Most of the faculty is fantastic, academics are challenging but taught well, and the effort put into teaching students' majors is wonderful. My daughter missed several weeks during and at the end of the school year due to a medical issue, but was able to work with teachers and do well in all classes.
Teachers are very communicative and there are online resources for both students and parents. The administration listens to students and parents - my daughter had a teacher who was not performing well and was not invited back the next year.
As a parent, I am fortunate to be entertained often by concerts and exhibits. Some of their productions have been really great! Performance is BIG here, and some of the venues in which they perform - for credit - are pretty cool [thanks Mr. Clarke!].
Location is not stellar, and I have to drive from near Summerville on I 26 but the "compound" seems pretty secure and they are quick to respond in a crisis. I'd rather be safe and know what's happening than the alternative. It IS North Charleston. [I remember only 3 or so school-wide security issues last year, not sure about "near weekly.."]
Unfortunately, this school as gone down hill. I don't know if it's due to a new principal, new admission policy or what, but I am very disappointed and my child will not be returning next year! I know of several other families who are not returning as well. My biggest complaint it the complete lack of accountability from the teachers and administration. Do not expect ANY response to a question, concern or request from ANYONE! You can copy the teacher, guidance, principal, assistant principal...no one will take any responsibility at all! Depending on your child's major, the quality of arts education can vary drastically. Never mind the scandals, like teacher getting arrested for having sex with a student at school! Near weekly LOCKDOWN's because of "police activity in the neighborhood" - the school is located in a notoriously bad area. But sometimes you won't get a call about the lockdown...or your child's bus will just not show up and you will never get an explanation....it goes on and on. Seriously, think twice before sending you kid here!
As a student who actually attends School of the Arts, I think it is a wonderful school with wonderful staff, and one of the best places to get an education in South Carolina! I dont think it is fair for a "parent" to talk negatively about such a great school that they have never spent an eight hour school day in. Yes, the school might be in a "bad area" (not even that serious) but any child should be lucky to go to school in the nice facility that was recently built. Has a child ever been hurt due to something that happened in the "bad area"? No. Lockdowns do not happen weekly and I would know because I am actually there 180 days each school year. Every school has its slip ups, but that should not override all the good things that have happened at SOA through out the years . Just because a parent found SOA unsuitable for their child shouldn't make it okay for negative comments to be left about School of the Arts that may turn away other intrested parents/students from such a great opportunity. SOA has made me into a better musician, student, and overall person and I am thankful for that! The school has NEVER failed to amaze ever since I began my journey there.
Hi, I am a student here at the School of the Arts and my letter is regarding to the review that is under mine. I first off want to say that our school is not going "down hill". Actually I have to say, I think our school is moving in an amazing direction. We have had a lot of change in our administration, but it's the best its ever been. the teachers and staff here work tirelessly with all the students making sure they achieve their best. These teachers want the best out of all their students and nothing less. Yes, the scandal here was very sad, but when the administration found out about the situation they took the necessary steps to bring that teacher to justice. Our school isn't in the greatest location, but where else are you going to build a million dollar facility. there's just no other place. unless you want to be 45 minutes outside of Charleston. I feel very safe at this school and know that these lock-downs are necessary to ensure our safety. I am sorry that you have these feelings for this one of a kind school. I can personally say this school has changed my life completely in more ways than one and I thank it for that.
The best private schools out there pale in comparison to this exceptional example of academic excellence supported through an intense program of the arts. No place will you find a more talented cadre of young people in place filled with positive growth opportunities, a highly dedicated staff who focuses on the success of each student and an administration able to connect with parents in a mutually cooperative and useful way. Given the popular notion of the demise of the public schools, SOA stands as a shining example of how a well managed school, with a common focus and understood purpose, can be highly successful. If you have the opportunity to have your child selected to attend, grab the chance! There is a real reason that so many students dream of being accepted. This is an amazing school.
If you are looking for a "public private school" with very little diversity in its population of students, faculty and staff, then this is the school for you...!!! There are no minority teachers and one or two administrators. The focus is definitely on the artistic ability of the student with very limited course offering. Foreign language is not offered until 8th grade, whereas other top middle schools in the area starts in 6th grade. Exploratory classes of the other majors are not available since you can only have one major. My gifted and talented child is a vocalist, instrumentalist (strings) and artist. I have to find other outlets to involve him in. The new school is state of the art. Overall, the teachers are okay, the administration okay, the academics okay and the students okay.
My daughter loves the school environment and the great artistic freedom they are given. We are zoned for some of the best schools in SC, but we are very glad that she has chosen to stay at the School of the Arts. The new facility is absolutly amazing!!
Student have to have high grade to get excepted and be well above average in whatever major they are ezxcepted in. This school will not let someone who slacks off go anywhere, you have to earn the money to pay for everything yourself and maintain a profesonal misdemener whenever/where ever. This school is amazing in every aspect of the word.