Palmetto Scholars Academy (SC) Achieves Top "A" Federal Rating

Source: The Post and Courier, Sep 2012

Palmetto Scholars Academy is the state’s only charter school for gifted and talented students, and its mission is to push its students to achieve at the highest levels possible.

The school was one of 10 in the tri-county area to receive a perfect 100 “A” under the new federal rating system, and it has been rated “excellent” by the state and received a Palmetto Gold Award.

A Good Fit

The school’s curriculum is designed for gifted and talented students, but students don’t have to meet any admissions criteria. Any South Carolina resident who applies will be accepted, unless there are more applicants than seats. In that case, the school holds a lottery; it has waiting lists for sixth and seventh grades.

Only about 60 percent of its roughly 280 students are identified as gifted and talented. Students are tested and interviewed after they are admitted, and school officials tell parents whether the school will be a good fit for their children’s abilities. Some withdraw their non-gifted students, while others leave them there and hope they rise to the rigorous expectations.

All the school’s classes are advanced, and the school’s on-grade-level English and math classes are one grade above what students traditionally would take.

Teachers are encouraged to use research-based lessons, hands-on activities and original source documents. They use the Socratic method during classroom discussions to promote critical thinking.

Related blog posting, Nov 2012

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