Orange Grove Elementary Charter School approved to expand

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- Many parents of kids who attend Orange Grove Elementary Charter School were concerned that after the fifth grade, there would not be an equally high-performing middle school to send their children in District 10.

"Middle school options are there, but what I have found is that my fifth graders are leaving the district or leaving West Ashley area," said Principal John H. Clendaniel. "I'm convinced that if we had a middle school, we could keep them around."

But parents aren't worrying anymore.

At a meeting on Monday, the Charleston County School District approved a request for the elementary school to build a middle school for its 800 students.

"I've worried about it since my son was in kindergarten as to where we would send him," said Edmund Carson, who has a third grader. "So I'm very excited we have somewhere to send him."

One of the biggest concerns about the new middle school is where it will be located.

But parents like Scott Glover say they would travel anywhere to keep their child in Orange Grove.

"We would travel. Even if we had to go farI mean that's what a difference it makes. It's about the people at the school," he said.

Clendaniel said no one would have to travel far because the school operates its own bus system.

"When you are talking about a residential area- a built up area like our area- we may have to look a little bit further out, but regardless, we own our own buses, we transport our students, and we'll get them to school no matter where it's located," he said.

The school is scheduled to open during the 2016-2017 school year, and would expand Orange Grove's attendance to nearly 1,200 students.

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