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Education & Academics in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties

JB Charleston Education and Academics in Charleston Berkeley and Dorchester Counties

For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools system in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children in the counties as well.

To be enrolled in a South Carolina school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, the child’s previous school records, proof of residency and immunizations records. Check with the school for additional requirements. Required immunizations for a child enrolling in kindergarten are as follows: four doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; three doses of polio; two doses of measles, mumps and rubella; three doses of hepatitis B; and two doses of varicella. For more details on South Carolina’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website at www.scdhec.gov.

South Carolina is one of eight states to reject Common Core education standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students in the 42 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity. Instead, the state has set its own standards for public schools that can be found at http://ed.sc.gov/instruction/standards-learning. The state utilizes the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the latest reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was approved by Congress in December 2015. This law provides significant federal support for programs to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. ESSA limits the power of the federal government to set education policy for states and increases state and local flexibility in the use of federal funds.

CHARTER SCHOOLS

Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Public Charter School District at www.sccharter.org.

HOME SCHOOLING

Parents or guardians may choose to home school their children instead of enrolling them in a public, private or parochial school. South Carolina statutes provide parents or guardians with three options for home schooling their children. Option 1 allows the parents to home school their children under the auspices of a school district, if approved by the board of trustees. Under Option 2, parents may home school their children with the support of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools. In Option 3, parents may choose a home school association that has no fewer than 50 members and meets the home school requirements. The parents or guardians select the particular home schooling option that is best for the children. Visit the South Carolina Department of Education’s website at http://ed.sc.gov for more information on home-school rules and regulations, testing information, home-school curriculum providers and more.

VirtualSC

https://virtualsc.org

VirtualSC is a free state-sponsored online program serving students currently attending public, private and home schools in grades seven through 12 and adult education programs. VirtualSC offers free online courses aligned to state standards that are developed and taught by South Carolina-licensed teachers.

Palmetto Homeschool Association

454 S. Anderson Road
BTC 568, Suite 209
Rock Hill, SC 29730
803-327-2344
http://palmettoha.org

Palmetto Homeschool Association is different from other accountability associations in that it protects parents’ freedom to choose their own curriculum and school calendar, allows flexibility with assessing progress and maintaining records, and provides guidance so that the home school is in compliance with the South Carolina Option 3 law.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

To search for local private schools in South Carolina, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.

Choosing a School

Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source for school district statistics and curriculum information. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.

If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.

Discuss the potential school with your child: what they like and what they don’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Berkeley County School District

229 E. Main St.
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
843-899-8600
www.bcsdschools.net

Berkeley County School District has 24 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, 10 high schools, two education centers and evening high school. The district has an enrollment of more than 32,000 and is the third-largest district in the state.

Charleston County School District

75 Calhoun St.
Charleston, SC 29401
843-937-6300
www.ccsdschools.com

Charleston County School District (CCSD) is the second-largest school system in South Carolina representing a unique blend of urban, suburban and rural schools that span approximately 1,000 square miles of coastal lands. CCSD serves more than 50,000 students in 86 schools and several specialized programs.

Dorchester School District Two

102 Green Wave Blvd.
Summerville, SC 29483
843-873-2901
www.edlinesites.net/pages/Dorchester_County_SD

The award-winning school system is one of the fastest-growing districts in the state, with over 25,000 students. Twelve elementary schools, six middle schools and three high schools serve the suburban community of Summerville. The school district also offers a comprehensive adult education program along with an alternative program for middle and high school students.

Dorchester School District Four

500 Ridge St.
St. George, SC 29477
843-563-4535
www.dorchester4.k12.sc.us

Dorchester School District Four is home to six schools with a population of approximately 2,500 students. The district offers three elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school and an educational center for its students.

Universities/Higher Education

JB Charleston Education and Academics Universities Higher Education

The central points for adult education programs on JB Charleston are the Base Education Center (Air Base) and Navy College (Weapons Station), which offer a range of educational services and programs.

Education counselors are available to help active-duty members with their educational goals and provide up-to-date information on tuition assistance. The Airman & Family Readiness Center is available to assist spouses and dependents.

Complete testing facilities include Dantes and CLEP-approved exams via the National Testing Center (NTC). The Air Base Education Center also offers testing facilities for the ECI, AFCT and other specialized tests through NTC. Navy College offers testing facilities for the SAT and ACT tests. In addition, NCPACE is available for all deploying Sailors through the Navy College.

Colleges and universities offer programs on the Air Base and Weapons Station. They have offices co-located with the Education Services Center and Navy College. For more information, contact the Air Base Education Center at 843-963-4575 or the Navy College at 843-794-4493. Use the following information to search for the school that is right for you.

Clemson University

105 Sikes Hall, Box 345124
Clemson, SC 29634
864-656-3311
www.clemson.edu

College of Charleston

66 George St.
Charleston, SC 29424
843-805-5507
www.cofc.edu

Embry-Riddle University — Joint Base Charleston

101 W. Hill Blvd., Building 221
Joint Base Charleston, SC 29404
843-767-8912
http://worldwide.erau.edu/locations/charleston

Medical University of South Carolina

171 Ashley Ave.
Charleston, SC 29425
843-792-2300
http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/musc

Park University — Joint Base Charleston

101 W. Hill Blvd., Building 221
Joint Base Charleston, SC 29404
843-552-8301
www.park.edu/campus-centers/south-carolina/sc-charleston.html

Southern Illinois University — Joint Base Charleston

101 W. Hill Blvd., Building 221
Joint Base Charleston, SC 29404 843-552-7320
http://ehs.siu.edu/wed/faculty-staff/off-camp/charleston-afb-sc.php

The Citadel – The Military College of South Carolina

171 Moultrie St.
Charleston, SC 29409
843-225-3294
www.citadel.edu

Trident Technical College

7000 Rivers Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29406
843-574-6111
www.tridenttech.edu

University of South Carolina – Columbia

Columbia, SC 29208
803-777-0169
www.sc.edu

Webster University — Charleston

4105 Faber Place Drive, Suite 100
North Charleston, SC 29405
843-760-1324
www.webster.edu/charleston

Webster University — Joint Base Charleston

101 W. Hill Blvd., Bldg. 221
Joint Base Charleston, SC 29404
843-767-2278
www.webster.edu/charleston

Libraries

JB Charleston Education and Academics Libraries

Public libraries in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties offer learning, recreation, distance education, internet connections and other resources for users — all for free. In addition, school libraries that support the curriculum and offer internet access and other resources are in most public and private schools, and academic and special libraries are found in colleges and universities. The South Carolina State Library, www.statelibrary.sc.gov, supports libraries in the state with resources, interlibrary loan and other assistance.

Residents can enjoy and make use of more than 20 libraries and bookmobiles in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Get information about services, hours and events by visiting the branches’ websites. For a full list of libraries in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina State Library website. The following public library branches are located near Joint Base Charleston.

Charleston County Main Library

68 Calhoun St.
Charleston, SC 29401
843-805-6930
www.ccpl.org

Cooper River Memorial Library

3503 Rivers Ave.
Charleston, SC 29405
843-744-2489
www.ccpl.org

Dorchester Road Regional Library

6325 Dorchester Road
North Charleston, SC 29418
843-552-6466
www.ccpl.org

George H. Seago Jr. Library

76 Old Trolley Road
Summerville, SC 29485
843-871-5075
www.dcl.lib.sc.us

Goose Creek Library

325 Old Moncks Corner Road
Goose Creek, SC 29445
843-572-1376
http://berkeleylibrarysc.org/locations-and-hours/goose-creek-library

Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library

1735 N. Woodmere Drive
Charleston, SC 29407
843-766-2546
www.ccpl.org

James Island Library

1248 Camp Road
Charleston, SC 29412
843-795-6679
www.ccpl.org

John L. Dart Library

1067 King St.
Charleston, SC 29403
843-722-7550
www.ccpl.org

Moncks Corner Library, Main Library & Administration Building

1003 N. Highway 52
Moncks Corner, SC 29461
843-719-4223
http://berkeleylibrarysc.org/locations-and-hours/administration-building

Mount Pleasant Regional Library

1133 Mathis Ferry Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843-849-6161
www.ccpl.org

Otranto Road Regional Library

2261 Otranto Road
North Charleston, SC 29406
843-572-4094
www.ccpl.org

Village Library

430 Whilden St.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
843-884-9741
www.ccpl.org

West Ashley Library

45 Windermere Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29407
843-766-6635
www.ccpl.org

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