Charter schools growing in popularity with West Ashley parents

Charter schools growing in popularity with West Ashley parents
March 03 18:17 2020 Print This Article

Charleston County School District (CCSD) ended its school choice application period Friday, and parents in West Ashley showed an increased interest in charter schools. Charter schools are public schools with an autonomous board of directors. Orange Grove Charter School, a K-8 school on Orange Branch Road in West Ashley, led the way with a record-high 1682 applications. Orange Grove received 515 applications for 100 kindergarten slots. Siblings and people who live in the Orange Grove attendance zone receive priority in the lottery admissions process. Families will find out if their children were admitted to the charter schools on April 3.

Dissatisfaction over a plan to merge 1250 students in the two CCSD middle schools in a building designed for 900 led to a rise in middle school charter applications. Orange Grove received 283 applications for 6th grade. With a 95% student retention rate, only about 5 spaces are likely to be open for the 6th grade there. Charleston Voyager Charter School in West Ashley had 115 applications for 46 openings. Charleston Math and Science Charter School downtown had 250 6th grade openings for 80 spots, about half from West Ashley families. Palmetto Scholars Academy in North Charleston had 372 applications for 75 spaces, about a quarter of which came from West Ashley.

The South Carolina Virtual Charter School, a K-12 on-line school, still has its application process open. The school skypes lessons on-line and archives them. Students may submit questions on a chat box and may e-mail teachers at any time.