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.
I have both of my children in this school and I must say that, I could not be happier. The teachers that both of my children had are wonderful, patient and always so willing to work with them. I want to thank Mrs. Norris, 1st grade from the bottom of my heart for all the work, patience and dedication she gave my son especially with his reading skills. We moved from Georgia to here in the middle of the school year two years ago and he was not able to catch up to pass to the second grade, his reading level was way below first grade level when he started this year with her, not only did he pass to the second grade but is reading almost third grade level! I have to thank God for teachers like her, and Whiteside School for their wonderful support and care they give.
Both of my children attend Mamie P. Whitsides and I feel the children get a great education. The teachers and all staff are very caring about what and how they teach. The teachers always give extra help to the children when needed and keep me, the parent, informed about the progress. They are very accessible and I like that.
I have had children attend Whitesides for the past 13 years...one is a senior in college, one is now at Whitesides in the 4th grade and the last will be attending next year...Whitesides is a very interactive school which welcomes the input and support of parents while treating my child as if he belonged to them biologically....I pay extra money to live in this school district and it's worth every penny!...by the way, if u want a seat at the PTA meetings, u betta get there 30 minutes early, its standing room only...thank you Mrs Pounder and your staff