LAKE CITY, S.C. – The Carolina Academy will implement a new curriculum beginning in the coming school year.
Kim Poston, director of academics, said the Darla Moore Foundation has provided The Carolina Academy with money to purchase new instructional materials for pre-K through 12th-grade math, English and language arts. The school also has a couple of classroom sets of graphing calculators and consumable types of supplies such as markers, highlighters and Post-it Notes.
The Carolina Academy also has some instructional support in place, Poston said.
Next school year, Donna Lynch will be the school’s literacy coach. She has been at the school for a year, Poston said. The two of them have had instructional coach training.
“It’s kind of a perfect match because my background is more math,” Poston said. “And hers (Lynch) is ELA (English/language arts).”
Poston said Michelle Moore will also provide support at the school.
Last year, students at The Carolina Academy received Acer Chromebooks through a donation from the Darla Moore Foundation. And this year, the school will offer keyboarding classes to students.
“But we’re also going to do some coding,” Poston said. “We decided that they need to really learn to type a little bit first. So they’re going to type. They’ll start typing and then it’ll morph into coding. We’re excited. “
Team teaching will be implemented at the school in the coming year for 4K through elementary grades.
“So one teacher will focus on ELA and social studies,” Poston said. “The other teacher will focus on math and science. So we’re going to start that at 4K. We’ve been doing it in 5K. And then grades one through five will be coming in.”
Teachers have undergone professional development provided by the publishers of the textbook companies the school uses. And in July, Poston said, she and Lynch will start leading professional development focused on research-based learning strategies and questioning techniques.
The school is also working with The Continuum in Lake City, and students will begin taking college courses there this fall. Just about half of the senior class will take one or more courses through the new educational initiative. Poston said most of the students will take Francis Marion University dual credit classes, and a few will take classes in welding and industrial maintenance.
Poston said the school’s new curriculum and offerings is huge to better prepare students for the 21st century. And she said that includes the experience they will receive at The Continuum.
Carolina Academy Board Chairman Skeet Coker said it is a great day for not only the school, but Lake City, too.
“I think it’s (The Continuum) a great partnership for us,” Coker said. “It is going to be a great opportunity for our students. And we’re excited. We’re looking forward to it.”
Dr. Will McDaniel, the school’s chairman of curriculum, said the new curriculum materials are more aligned with current standards. He also praised the partnership with The Continuum.
“This is a great opportunity for our students in Lake City to take advantage of earning college credits before they graduate from high school,” McDaniel said.
Carolina Academy Headmaster Stevie Phillips said the school is 50 years old, and the new curriculum and partnership is the best thing that has happened.
“Having The Continuum in town is the best thing that’s happened in a long, long time,” Phillips said.