The vision of Lowcountry Leadership Charter School is to develop an intrinsic desire and purpose within our students, that will nurture confidence for authentic leadership opportunities to investigate, collaborate, and resolve issues of inquiry, involving all academic disciplines and extracurricular and athletic activities, within an atmosphere of encouragement steeped in high expectations and natural rewards, thereby yielding healthy, well-rounded, moral, accountable, and compassionate advocates of human rights, national resources, independent means, and civic responsibility. Our commitment to accomplish this vision is based on the following beliefs: Like-Minded Goals, Academic Excellence, Moral Excellence, Project Based Instruction, Teachers as Facilitators, Students as Mentors, and Community and business support and involvement. Lowcountry Leadership Charter School will be the fulfillment of a long standing need for high quality public education in the rural West Ashley area of Charleston County. For years, parents have sought alternatives to public education in the form of home schooling and private education. Decreased enrollment and the actual closing of certain area public schools are due to this continuing trend which is further impacted by families that have left their home communities in search of alternative public school options. As a start-up public charter school sponsored by the SC Public Charter School District, LLCS will serve school-aged children living in rural West Ashley, surrounding communities, and neighboring counties, and as such, have a potential student body reflective of the demographic character of the region thus bringing back the neighborhood school concept. LLCS will open in the St. Paul’s community for the 2013-2014 school year, initially offering grades K – 9th with plans for high school students to matriculate up over the following three years, thus offering a seamless educational experience for students and their families, K – 12. Lowcountry Leadership Charter School will assist South Carolina in reaching academic excellence by having a strong educational plan that is research based and focuses on personalized learning opportunities and preparing each student for a global society, in which they will utilize learned skills. Learning at LLCS will focus on educating children of all abilities, learning styles, and intelligences and will be embedded with regional resources, twenty-first century skills, and learning opportunities that foster engaged citizenship, environmental stewardship, and authentic leadership characteristics. Early intervention and after-school enrichment programs will provide additional learning opportunities to bridge gaps and celebrate differences on a continuum of diverse and varied points of interest and aptitude. A dynamic and forward thinking curriculum supported by Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the chosen method by which LLCS will ensure improved student learning, achievement, and growth. PBL is one of
the most innovative and effective teaching models for helping students reach the highest levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Students focus on a comprehensive question or problem, then work to solve the problem through a collaborative process over a specific period of time. Projects often are used to investigate authentic issues and topics found outside of school, drawing on the natural resources of the surrounding environment and community. LLCS is committed to creating a safe, diverse learning community that recognizes and values the individual—cognitively, ethically, socially, emotionally, and physically—and will provide educational opportunities for each area to grow and be strengthened. By creating an environment where students feel secure in taking risks, teachers will better recognize their students’ creativities, curiosities, and individual needs, while preparing them to be genuine in their objectives and aspirations, by setting and achieving goals through intrinsic motivation. They will learn through values based education programs how to establish respectful and productive interpersonal relationships through daily interactions and about the qualities of leadership and character that result in being responsible decision-makers and problem-solvers. At each grade level, the curriculum includes a foundation of core concepts and skills that include the effective use of the scientific method, analysis and display of mathematical interpretations and technology, appreciation of historical value, wellness and physiological awareness, and written and oral expressions of learning through the arts. Embedded with these concepts are interdisciplinary themes of the past, present, and future, that include authentic, hands-on experiences, student driven and designed service learning projects, regional and global environmental and demographic awareness, and written communication projects based on exploration, research, and debate. Students will be immersed in opportunities to personally experience the cultural layers of their world. Using this experiential ideology, LLCS will use a variety of programs and research based methodologies to further accomplish the intent of the SC Charter School Act. They include, but are not limited to: Mentoring Programs (Peer, Multi-generational), Business and Civic Partnership Programs, Fieldtrips and Fieldwork, Project Based Learning, Positive Behavior Intervention Systems, Authentic Assessments, Integrated Arts Education, World Language studies beginning in the early grades, Theme based learning projects, Environmental Education, Cooperative Learning Strategies, Apprenticeship and Career Awareness Programs, Service Learning, Values Education Programs, Student Leadership Programs, Self-assessment and Reflection for Teachers and Students, Fine Arts Programs (Drama, Music, Orchestra, Visual) and Team Sports Programs.