CCSD to close Garrett Academy, open new school in fall of 2020

Charleston County News
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In the fall of 2020, a new state of the art career and technical education school will open for high school students in North Charleston as one of three Center for Advanced Studies program school in Charleston County School District.

The North Charleston CAS will expand the opportunities for students to graduate career-ready in many high-demand and high-wage jobs or extend their studies to college in those fields, according to Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait.

Postlewait stated that the CAS will be located near North Charleston High School. Students from throughout Constituent District 4 will be eligible to attend.  

With the opening of the CAS in August of 2020, Garrett Academy for Technology will close at the end of the 2019-20 school year, in June of 2020. The School Board has not made a decision about repurposing the current Garrett site. 

Below are the completer programs that will be offered, all of which will lead to a completer certificate indicating readiness to enter that field directly after high school or to pursue a higher education degree.

The new CAS will offer: 

  • Arts, AV Technology and Communications including Media Technology 
  • Health Science Technology including Biomedical Sciences and Sports Medicine 
  • Information Technology including Computer Service and Repair, Networking Fundamentals, and Web and Digital Communications 
  • STEM and Pre-Engineering 
  • Architecture and Building Construction (includes units in blueprints, framing, electrical, masonry, and plumbing) 
  • Manufacturing including Mechatronics Integrated Technologies 
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics including Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Automotive Collision Repair Technology 
  • Additionally, the CAS is being designed with additional flex space to allow for new or innovative programs to be introduced when it opens or in the future. 

The Garrett administration, teachers, and staff have worked with CCSD administration to ensure a smooth transition for their students. In preparation for this move from Garrett to CAS, the following decisions have been made: 

  • Garrett will not accept ninth graders for the upcoming 2019-20 school year, but the school will operate for grades 10-12.  
  • All students currently enrolled in major programs of study at Garrett will be able to complete their program. For rising tenth and eleventh graders, many of the programs will continue at the new CAS, North Charleston High, or RB Stall High.  
  • Garrett will not have athletic teams next school year. Approximately 85% of Garrett’s students come from North Charleston High School or RB Stall High School, and those students will be able to participate with their home school’s team with after-school transportation provided from Garrett. 
  • 2020-21 school year, students will be zoned to attend the neighborhood high school that serves their attendance area. 
  • The CAS will be a program school, and as such students will continue to have their attendance zone high school as their school of record for graduation. 
  • That means that State-issued high school diplomas will come from students’ base high school beginning with the senior class of 2021. However, CCSD will issue a Garrett Academy for Technology local diploma certificate for Garrett program completers.  

The plan below will allow current Garrett students to become “Completers” in their Program of Study: 

  • Health Science Technology, Information Technology, Pre-Engineering / STEM / Project Lead The Way, and Automotive Collision Repair Technology will move from Garrett to the new CAS after the 2019-20 school year. 
  • Culinary Arts and Digital Art and Design will move from Garrett to North Charleston High School after the 2019-20 school year.  Digital Art and Design is also offered at Stall High School. 
  • Business/Entrepreneurship will move from Garrett to RB Stall High School after the 2019-20 school year.   North Charleston High School has Personal Finance and Entrepreneurship, as well. 
  • Early Childhood Education, Family and Consumer Sciences, Architectural Design, Automotive Technology, and Cosmetology will be double-blocked for students in the 2019-20 school year in order to get students to completer status and/or certification completion as soon as possible. There may be summer programs offered if necessary to allow the current students the coursework or hours they need in order to meet licensure requirements. Those programs will be phased out or offered at other locations as students transition to the new CAS and other high schools.  
  • Marketing Communications will be absorbed into the Business programs at both North Charleston High and RB Stall High. 

According to officials, the new CAS and Garrett were made in an effort to provide students in North Charleston with opportunities that will equip them to enter the workforce with living wage job skills or to continue their education.  These new programs have the potential to impact the quality of life and standard of living in positive ways for lifetimes. 

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