FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Campbell Mims, Public Affairs Manager
Board of Trustees Greenlights Four Charter School Applications
Applications were approved for four proposed charter schools following an intensive review process.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 29, 2022) – The Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Public Charter School District approved the applications of four schools set to open in the 2023-2024 academic year at its April meeting.
“Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, I am convinced that the district approved four schools of innovation that meet the individual needs of students while remaining accountable to the high-need communities they serve,” stated Chris Neeley, superintendent of the S.C. Public Charter School District. “The variety of instruction, culture, and organization each school will offer families reflect the mission, vision, and values of the district.”
The board approval of four applications is the culmination of an intensive review process to determine the capacity of each school. Upon successful submission of a charter school application on or before Feb. 1, 2022, a nine-member review team, comprised of internal content leads and external model experts, thoroughly reviewed each application. In March, each applicant committee participated in capacity interviews with the review teams. District staff reviewed and analyzed the totality of information based upon the application, interviews, and other pertinent information. With assistance from district staff, each school will be required to meet pre-opening conditions to officially open to serve a student population.
“As board members, it is our legal responsibility to ensure this district approves schools that are fiscally sound, academically accountable, and have deep ties to the community in which they reside,” stated John Payne, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We fulfilled this charge from S.C. General Assembly with the approval of four schools that have a deep understanding of this mission.”
Two schools, Jubilee Academy and Palmetto Excel were authorized to reside in the geographic district of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Horry County Acceleration Academy, an alternative education campus, is set to open in Horry County – the district’s only school authorized in this county. Fort Mill Academy, which has an emphasis on foreign language instruction, will fill a need in the Fort Mill community of York County.
Information About Approved Schools:
Fort Mill Academy: Fort Mill Academy seeks to meet the increasing demand for enrollment in the greater Fort Mill community and York County by giving parents a “choice” in their child’s educational program. The school’s model incorporates differentiation and small group instruction into its daily curriculum and offers an engaging, interdisciplinary foreign language-focused component for all students.
Horry County Acceleration Academy: Horry County Acceleration Academy’s model is designed to re-engage and provide support for the success of students who have not thrived in traditional school environments. Students are engaged in a comprehensive online learning platform with robust in-person supports where they can proceed at their own pace.
Jubilee Academy: Jubilee Academy will open as an “exemplary charter school built on high expectations” serving PreK-12, located in Jasper County with an independently run pre-school feeder. The school will be modeled after and operated by Meeting Street Schools, which have demonstrated success in other areas of South Carolina.
Palmetto Excel: Palmetto Excel will serve adults ages 21 and over who have not yet acquired a high school diploma. The school will do this in partnership with Goodwill Industries, which has a nationally recognized program with its 30 Excel Centers in operation nationwide. Many major portions of school life will be modeled after current Goodwill Excel center practices.
About the South Carolina Public Charter School District: The South Carolina Public Charter School District authorizes, champions, and supports the creation and advancement of innovative K-12 public charter schools in South Carolina. We value all students’ unique talents and abilities and hold high expectations for social, emotional, and academic growth inclusively within the diverse population we serve.