As a parent of two students at Whitesides, I'm extremely happy with the school. The teachers are top notch. The feeling and energy upon entering the school is always positive and happy. The children are smiling and eager. I don't feel that there is excessive teaching to tests which I love. I want my children learning in a positive environment and that's true at Whitesides. Love it!
First the positives: a beautiful new building with large classrooms and room to grow; a wide variety of special areas (art, music, PE, and library; Spanish and computer were recently added); and a very active PTA. If your child is an average or below-average learner, the school is probably fine. Lots of resources for under-performing students, and the teachers will certainly teach to grade-level standards. Perhaps the biggest negative: If your child is an above-average learner, this is probably not be the best place. Large class sizes, kids who need extra help, and inevitable behavior issues leave teachers with very little time or desire to challenge higher-achieving students. The bar for achieving an "excellent" rating in South Carolina public schools is unfortunately set pretty low.