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Public district
Summerville, SC
Students enrolled: 1,104

Contact this school

5201 Old Glory Ln
Summerville, SC 29485

School website
(843) 832-5550
(843) 832-5553
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Map of Fort Dorchester Elementary School address.
January 09, 2015
We moved here in August from Pennsylvania and I was concerned about the schools, only due to what I have heard and some of the comments on this site. Having come from a great school (with great big taxed) there's no doubt we had considerable trepidation about what the difference might be. People only tend to write reviews when they are having an negative experience so I figured I'd write a positive one. I realize every child is different, but our kids have had a great experience at Fort Dorchester. It made it a very simple transition and none of our concerns were founded. The school is every bit as good as their school in the north. Most of the kids are great and the teachers have been excellent. My kids want to go to school every day; a sign that they are doing something right. For those having issues, I am sorry to hear that and hope things improve!

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2014
What should I do? My child is in Kindergarden right now, the other day he told his teacher squeeze his shoulder really hard just to try to get him stay in line, he told that he almost cry. I also put my child in Extended Day, but feel like being discriminated, because the other day when trying to pay, I was charged $60 for full time stay even though my child had couple day absent, while the policeman get charge $28 dollar for the hours that his daughter has went even though he said that his daughter is a full time. I don't think the policeman is any special than me, I'm a businessman and had to pay a lot of tax for it, I don't think it's fair that I have to pay anymore than that . Other than that my child had a terrific year with Mrs. Gunter in 4K

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2014
I hate this school. This is our first year in a public school and this school has been awful. We've had numerous problems and can't seem to get any resolve. I've asked to soak to the principal three times and she absolutely refuses to speak to me. If you have the option, DO NOT send your child here!

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2014
I love this school. Both of my kids go here and have been doing wonderfully. They push academics strongly, but stay well rounded with excellent Art, Music, and PE programs. They have outside experts come in for special projects for the kids to learn. They've done a great job handling the common core curriculum. They incorporate a lot of SC and US history (social studies) into their reading curriculum to hit 2 subjects at once. The academic is wonderful with inclass science projects, language arts, amd math. My child is in GATE and i have been impressed at the level of information they have taught. The kids still have fun, too. It's not all "business" at school. They have lots of after school activities that either i corporate learning or reward it. I had to laugh at the previous review that the receptions didn't need to be working with children. She is very curt and acts like she'd rather be anywhere than there. Their last reception was super sweet. We've postponed moving so we could keep them in this school. People who are complaining about this school must be people who complain about everything!

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2014
I'm military, considering this school district and I am very, very unhappy with the amount of reports I see here about bullying. I ask the principal and all teachers to immediately put an end to this and create zero tolerance policies, for teachers and students.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2014
This is the third DD2 school my child has gone to, and by miles the worst. The school is constantly pushing for test scores over actual learning. If a child is struggling in a subject they give you two options " get a diagnosis" or "find help elsewhere".

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2014
I absolutely love FDES! I have 2 children that attend here and they love going to school. We moved from out of state and Fort Dorchester is so much more organized than their previous school. They recognize and celebrate the childrens achievements all the time. The teachers are wonderful and I have not had a problem with communication. You can see the difference it makes to have such dedicated parents, staff, and volunteers. The school is much larger than our previous school, but the class sizes are smaller. I volunteer weekly and the principals are always stopping in a class or are visible within the schools. My only complaint would be the receptionist, you can tell she doesn't belong around children. Not very pleasant or friendly. Keep up the great work FDES!

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2013
Get your children off those broken down buses, put them back in your car and go to another school. The kids are great at this school and some of the teachers are too. Though finding well-trained, devoted staff here is like an Easter egg hunt. I agree 150% with the other parents; there is enormous pressure to pass standardized tests and to put on a good show so the school could finally win a Palmetto award. But for what?! The kids don't get field trips, sports, iPads or anything else they claim the students should receive. They issue students passing grades and parents are fooled into what learning they think took place. There is a reason that SC has the highest rate of high school drop outs year after year. There is a huge turnover of staff here. There is a large problem with bullying and the staff overlook it. There is very inconsistent communication from the school. Try reaching your teacher and you may wait a while, if you get a reply at all. This school has great difficulty following their own district's policies and make excuses for not doing so. And you want these people modeling leadership for our children??! Do yourself and your children a favor and run!!

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2013
Someone stated below that this school is better than the Washington state school their child previously attended. Not sure how, as we just moved from there and thought this school would be on par. Not even close! This school is way over crowded and keeps getting more crowded every year. The kids just get lost in the system here and there are so many disciplinary issues that education takes a back seat. I was so happy when we moved away from SC and got our child into a better school. It's sad that this school is considered one of the best SC has to offer.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2013
My son went to this school for K-4th grade. The teachers were great but bullying is definitely a problem that is not addressed or taken care of at this school! We recently moved to another area and my son is a completely different child at his new school! Kids are much nicer and bullying is not tolerated!

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2013
I have lived in this community for 10 years and both of my children went to this school. The teachers work very hard and that is the ONLY reason that this school is successful. There is a very high teacher turn over due to working under great stress and constant pressure. The administration is so focused on winning awards such as Palmetto's Finest which they tried SO hard for the last five years to FINALLY win and begged for money and free labor to improve the looks of the school all for the prestige of winning the award. My children are outstanding students and were well prepared by the teachers that they both had. They continue to succeed at Oakbrook Middle School and for that I am grateful. Kudos to all of the great teachers... you all deserve all of the credit.

- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2013
This school is clean and decorated nicely but the inner workings of the school are a very different story.There are many very nice teachers there. And ones that actually want to teach. However this school is weighted down by tunnel vision of winning awards and receiving recognition at any cost. The staff will show you how great the kids are doing but when you take a closer look you will find a generous grading system that has little to do with actual work or achievement. And if your child is failing they won't tell you. They just pass these kids to get them through the system and win awards. Bullying has been a problem at times but the staff makes it worse by not addressing the issues. And there is no communication.Teachers rarely respond to parent contact.I have had several children at this school and this has happened with all of them. There were no field trips for kids these last few years which is a disappointment.There has been a high turn over of staff over the years too.I'm disappointed at how little my children were prepared for middle and high school compared to some of their friends from other districts.People need to look into things deeply before coming here.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2013
Fort Dorchester Elementary School is AMAZING!!! We are military and chose where to live based on the score this school received and I am so very glad we did. We couldn't have asked for a better school. Awesome teachers, staff and volunteers.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2012
Fantastic school! Anyone who doesn't think so will never be happy anywhere. Teachers have all been very organized. Great family activities. Many opportunities for parental involvement.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2012
My son has attended FDES for 4 years. I can't say enough good things about this school. The teachers truly care about the kids and go the extra mile to help them learn. The office staff is friendly and helpful. It is obvious that parents in this school support it and their kids. It is a positive learning environment with teachers able to work with kids at multiple levels.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2011
My daughter attended K with Mrs. Trevino and Mrs. Thomas and I can not say enough about how absolutely INCREDIBLE they are! After our experience with them it will be difficult for any other teacher to live up to them. We loved Ft. Dorchester and feel our daughter had an amazing educational base to build on. Now we live in WA state and compared to Ft. Dorchester, her education does not even come close. I wish they used the programs here that they use in Dorchester II to teach reading and spelling. We moved to Dorchester II district specifically for their schools and looking back now we know why! They ARE the best.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2011
My son started Kindergarten at this school in 2010. I have nothing but great things to say. You would never know that the school was so large wen you walk in the front door. Always personalized attention for the kids and parents. He was in KB and his teachers were out of this world. His teacher came to my sons Tball game and to watch how she works with the kids would bring tears to my eyes. I am excited for him to continue his elementary schooling there. We are a military family, so when moving here, finding the right school was our top priority. We found it!

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2011
We have lived in four states. I have to admit that FDES is a pretty well organized school. Very strict. Principal always greeted us with a smile. Teachers have been wonderful. K5 teachers are all awesome. Carpool line is the most organized that I have seen! I was scared to move to SC because of the # of kids that do not graduate. I feel the FDES will completely prepare them for the next level of schooling. I hope the Middle school will do the same.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2010
A warning for prospective parents. This schools is like a military prison. Kids are not allowed to talk in hallways, not even a hi without getting sent to the back of the line. Kids are not allowed to talk during lunch except the last 5 minutes. How many adults are not allowed to talk during their lunch break? This school is very religious. All lesson plans are christian based the last 2 weeks of December leading up to break. Also a new principal started and no one was ever told about it. Ths kids don't even know who the principle is.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2010
We have two children in FDES and we love it!! The teachers are wonderful and very enthusiastic! We moved from MI and the difference in the level of education is amazing! My second grader actually has to work for his grades now and it is challenging him in ways our old school never did! He loves it here. Wonderful school, very helpful staff and just a great environment!

- submitted by a parent
June 16, 2010
I think this is a great school! The principal is wonderful, but retired this summer. I like how the school is clean and the staff is friendly. I agree with the way my son was taught. His kindergarden teacher was not so great, she has classroom control issues and was not pleased with how she handles mainly the boys in the class. However my son did learn a lot from her, and from what I heard all the other K teachers are great. I'm looking forward to a new teacher next year, I hear the 1'st grade teachers are excellent!

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2009
I have 3 kids in FDES. This is the second year they have attended. All of them love the school and are doing great.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2009
I heard this was a good school before but now that my child goes to this school I do not think this is a good school. The courses are not challenging enough and the teachers and principal do not properly handle the problems of bad behavior or bullying. The school is also to large and my childs teacher used profanity before.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 31, 2008
I also think this is a wonderful school. We moved from Long Island, NY and have found this school to be great. Teachers are wonderful and so is the rest of the staff. Carol Farris is always smiling and making it a wonderful environment for children and parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 20, 2008
I couldn't disagree more with the previous reveiewer. FDES has been the exact opposite for me. Teachers have been involved and loving and caring. I was on a first name basis with every one of my child's teachers and had a great relationship with them. The office staff is ready to help and open and warm. Carol Farris is always available even if I just pop my head in to say 'Hello!' I hate we moved away from FDES but I am confident our new school, Oakbrook Elementary, will be a great school as well. District 2 is the best.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating March 15, 2008
I have two children in this school. They have both been in at least 3 other schools, due to military movement. So far, this is the worst school they have ever attended. Maybe it is good according to South Carolina's standards, but as far as my standards, it is not a school that I would willing send my children to. There isn't much of a parent teacher relationship. I base this on not just one teacher, but at least five teachers. When you enter the office area, be prepared to receive a we-are-better-than-you welcome. The principal has never been available to meet with me or answer any of my questions. If I had known when we moved here about this school and any other public schools in this area, I would have placed my children in private schools. The teachers act as if they hate their jobs. Good luck!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 17, 2008
We transferred to SC from PA in Oct. of 2006 and we have been very impressed with FDES. We were intially concerned about the large size of the school, but the school has an impressive staff and Principal (Ms. Farris) that gives the school a small school feeling. Both of our daughters enjoy the environment and my wife and I are impressed with the quality of the teachers/staff. They go the extra mile to show the students they care about them. We highly recommend FDES.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2008
After transferring here from VA we've had nothing but trouble. My daughter is very behind in her reading compared to back home. Her DRA puts her at a level that she cannot possibly be at, therefore I feel it is inaccurate. For some reason this school district has to push learning down kids throats by skipping important steps needed to become successful readers. It's too much too fast for a child. Being we were not 'born here' and able to start her in Kindergarten with this intense learning I feel this district does not help those of us from other parts of the country. Unless your child has been born here or is considered a gifted I would not recommend district 2. There teachings are far too accelerated and your child will be left to drown here. No school funded tutoring and their 'help' they offer in school is useless.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2007
I am writing to commend the teachings of Ms. Sabb. We just can't say enough wonderful things about her, she goes above and beyond to help her students as well as inform and help the parents. She has made our transition from CT to SC so much easier. She truly loves to teach and it shows in the excitement and positive energy she brings to her classroom. She is a teacher we will remember forever!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 23, 2007
We went Fort Dorchester last year during 2nd grade. I can't begin to tell you how much we loved the school. Ms. Sabb was the best teacher I've seen in years and I do work at the schools. We will miss all the girls up front in the office who were also wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2007
FDES does offer GATE classes in the 5th grade for the advanced students. Next year the school should not be overcrowded due to two new schools opening.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2007
FDES is a good school and provides all the necessary tools for a quality education. However, if you have gifted or exceptionally bright students then the programs are insufficient. The school is set up to teach the masses, my oldest daughter (4rth grade), gets straight A's and complains how much she is bored. She is not challenged. My youngest is in Kindergarten and I would say that the pace and materials used for teaching are satifactory. FDES is massively overcrowded. For the area, its one of the better schools.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2006
Outstanding school, every time I walk in that school, the teachers seem to be so organized and love to teach. I'm just amazed how much my son has learn in the kindergarten this year. thanks!

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2005
Fort Dorchester Elem is a great school. They have a wonderful principal, Carol Farris and 2 asst. principals. The school is only 3 years old. The area that the school is located is growing and is a concern. At this time, enrollment is at 1240 students and they are expecting more by next year. There is a new school(Apian)that was supposed to be finished by August 2006, but is now projected to complete 2007. Although, the numbers are staggering (especially if you have a 5 yr old), I will have to say the staff is absolutely amazing. My child started kindergarten last year and was reading within a month. They are very consistent with testing and using the STAR reading curriculum. Top notch teachers. They rotate music, art and PE every 3 weeks. And they just started a school choral group. The PTA almost 100% membership. Parent involvement encouraged/welcome always.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: January 09, 2015

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Fort Dorchester Elementary School
5201 Old Glory Ln, Summerville, SC  29485
(843) 832-5550
Last modified Fort Dorchester Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Fort Dorchester Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 37 reviews. Top