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Parent Survival Guide: Lowcountry acceleration academy

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:56 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2021 at 8:09 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new charter academy will be opening its doors soon and giving Lowcountry students in danger of not graduating another option to get their diploma.

English teacher Bria Burke-Koskela is eager to start her 7th year of teaching high school English. This year will be a little different as she will be one of several English coaches at Lowcountry Acceleration Academy.

“It’s meant to help students who have had difficulty in a traditional environment or had trauma in a traditional environment,” Burke-Koskela said.

The free charter high school, situated in North Charleston off Rivers Avenue, is meant for students ages 14 to 21. The charter school is part of a national network of public high school dropout reengagement programs.

“We are focused on partnering with area school districts: Charleston, Berkeley, DD2. Our role is to make sure our students are graduating with a high school diploma, and we work together to identify those students,” said Dr. Jacinta Bryant, the academy’s director.

The charter school allows students in-person and virtual options. Bryant says the school is open to students with academic challenges, social and emotional difficulties or work and family responsibilities that don’t have time for a regular school schedule.

She says they will also be providing transportation.

“Our students learn better when they are on a more personalized pathway,” Bryant said. “As a teacher you always want to be the best resource for your kids.”

Burke-Koskela says students are expected to meet in person at least 12 hours a week. The potential graduates can go at their own pace taking one class at a time or taking more.

The school is open year-round.

“We have done education the same way for so long I think new opportunities like this are going to reach students who have not been reached before. We don’t have classrooms, and it’s a coffee shop vibe and we get to come to them so I’m excited to get to tell jokes, make some relationships, and get involved. So I’m very excited,” Burke- Koskela said.

Bryant says Lowcountry Acceleration Academy is always taking applications from interested students. Doors will open Aug. 23, and the school hopes to start with more than 200 students with a cap of 350.

For more information you can click here or call (843) 804-6778.

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