Mevers School of Excellence is Charter Schools USA's first school in South Carolina. We're in Goose Creek for our Cool School of the week.
The public charter school is wrapping up its first year as a new school. Mevers is available as a school choice to any student in South Carolina. Right now, the school is kindergarten through 6th grade, but they will add seventh grade next year. Principal John Spagnolia says, "We have a little over 600 students here. We're adding seventh grade next year. We should have about 930. We have a lot of wonderful students as well as parents. This community has been very supportive of us. We're looking to a great ending of the school year." Fifth grade student TeaOnna Gooden says, "If something is wrong, the counselors help you. It's like kind of a family friendly environment."
In addition to Spanish classes, Mevers has a technology lab and students are learning to code beginning in kindergarten. Technology teacher Skip Van Dyke says, "We do programming from kindergarten on up to the 8th grade, from top down and bottom up, teaching computational thinking, and programming. We're moving into more and more STEAM projects, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art all combined together. We have some 3D printers we just got, robotics kits. What really surprised me is the way that the lower grades, kindergarteners are learning how to program, just how easy it was for them to start their computational thinking. They didn't miss a step."
The school, named after one of its donors and creators, the Mevers family, is a personalized learning school. They use data to drive instruction. Both teachers and students have data notebooks, they meet to talk and set goals. MSE uses its small class sizes to offer small-group lessons, which provides more one-on-one time with teachers. Assistant principal Dr. Cidi Brown says, "We do our personalized learning not just through iPads and technology, but we are more of small group. Teachers look at these data from small groups, flexible groups. The groups change as the data changes. That's one of the big strategies in our instructional program is small group instruction." Third-grade student Braylen Washington says, "I like that you get to be creative. The teachers here are amazing and everything is just awesome."
Coming up Friday on News 2, we'll present Mevers with our Cool School award.
We want to hear about the good things that are going on at your school. Just send an email to Octavia at omitchell@ wcbd.com.