed academic standards as measured by grade level benchmarks.

Points of Beacon Pride

  • #1 in Best Public Elementary Schools in Charleston ~ Niche
  • 2019 Ranked 24th of 637 South Carolina Elementary Schools ~
  • 2018 National Blue Ribbon School ~ U.S. Department of Education
  • 2012 Palmetto's Finest ~ South Carolina Association of School Administrators

Beech Hill Core Values

Because children come first,

Excellence, leadership and empowerment are standard.

All of us are nurtured, guided and supported to become our best.

Creativity, collaboration, passion and purpose drive our direction.

Ownership, scholarship and citizenship chart our course.

Nothing is too difficult, costly or taxing to keep us from reaching our destination.

Sailing with the winds of a growth mindset, Beacons change the world.

Save the Dates


- National Custodial Workers Recognition Day

- Deadline to submit videos for Annual Career Carousel-please send to


- Interim Reports come home this week
Please note for future reference communications will come out Mondays or Wednesdays.


- Virtual Career Carousel


- School Lunch Week

- DD2 Board Meeting 6:00


- Faculty Workshop-2:00


- Ladies Who Lunch-Food Service Appreciation Day


- SIC/PTA Meeting (virtual)-5:30


- Red Ribbon Week begins (Oct. 23-31)

- Partners in Education Breakfast


- DD2 Board Meeting 6:00


- Occupational Therapists Day


- Terrific Readers (Virtual Celebration)


- Terrific Kids-Connect Lighthouse (Virtual Celebration)

- Storybook Character Day

At the Helm

Tyna with a Y- Why? Why Not

If you want to know who is really at the helm of Beech Hill, you don’t have to look far; but you might need to look down. Christina McClain doesn’t own the typically referenced descriptions for vertically challenged or short people. She prefers to call herself “fun-size.” In her role as my secretary, she knows a lot of my secrets; it’s right there in her title. In her position as the school’s system operator, she knows a lot of secrets about everybody. For the record, she knows records. Don’t try to get the “juice” out of her; she operates with the kind of secrecy and discretion worthy of a Secret Service position. But behind the smoke and mirror, cloak and dagger, or espionage of her record-keeping, classroom-shifting, and document-sending world, is one worker who LOVES her Beacons.

In the summertime, we operate with a small staff of five. A battery of school leaders like Ms. Masopust, Ms. Nix, or Ms. Stephens trickle in and out throughout the weeks to work on specific projects, but a crew of the few handles the day-to-day stuff. Our financial secretary, Mrs. Williams, busies her days rectifying financial matters from the school’s previous year and ordering and securing materials for the next one. Mr. Sweat and Ms. Truitt turn their attention to the maintenance and cleanliness of our school, while Ms. McClain and I have the joy of creating classes for the next crew of Beacons.

Ms. McClain makes my task an easy one by organizing student and relevant information into manageable chunks for understanding and use. She knows every student. After all, she has spent the year seeing their square-inch faces posted on her screen or glancing through the paper documents that compose their school careers or timelines. If a child has a unique spelling, she knows it. If a Beacon has a rare residence arrangement, she knows it. If he or she made the Honor Roll or needs some additional support, she knows that too. Ergo, she does not spare me her sermon to advocate for the child that she knows and knows well. It is an unspoken, but blatant exercise. I know that she thinks she knows the Beacons better than I do (she probably does…), and I work super hard to bring my A-Game when the duel begins.

Imagine it! It’s high noon, and the music from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” announces our clash. Ms. McClain enters the room and sits at the other end of the office, polar to my desk. Armed with her trusty laptop, she gazes up at me. I pretend not to notice her arrival, but I know why she has entered, and I wait for her “fighting words.” “We need to place some kids in some classrooms, Pilgrim,” I imagine the “Pilgrim” part because that’s what John Wayne would say. I corral a quick utterance of “Ok,” and the battle begins. She fires a rapid succession of names, grades, schools, DRAs, teachers, and data. I try to keep up, but I am winded from the bluffs and guesses. Only when she exits the room - conceding another tie in our contest, do I let down my guard and share my sheer panic.

Ms. McClain works hard to appear hardcore. But she's as sweet as the fun-size treats that dominate store shelves during this season. She has an overwhelming job that is stressful and time-consuming. Accuracy and time-sensitivity are critical components of her job. Rarely does her day end when she leaves the shores of the Beech, often putting in hours more at home. She is the only person I know who took a laptop and crate of file-folders on her summer vacation.

Many times, she will have information that I need readily available. It kills me to call her, but I know that I will get a sermon if I don’t and get it wrong. I know she wants to start up that western theme song, but she always answers, “What do you need, Boss,” and it melts my heart. This kind of dedication, grace, and professional attention to detail is rare and remarkable. Don’t get it twisted, “fun-size” isn’t always so fun to be around. She can pack a punch when needed. Do it wrong, phone it in, or be slack about the whole thing, and you may have to walk the plank or meet her at noon on the playground for a duel. Because I’ll tell you what you’re not gonna do...make the Beech look bad! Aye, aye, Captain McClain.

Ms. McClain's favorite fun-size treats are York Peppermint Patties, but our favorite fun-size is Ms. McClain.

Shout Out to our Shining Parents!

Dismissal and arrivals are the most critical time of the day. There are lots of moving parts and opportunities for something to go wrong. Something goes wrong many times, especially at the beginning of the year when norms and protocols are being established. For Beech Hill, this is one of our strengths. Not because our dismissal and arrivals are flawless (we are human), but because of the mindsets of all stakeholders particularly our parents.

With this in mind, we want to say thank you to all of the parents who helped our Beacons get to a safe spot. Shout out to Ms. Dawn Carter for helping a Beacon get home safely, Ms. Christina Dolder for delivering a special group of Beacons to their rightful destination and countless, nameless parents who help to keep our Beacons safe when our eyes are not upon them. We could not thank you enough for selfless "Beacon Like" acts. Shine On!

Hybrid Learning Model to Continue for Two More Weeks

September 23, 2020

Our district will continue the school-based hybrid instructional model for an additional two-week cycle starting on October 5th through October 16th.

The school district will continue to monitor the level of disease activity in our county for any shifts that may occur in the current metrics that would require changes in the learning models in order to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. We will make future announcements as needed.

The school district encourages families to visit the Back to School web page at that has information on district instructional including the hybrid model along with other important information on school operations.

PTA Reflections Contest

This Year's Theme is I Matter Because...

The annual Reflections theme is created by a student and selected two years in advance through our annual theme search contest. This year’s theme was submitted by a then 1st grader, Rylee Stier, who drew inspiration from her town being impacted by the CA wildfires of 2018.

With the call for meaningful steps to dismantle structural racism, this theme provides new meaning and an opportunity to engage and elevate the voices of students of color. This is a priority, now more than ever, and National PTA is committed to standing behind our beliefs and mission to make every child’s potential a reality. Watch this special message from National PTA related to this year's theme I Matter Because...

Student Handbook and Calendar

Please click on the button below to access our Beech Hill Student Handbook and Calendar for 2020-2021. This is a live document, please check back frequently for changes and updates.

Managing Virtual Learning Stress (Tips for Parents)

A Virtual Career Carousel

This year’s Career Carousel will be held virtually on Friday October 9th with our students accessing a library of career videos. To make this possible we need your help if you are able/willing to record a 5-10 minute video showing/describing your career. Please email videos to James Helton at by Friday, October 2nd so he can compile them in a database for our students. Thank you so much for your participation in this year’s Carousel!

Peek of the Week (!)

A Slice of the Shore- Pictures of Life at "the Beech"

Charity Begins at the Beech

Beacons from Ms. Foster and Goodwin's class,

Journeyed to the other side of the school.

They're learning to be kind to others,

And that sharing and helping are cool.

Making donations and sharing the love

Was what they sought out to do.

Little children leading the way;

So proud of our Beech Hill crew.

Thank you, Ms. Foster, thanks, Ms. Goodwin,

And we say to the whole KD crew.

Keep shining, and giving and being kind.

We are so proud of you.

From Your Beacon PTA

As we all know, this school year looks much different than normal! But as we expected, our Beacon families have remained resilient, supportive and focused on our theme, “Still Blue For a Reason”! When we all work together and remain positive and hopeful for better days to come, our vision becomes clear, and we can SHINE on! We hope you will join our PTA this year, and if you feel compelled to make a donation to the PTA, your generosity will be greatly appreciated. Any amount helps us provide much needed items and experiences for our teachers and students. Thank you for everything you do!


Your PTA Board

Volunteer Opportunities- Coming Soon!

Click on the button below for more information and a form to fill out.