FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Campbell Mims, Communications and Advocacy Coordinator
Board of Trustees Renews Three Charter Schools, Cites Sound Academics and Operations
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Feb. 14, 2022) – The Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Public Charter School District (Public Charter School District) approved the renewal of the charter and contract of three schools in the district’s 38 school portfolio at the board’s February meeting.
“We are proud of our long-term partnership with Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School (CREECS), Greer Middle College Charter High School and Youth Leadership Academy and consider each school’s unique contributions a strong asset to the charter sector in South Carolina,” stated Chris Neeley, superintendent of Public Charter School District. “Renewal for another ten-year cycle means students and families in these communities will continue to receive a high-quality, innovative choice in their education.”
The South Carolina Charter Schools Act of 1996 outlines the process for charter renewal. A charter contract must be approved or renewed for a period of ten school years. Additionally, this process must also contain a review of any proposed material changes to the current charter contract to be implemented in the next ten-year charter term. The approved renewals were based on comprehensive and rigorous analyses of the academic, operational, and financial performance of the schools, the site visit which was conducted by district staff and on a review of renewal materials submitted by the schools.
Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School (CREECS), located in McClellanville, S.C., was approved for renewal effective July 1, 2022. The school opened in the 2012-2013 school year and currently serves 184 students in grades K4-8. CREECS is an inquiry-based, environmental education school, grounded in the study of natural resources in the area. The school implements place-based environmental education using the rich natural resources surrounding the school, including the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, the Francis Marion National Forest, the Santee Coastal Reserve Wildlife Management Area, and the Tom Wakey Wildlife Preserve. “We are so pleased with the outcome of our charter renewal and grateful for the support we have received from the Public Charter School District,” stated Margaret Crouch, principal of Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School. “We are looking forward to another ten years of providing students from across the Lowcountry with innovative learning opportunities in a nurturing environment.”
Greer Middle College Charter High School, located in Taylors, S.C., was approved for renewal effective July 1, 2022. The school opened with the Greenville County School District in the 2008-2009 school year and transferred to Public Charter School District for the 2017-2018 school year. The school currently serves 502 students in grades 9-12. In its charter, it pledges to teach its students to be lifelong learners, passionate pursuers of knowledge and to utilize self-directed learning. The school also teaches its students that service to the community is integral to the development of the whole individual. “We are ecstatic to be recommended by Public Charter School District staff and approved by The District board for charter renewal,” said Jimmy Armstrong, principal, and executive director of Greer Middle College Charter High School. “We look forward to many years of continued support from SCPCSD as we grow students and promote school choice in our state.”
Youth Leadership Academy, located in Pickens, S.C., was approved for renewal effective July 1, 2022. The school opened with The District in the 2012-2013 school year and currently serves 240 students in grades 6-8. The school’s mission is to help each student discover and come into confident possession of his/her unique abilities, demonstrate mastery of the academic foundational standards necessary for a successful future and establish qualities that will enable him/her to be a healthy, productive citizen and community leader. The school accomplishes this by using experiential learning, cutting-edge technology and outdoor experiences. “Youth Leadership Academy is very excited to begin our second ten-year partnership with Public Charter School District, and we look very forward to the continued leadership of Superintendent Chris Neeley and his staff,” said Patsy Wood Smith, director of Youth Leadership Academy.
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.