On January 15, the Creative Parents Association hosted our annual “School Choices” meeting to help educate parents with older students about what elementary school options there are on and off Johns Island. We had a great turnout and lots of exciting and informative discussion! If you were not able to attend, we wanted to provide an overview of the information that was shared.

School Choices Meeting Recap and Notes

General Info

  • Sarah is touring all local schools (within about a 10 mile radius) in the next few weeks as a refresher
  • February – Sarah will send out a general email to all parents asking what their plans are for the summer
  • 5K is a mandatory program for CCSD


  • How do we choose a good school for our kids?
    • Go and visit the schools! We have plenty of time to go visit all schools that are an option for the kids
    • Pick the one that feels right to you and your learning style/preferences
    • Schedule kindergarten prep meetings with Sarah to discuss individual needs/concerns for specific children beginning now through summer
  • In general, how do CB kids transition into a more traditional school?
    • CB graduates tend to be about 1 year ahead of the “normal” standard in most schools (depends on the school and curriculum)
    • This is intentionally designed into the CB curriculum because the transition from CB to a traditional school is often overwhelming for children
      • Sarah wants the children to be able to focus on these big transitions (big hallways, cafeterias, etc.) instead of on the expected curriculum) during their first year so they wouldn’t be behind
  • When/how should we (parents) start transitioning kids/talking to them about “real” school?
    • Not yet!
    • The butterfly class will be talking alot about this in May
    • Kids will naturally start asking questions about what they’ve heard/learned in school
    • 3 weeks before you begin a new routine (new drop off schedule, etc.) begin waking up the kids at the time you’ll need them to be up in the future and do lots of dry runs to iron out any potential issues and make that first “real” day as stress-free as possible
  • What is the status of school choice applications?
    • Information about School Choice and applications here
    • Lottery is not going to be open until after their scheduled school board meeting on 1/28/19
    • After lottery closes, it will be about 6 weeks before they let you know status of your application
    • If you are in a failing school district, you get preference in the lottery
  • What is the difference between a Charter & a Magnet school? 
    • Charter – applies to the whole school, under CCSD umbrella, but considered “private”, you must apply to get in (lottery based), it is public and free
    • Magnet – some you have to apply, they have minimum regulations (grades, test scores, etc.), could be whole or just part of a school

Charter vs. Magnet Comparison | more information here

Charter Magnet
Brief Description Public schools that are independent of school districts and contract directly with state or local boards. Magnet schools exist within the traditional public school system and offer a particular academic focus alongside the standard curriculum
Open to all students? Yes (within a metro area). Yes (within a district or designated metro area). Not address-specific
Entrance requirements/eligibility? No.
Accountable to? What are standards? Exempt from most state regulations. Adhere to a charter or legislative contract. Must participate in state testing and federal accountability programs. Accountable to local school board + State. Standards are the same as traditional public schools
Who runs them? Privately run. Most are non-profits. School board/district.
Additional Info: Can not charge tuition or receive public funding/

Group Discussion on Local Schools

  • Sarah was asked to provider her feedback/thoughts on some local schools:
    • Frierson
      • Montessori program
      • She’s heard great things about teaching
      • No homework in Montessori setting
      • No afterschool program currently offered
      • Disorganized (but this is to be expected as it’s new and run by the county)
      • They will be transitioning from K-5th to K-8th as their Montessori program grows
    • Angel Oak
      • Diverse
      • Success was boosted by heavy influx of parental involvement
      • Teaching mentality is split – some teachers utilize the forced learning with a little bit of an art focus, while others are very creative
    • Mt. Zion
      • Parental involvement is minimal (this element can really make/break a school)
      • Teachers that Sarah has met are really good
    • Charleston Collegiate
      • Most like Creative Beginnings
      • Focuses on Project-based learning
      • Feels like a family – every teacher knows every kid and parents name
      • Outdoor classrooms (2 acres) – focuses on team learning
    • Memminger 
      • Sarah hasn’t visited this school in about 18 months, so she’ll have to provide specific feedback on this after she visits next week.

Other Topics

  • If you want your child to stay with CB for K-4 through age 5, you need to let Sarah know by mid-April
  • Creative Beginnings Summer Camp:
    • Fills up by mid-March
    • Ages: as soon as you leave (even if that’s 3K!) up to about age 12
    • Fees: schedule of fees is different than full time student rate, dependent on age, etc.
      • Sarah can provide this information individually
  • School Security: also discussed by Mr. De La Rosa
    • If your school is in CCSD, it is part of the School Security Response Team
      • This team is stationed throughout CCSD with the goal response time to any school being 30 seconds – 1 minute
    • Some CCSD schools have their own School Resource Officer (SRO)
    • Charleston County has recently implemented new off-duty posts/shifts at all CCSD schools

School Ratings/Report Cards 

  • School Report Cards are accessible here
  • D9 school comparisons:

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