Orange Grove Charter School continues to thrive as a K-8 school

Orange Grove Charter School continues to thrive as a K-8 school
October 09 20:10 2017 Print This Article

Orange Grove Charter School is now at full capacity with 1150 students in grades K through 8. The elementary school (K-5) is at its original campus on Orange Branch Rd. The middle school (6-8) is about six miles away at the former Oakland Elementary School building on Arlington Dr. The middle school is so popular among West Ashley parents that more than 350 families applied for fewer than 120 spaces in the 6th grade for this school year. Learn about the school attendance zone and application process at:

Orange Grove, along with James Island Charter High School, are the two conversion charter schools in Charleston County. Their faculties and parents voted to become independently managed by school-level boards of directors consisting of parents, teachers and community leaders. That status gives principals the leeway to hire faculty, select curriculum materials and implement programs without going through layers of bureaucracy. Orange Grove Principal John Clendaniel says the structure gives the school the ability to make decisions quickly.

Statewide school test scores came out this week, and Orange Grove continues to excel. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations in English and math were mostly in the 70% to 80% range in grades 3 through 5, far ahead of most other West Ashley schools (Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary also excelled). The middle school test scores were well above those of the other two West Ashley middle schools.

All of the middle school students are equipped with Google Chrome Books and receive instruction in computer science. The middle school program has adopted a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program to inspire students about the careers in demand. At the elementary level, students spend an average of 100 minutes a day each on reading and math instruction, using a back-to-basics approach.

The school’s vision statement calls for “every student to work to his or her fullest potential, respect others, and feel the need to be a responsible, life-long learner.” Clendaniel is especially proud of the nearly 100% retention of faculty and students at his school and the sense of community that has been established there.