Colleton Co. students could get more attention with proposed program

Colleton County School District says they want to expand alternative learning so their students can get more individualized attention.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:26 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2023 at 4:00 PM EST
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COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Colleton County School District says they want to expand alternative learning so their students can get more individualized attention.

The district’s current alternative program is at their district headquarters, but they are proposing to move it to Black Street Early Childhood Center to provide greater space.

The district says they currently have alternative learning that accommodates grades 6-12, but they want to make sure grades K-5 have the same opportunities. They say this current facility study will propose reutilizing the current district buildings in a different way.

For example, the proposed plan is to turn all of Black Street Early Childhood Center into an alternative learning site. They say alternative learning could cover academic, behavioral or even social support a child needs to be successful.

Superintendent Dr. Vallerie Cave says the school board makes the final decision on how the building will be split up, what grades it will accommodate and what kind of criteria will decide which students will be placed there.

This would then affect where some students are districted.

Cave says incoming 6th graders going to Colleton County Middle would stay at their elementary schools, making Cottageville, Hendersonville and Bells Elementary pre-K through 6th grade. Forest Hills Elementary would have grades 3-6 and Northside Elementary would have grades pre-K through 2nd.

Only students who live within the city of Walterboro who currently go to Black Street Early Childhood Center and wouldn’t be going to the alternative learning program would migrate to Northside.

The district says if this proposal is approved, the upgrade to Black Street could cost the district more than $375,000.

“It is not necessarily to work on school safety,” Cave said. “It is to provide opportunities to all of the children to be academically safe in their instructional mode as well as to be safe and secure every single day that they’re in there.”

Cave says she will be proposing a timeline on how this plan could work at the next school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17. She says it’s possible to see this change by the start of next school year, but it will all depend on the timeline of approvals.