WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County School District board has voted to keep Pattison's Academy for Comprehensive Education school open for one year.
Students and teachers at the special needs West Ashley school were in attendance at the CCSD meeting on Monday when board members voted to reinstate the school.
It was decided that the CCSD will forgive PACE's $300,000 debt owed to the district under several conditions, including:
1. PACE provide funding in the future based on the charter school formula.
2. PACE does not come back to the district seeking financial help.
3. CCSD works with PACE quarterly to review finances.
Some in attendance wore shirts that read "Peace Love Pattison's."
"It's fantastic news, this is exactly what we were hoping for," said Kim Miles, a parent."We're so grateful for everybody coming together for this decision. It's remarkable for our community, for our children, for parents, for everyone."
Miles' 17-year-old daughter, Kendall, attends PACE and said the school has been a great asset for her family and the community.
"I can't begin to tell you how amazing Pattison's Academy has been for Kendall, and she has made such strides there," Miles said."She is with her peers. She's going to school which I never thought was going to be possible. It's the only place I felt secure, and safe placing her there with the level of care that they brought for her in therapies, and academically."
PACE is the only public school in the district designed to exclusively serve children with disabilities.
The board has talked about closing the school to make up for budget shortfalls.
Last week, parents of students said they received emails that the school may be too costly for Charleston County School District to operate.
PACE was created as a charter school in 2010 for students with mental and physical disabilities, offering education as well as therapy services at its site on Bees Ferry Rd.
The school serves around 30 students K-12.