The approval that will allow the Coastal Montessori Charter School to receive public funds to open and operate a school at Pawleys Island is contingent on approval from the U.S. Justice Department, which will review the school for compliance with court-ordered desegregation in the district
Approval from the school board follows state approval last month. The Coastal Montessori planning committee will now apply to the state for a "planning and implementation" grant that will allow it to hire a head teacher and secure facilities, said Kristin Bohan, who chairs the committee.
The board vote was 7-0, with members raising questions about how the school will deal with special-need students, discipline, meals and diversity. The state charter school law requires that the school maintain the same racial mix as the district at large, or show that it has made a good-faith effort to meet that mix. Bohan told the school board that diversity was one of the driving factors that led parents with children at the private Montessori School of Pawleys Island to pursue a charter. "Montessori is all about multiculturalism and diversity," she said.
Scores on standardized tests by Georgetown County students lag the state averages in 21 of 26 areas, according to results made public today. In the best case, third-grade English, 20 percent of county students don’t meet state standards. In the worst case, third grade science, 46.2 percent don’t meet the standards.
The Palmetto Assessment of State Standards is given to students in grades three through eight in English, math, social studies and science. Fifth- and eight-graders also take a writing test. The number of county students who met or exceeded state standards topped statewide results in seventh- and eighth-grade math, third- and seventh-grade social studies, and third-grade English.
Students at the Waccamaw Neck schools exceeded the state results at all levels. Yet scores fell from 2010 in 11 of 26 areas. The largest decline was a 7 point drop in sixth-grade English, where 80.2 percent of Waccamaw students met state standards this year. Statewide, 71.8 meet the standards.
Sixth-grade English scores countywide dropped 7.1 percent, and more than a third of students didn’t meet state standards.
The biggest increase for county students was in seventh-grade social studies, which rose 9.3 points to 65.7 percent. But that still means more than a third of students still didn’t meet the state standards.
Waccamaw seventh-graders posted the biggest increase in math, where 85 percent met or exceeded state standards. That’s a 10 point rise from 2010.
To see the complete state PASS results, click here.