If we are to believe what we read, dissension and fractious dialogue characterize most discussions involving our public school system. Differences of opinion can often be healthy in bringing about necessary changes, and I sense that Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait is dedicated to making our schools strong across the board. So I am optimistic that sooner than later we will have schools whose outcomes represent what we want for all Charleston County students.
I think the community should know of one instance where the light already shines brightly. The Charleston Charter School for Math and Science just had its fifth graduating class. In its short history the school has purposely developed a “college-going culture” with a two-fold goal: to encourage students to broaden their scopes of college possibilities, and to acquaint colleges nationwide with what is happening at this special place.
To date, CCSMS students have been accepted by 74 different colleges in 14 states and have earned merit awards averaging over $800,000 annually, many of which are renewable for four years of undergraduate work.
Furthermore, representatives from college admissions offices both in-state and national — such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Vassar College, Washington University of St. Louis and Tulane University — have demonstrated their interest in having CCSMS students apply to their institutions.
CCSMS is not a magnet school. Attendance is on a lottery basis, attracting students from all across Charleston County and constituting what many have said to be the most racially balanced school in the area. A common denominator is that they have elected to come here knowing that they will receive excellent teaching from a dedicated and caring faculty.
Another is that whether they elect to attend four-year colleges or technical colleges, or enter the military or the work force, their choices will have been made in an atmosphere that encourages broad exploration of their options.
With solid administrative leadership, superb and forward-thinking instruction, a well-run athletic program, and exemplary parental support, CCSMS provides students a comprehensive education in a structured and friendly atmosphere. The “college-going culture” theme adds an important dimension to what the phrase “getting a good education” really means.
Charleston Charter School
for Math and Science