Charleston Development Academy offers challenging and nurturing environment for students

Cool School

We kick-off our Cool School segments by featuring the last school we visited just before schools closed in March due to the pandemic. We head to Charleston Development Academy in Downtown Charleston our Cool School of the week.

Charleston Development Academy Public Charter School’s mission is to nurture the whole child. CDA is an award winning school with two locations, an elementary and middle school with 168 students in pre-k through eighth grade. Associate principal Dr. Arthur Holmes says, “If you want your child to be in a nurturing, caring, and sincere environment where they can reach their highest potential, Charleston Development is a great place to be because you’re just not a number, you’re a total child.”

The PBIS, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support school has a challenging curriculum. Character traits are integrated in daily lessons. A student of the month is chosen by how well students implement character traits. Pre-school teacher Clarice Lemon says, “That character trait is integrated in the daily lessons. Children will see things about the campus, pictures. I
see integrity is up there, and we use children’s photos. We try to encourage them to implement the character that is being focused on for the month.”

CDA also offers spanish, drama, chorus, and art. The school’s concept originated in Ebenezer AME Church to offer a small learning environment for students. CDA student Breanna Polite says, “I think it’s a Cool School because the teachers strive to make us better people everyday. When we walk into the building all we see is smiles, loving and caring people who want the best for us.” Ephesian Brown says, “The teachers make the lessons interesting and make me want to work hard. At CDA I get a good education, and our teachers give us the intelligence to be the best students we can be.”

Students and teacher say it is making a difference. Mrs. Lemon says, “CDA is the best place to be.”

If you would like to nominate your teacher or principal for our Cool School award, email Octavia at

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