BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Teachers in both Berkeley and Charleston County school districts were back in the classroom Thursday, gearing up for the new school year.
Some of those teachers are on new campuses.
Mevers School of Excellence in Goose Creek is opening and is the county's first public charter school.
"There are some similarities between public schools compared to our public school, but we try to focus on differentiation of learning and the actual students in the classroom," Mevers principal John Spagnolia explained. "Everybody learns differently and at a different pace."
Fourth grade teacher Britney Sampson says this allows her to be more creative in the classroom.
"I have more flexibility, personally, being able to do whatever I feel will be successful for each of my students," Sampson said.
Mevers sits on 10 acres in Goose Creek on a brand new campus off Henry Brown Boulevard.
Construction crews are still scattered around campus putting the finishing touches on the school.
Spagnolia said everything inside the building is already completed and everything outside will be done by the time kids come to school.
"There are cameras inside and outside of the school so we can see what's going on," Spagnolia said. "Document cameras in every room, smart board in every class. Teachers love those. We have a multipurpose room cafeteria combination and a high-school sized gymnasium."
"We have everything brand new," Sampson added. "That means we're starting fresh. We only can go up from here."
1700 students applied. After an admissions lottery, 715 students will start the school year on Aug. 22.
"Next year we will bring in 7th grade with 835-850 [students]. The third year we will bring in 8th grade and max out at 1135 [students]," Spagnolia said.
Safety and a sense of community are top priorities for Spagnolia.
The principal is also focusing heavily on hitting the books.
"I want us to be academically solid," Spagnolia said. "I want us to be in the top 10% of schools in the state."
"We're all excited for something new, for the community aspect and reaching all of the students that we'll have," Sampson said.
Charleston County teachers are also back in session preparing for the school year ahead.
They are engaging in training sessions and team building activities.