Cool School: East Cooper Montessori Charter School - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Cool School: East Cooper Montessori Charter School

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By Octavia Mitchell

East Cooper Montessori Charter School offers a unique and individualized educational choice. The school has a lot to celebrate and be proud of. We're in Mount Pleasant for our Cool School of the week.

Located in the I'On community, East Cooper Montessori Charter School is a county wide charter school in Charleston county. The school is in its tenth year. They started with 44 kids and a trailer with two little classrooms, and now serves 260 students in grades one through eighth grade. Foreign language begins in first grade. They moved to their new facility in 2007, but because of the growth of the school, space remains an issue. The school does not have a library, cafeteria, or playground.

East Cooper Montessori Charter has made AYP every year since it's inception, and has Palmetto Gold and Silver awards for nearly every year. ECMCS has won numerous art awards over the years, and continues to place great value on the arts.

Principal and co-founder Jody Swanigan says the school is not just about academics, it's about the whole child. Swanigan says, "We are a success story. We started this school with 44 kids, and literally a portable classroom, two classrooms, no office, no copier machines, bare essentials to start a school. Now we have grown to 260 students in grades first through 8th and it really is an amazing place to go to school. We are in a school with 260 of our closest friends and 30 of the most talented educators who are all montessori certified and state certified.. and also gifted and talented endorsed.. it's just a high functioning wonderful environment for children to learn and grow." Eighth grade student Joseph Lehman says,"I know I can come to school everyday ready to learn without being uncomfortable." Eighth grade student Nina Kremser says, "I think my school is awesome. I love it here. The Montessori philosophy teaches us to be independent in our work and our planning, and taught me to be unique because I have lots of friends here that encourage me."

All of the school's teachers are Montessori certified, state certified and gifted and talented endorsed. Gifted and talented instruction is offered everyday.

East Cooper Montessori Charter has had a waiting list since it's inception.

Coming up Wednesday on News 2 Today, a closer look at the Montessori approach to education, and how students facilitate the classroom experience.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com. Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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