Nearly $600K in Performance Awards Earned by Meeting Street – Burns’ Teachers After Achieving Excellent Student Growth

Story by Jen Jordan / June 23, 2022

Meeting Street – Burns (MS-Burns), the newest Meeting Street Schools’ Public School of Innovation dedicated to providing transformational educational opportunities to children in North Charleston, today announced 42 educators earned a total of $591k in Meeting Street Schools’ performance awards based on excellent student growth for the 2021-22 school year. 

MS-Burns (grades PK-6th for the 21-22 AY) met 64% Fall to Spring projected growth targets in reading, 71% in math for grades 1-5, and 64% for math in grade 6. These growth percentiles placed the school in the top two tiers for percentage projected growth met district-wide.

“We are thrilled that we are staying true to the commitment we made to parents when they enrolled their children in our school:  ensuring that every child in our school is on the path to college and/or career,” said Principal Chad Weiden.  “I could not be more proud of our students, their families,  and the amazing educators in our building who have that unwavering belief that every child can and will learn.” 

Meeting Street – Burns partnered with Charleston County School District in 2018 to become the official operator of the then named Edmund A. Burns Elementary School (a CCSD North Charleston public school) after the school had consistently been rated one of the worst-performing schools in the district (Post & Courier, 2018).  

“What Chad and his team have been able to do in only four years isn’t easy and is cause for celebration,” said CEO Christopher Ruszkowski. “They are doing the work and proving what’s possible and our stance as an organization is that the educators who are doing great work should receive great compensation.”

“Excellent teachers should get excellent pay,” Charniqua Jenkins, Meeting Street – Burns kindergarten teacher and award recipient, shared. “If we don’t push our kids to … (grow)…in reading and math, they won’t have the opportunity to be astronauts, teachers, lawyers…when they grow up. So, we should reward teachers who push their scholars to achieve the kind of growth that creates more opportunities for their futures.”

“We’re excited about the momentum we’re creating with this innovative opportunity as we head into our third year of implementation,” continues Ruskowski. “We would love to see more schools and school districts launch similar award structures to help incentivize and retain their best teachers.” 

A total of $1.8 million in performance awards were earned for the 2021-2022 school year across the four Meeting Street Schools’ campuses. (see MSS campuses here). Teachers earn a performance award based on growth from Fall to Spring in both reading and math scores on the MAP assessment.  Over 100 of the 170 qualifying Meeting Street Schools’ educators received a bonus this academic year. The performance awards averaged around $15,000 per classroom teacher with some earning more than $50k.


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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.


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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher

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“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent

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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent