New elementary school coming to North Charleston

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- A private school partnering with a school district would be the first of its kind in the state. That's exactly what happened at the Charleston County School Board meeting on Monday.

The board voted 7-1 to allow a partnership with the local private elementary school Meeting Street Academy. The partnership means the closed Brentwood Middle School in North Charleston will be turned into a new elementary school.

One board member was absent.

"The district will fund it the same way they fund all elementary schools," said Chris Allen, the Chief of Staff for Meeting Street Education Group. "They have certain per people allotment that they send to each school, we will receive that money but we will have the operational ability within the school."

Meeting Street Academy is a private school that specializes in serving low-income elementary kids.

The academy's work caught the attention of the district, now the private school is bringing its resources to North Charleston in an area that's had its fair share of trouble.

"We fundamentally believe, that the zip code you are born into, should not determine the quality of education you receive," said Allen.

Allen says, the Meeting Street plans to pay for services the district can't afford.

"We are going to pay for a second instructor for each classroom, an extended school year and an extended school day," said Allen.

Those involved in the partnership believes this collaboration could change the way the state looks at education.

"We can show that if we do things a little bit differently we can have some different outcomes and this neighborhood and this school will be an example throughout the state," said Allen.

The new elementary school is expected to open next school year.

The new school is expected serve more than 300 students from 3 years old to fifth grade by the 2018-2019 school year.

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