Berkeley County's first public charter school to open next school year

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - The site is cleared for the first public charter school in Berkeley County, Mevers School of Excellence.

The tuition-free school will serve K-6 and anyone in South Carolina can enroll. The school is expected to expand to serve grades seventh and eighth after its first year.

Enrollment begins February 6 and will go through March 15. Click here for enrollment information

The school is public so it will receives state funding from taxpayers, that's why anyone residing in South Carolina can attend. However public charter schools are governed by its own board, meaning it doesn't have to follow the same guidelines as Berkeley County public schools.

The school's campus is ten acres on Henry Brown Boulevard in Goose Creek.

President of the school's governing board Stewart Weinberg says the school will also be the first Charter School USA school in the state. It will provide individualized education based on a child's performance.

"In today's world if we are teaching whole class instruction, it's not working, there is no way that all those students are all learning at the same level and at the same rate," Weinberg said.

Weinberg is a former school superintendent and has served in various states. He says the business boom in Berkeley County was a factor in the location for the Mevers School of Excellence.

"Somebody might be driving let's say from Mount Pleasant and is now going to be working for the new Volvo Plant, and they can go through Goose Creek they could drop their child off at our school on their way to work," Weinberg said.

Students will wear uniforms, instruction will incorporate music, art and science and teachers are paid based on performance.

"[There's] opportunity to make more we have high expectation for our teachers," he said.

Several parents in the Goose Creek area say they're looking forward to the new school, hoping it will help with the crowding issues in other schools. However some parents are concerned because public charter schools are independently governed.

With this independence the school's board members can also fire teachers based on separate criteria  than traditional public schools.

Weinburg says the governing board will change after the first school year where 50 percent of the board will be made of school parents and staff.

"They will really have a say in what's taking place at that school," Weinburg said.

The school can accept about 1,100 students. If more than that apply, a random lottery will determine which students will attend.

There will be information sessions at the following dates from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at New Life Christian Fellowship Church located at 358 Liberty Hall in Goose Creek. All dates are on Thursday.

  • February 9
  • February 23
  • March 9
  • March 23
  • April 6

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