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Community Needs Assessment Survey for the Proposed Charter School in Sumter
An application to establish a new public charter school will be submitted to a state-approved sponsor in February 2020. If approved, Sumter's first-ever public charter school will open in the Fall of 2021 and, at its build out, serve scholars in grades PK-12 with grade levels phased in over time. Charter schools in South Carolina are tuition-free public schools, sponsored by a state-approved sponsor, and is governed by a Board of Directors (consisting of parents and community citizens). There are no test-in requirements. Charter schools offer unique educational programming and operate with greater autonomy in exchange for being held accountable for increasing student outcomes at faster rates. If more scholars apply than the number of seats allotted by each grade level, a lottery will be held to determine student admission.
The proposed public charter school will offer a unique personalized learning model centered around STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) career pathways and facilitated through project-based learning. It is envisioned that the STEAM career pathways offered will mirror the workforce needs of the Sumter economy. Scholars will have the opportunity to study specific career paths with opportunities for real-life workplace experiences. The goal is to create the conditions to embrace scholar talents and interests and equip them with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college or career, while also being an invested member of their community. We seek to provide an additional public education option for the students of Sumter County.
As part of the charter application process, the Founding Committee seeks to engage the community in a needs assessment and collect general feedback regarding interest and support in the proposed public charter school. All feedback received will be reviewed by the Founding Committee and used in the core design of the proposed charter school. Any member of the community - individual, organization, or business - is welcome and encouraged to complete this survey.
Participation in this survey is voluntary and does not commit you to any action. Responses will be kept confidential. The Founding Committee may, however, follow up with identified stakeholders for further involvement. If you have further questions, please reach out to the founding committee via email (
Name of Individual/Organization/Business
Please select the description that best matches the role in which you want to be associated in this survey.
Representative of the Faith-Based Community
Private/Concerned Tax-Paying Citizen
Current Practicing Educator
Private Sector Employee (Industry, Small Business, Etc.)
Business Community Leader
Parent of Public School Aged-Children
Local Elected Official
Other Community Leader
Current Public School Student
How did you hear about the proposed charter school?
Charter School Presentation
School Representative or Founding Committee Member
Where do you live?
City of Sumter
Neighboring County to Sumter (Lee, Clarendon)
If the proposed public charter school becomes authorized, a diverse student population would be highly valued. Please provide your race.
Black or African-American
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
Charter schools typically open in serving just a single or a few grade levels and then grow each year thereafter. What grade level bands do you believe the proposed public charter should serve in its opening year?
Charter schools typically open in serving just a single or a few grade levels and then grow each year thereafter. What grade level (s) do you believe the proposed public charter school should serve in its opening year? Check all that apply.
What do you believe are the reasons for wanting to establish a public charter school in the Sumter community? Select all that apply.
Improve student discipline.
Improve parental involvement.
Improve post-secondary participation.
Meet workforce development needs.
Create a unique school opportunity.
Increase student achievement.
Increase graduation rates.
Nothing, I do not support a public charter school for the Sumter community.
Do you wish there were more high-quality free public school options available for the children of Sumter County?
An alternative educational option focused on career pathways aligned to economic needs is needed in Sumter County.
List the top career pathways you believe are most aligned to the local economy and also needed to strengthen it.
Would you support a public charter school that offers a personalized learning model for every student?
Would you support a public charter school that offers real life work experiences for every student, including apprenticeships and internships?
Would you support a public charter school that offers STEAM-specific career pathway exposure for every student?
Would you support a public charter school that offers appropriate tools and resources to master state academic standards?
How strongly do you feel a public charter school should exist in Sumter as an additional educational option for students and families?
Very strongly interested.
If a foreign language were offered as part of the curriculum for the proposed public charter school, what would you want it to be?
American Sign Language
A foreign language should not be offered at the proposed public charter school.
Charter schools typically have a specific focus that meets an underlying need. On a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the highest, how strongly do you feel the proposed public charter school should be focused on STEAM education and programming?
If the proposed public charter school becomes an option in the Sumter community, would you seek to enroll your child?
I do not have any school-aged children.
If there are other components you would like to see a part of the full educational program for the proposed charter school, please share them here.
Briefly explain why you either support or do not support the proposed public charter school.
Please use this space to provide any additional comments/feedback.
If you would like to express your interest in possibly enrolling your student in the proposed charter school, please share your contact information below to receive the student enrollment interest form.
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