GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - A Goose Creek charter school is welcoming new students to enroll amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mevers School of Excellence leaders want students to have options to make sure they are getting the education they need while learning from home.
It's a free public charter school that serves Kindergarten through 8th grade.
Any student can attend, they don’t have to live in Berkeley County.
While the students are learning from home with their devices, the school is finding ways to provide structure for the kids. They are also connecting them with other students and teachers through fun social activities.
The principal of Mevers School of Excellence Greg Stickel says it’s not typical to get new students enrolling this late in the year, however this is a different circumstance.
“We are well ahead of the curve of being able to provide education to students right now to make sure they are getting the instruction that they need,” Stickel said. “There seems to be a little more interest than normal... switching at this point, again that’s pretty unusual, but these are unusual times.”
He says they have openings at every grade level.
Stickel says leading a school during the coronavirus pandemic has been unusual. The school is working to balance academics and maintaining normalcy for the students when it comes to their interactions with one another.
“Teachers, parents, students, none of us asked for this, but we are certainly trying to make the best of it because education is so important,” Stickel said. “We want to stay standard-based make sure we move the needle with our students, but also understanding that our parents are really struggling trying to teach at home.”
He says the goal is to have a balance between moving forward and not overwhelming parents. As if parenting isn’t already enough, adding teaching to duties was the last thing anyone expected.
Laura Scarborough has an 8th grader, Bridgette, and 5th grader, Cameron, who attend Mevers.
“It’s stressful, beyond stressful I’m not going to lie to you and tell you’ve I’ve got it all together,” Scarborough said.
She says they are getting through it the best they can and she says her children have adapted to online learning well.
“It’s been amazing because it’s set us up as a schedule so they are still up still going downstairs to dining room to have ‘mom school,’ Scarborough said. “Mevers has done an amazing job.”
Stickel says every student without an electronic device was provided a laptop and a hotspot to take home. Teachers are conducting lessons virtually with interactive lessons. Next school year, every student will have a school-issued device.
On the social side, students have access to virtual field trips, video chat bedtime stories, trivia night, virtual club days including cooking classes, chats with the principal and more.
“I like the fact that they are trying to put something fun with the situation that’s going on as well as also giving the work that we have to do," Bridgette said.
The school is also holding student award ceremonies virtually.
"It's really great to see students get on there, laugh, enjoy themselves and really have that sense of normalcy of seeing their teachers and seeing each other and seeing the principal beyond their Zoom classes," Stickel said.
Mevers conducted a survey to find out how parents viewed their new learning practices since schools closed. Stickel says 90 percent of parents gave a 5 out of 5 for parent communication and the way the school is handling the situation.
“It’s been a real learning experience, but we can’t wait to get our kids back," Stickel said. "The halls are awful quiet here and we miss the heck out of them.”
If you’re interested in enrolling or learning more about Mevers School of Excellence you can visit the school’s website at https://www.meversschoolofexcellence.org/
“It’s humbling to hear that the teachers miss the kids as much as the kids miss the teachers,” Scarborough said.