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Old 11-15-2015, 04:40 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,641 times
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We will be moving to Spartanburg next month and have narrowed down the Kindergarten choices for our daughter to two schools - Spartanburg Prep & Pine Elementary. Beyond this, we don't have much to go by other than what is given in their respective websites and the school ratings. Our daughter is academically doing well and we would like a good program that challenges her academically (in the future when she goes to the higher grades)

Any inputs/thoughts on how each of these two schools, Spartanburg Prep & Pine Elementary stack up?

Many Thanks!!
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:08 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Spartanburg Preparatory School (385 South Spring Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306-5264) is a charter school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It has single gender classes.

Pine Street Elementary School (500 South Pine Stret, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302-2732) is for students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. It is a school in Spartanburg School District Seven.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:14 AM
 
Location: The Hub City
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I have experience with both, as my kids started at Pine Street Elementary, and we moved them to Spartanburg Prep three years ago. I currently have three at SPS.

Both are excellent schools that will challenge students academically. In my opinion, Spartanburg Prep does a better job of challenging all students regardless of their ability levels, while (again, my opinion but I know others share this as well) Pine Street begins to separate students around third grade (when GT/Odyssey kicks in). It seemed that the non-gifted and talented kids were being left behind while the GT kids were pushed much more rigorously.

At Spartanburg Prep, the first period of each day is tailored to each student's needs at a level they can both succeed and be challenged. For example, during this period, Kindergarteners all the way up to second-graders may be together doing math, depending on their ability level - it may be a remedial-type session for the older student who needs more time and attention, but it may be challenging for the 5K student who is ready for more than just 2+3=5. For what it's worth, even though my kids ARE in GT classes, this time that is spent working at ability levels and not just separating the cream of the crop out for special attention makes all the difference in the world. SPS gets great results on test scores, even compared with Pine Street, even though the student population is much more diverse in composition.

We also love the single-gender classes, and also the fact they use school uniforms. We have experienced a high level of communication with the teachers and office staff - they are always willing to talk about any concerns or share successes about the students. The school is also undergoing an expansion which will greatly enhance their facilities.

Pine Street is also an excellent school, as evidenced by their results. However, our experience was also that it tends to be very clique-ish, both at the student and even more so, the parent level. There always seems to be a sense of comparison of mine-is-better-than-yours, whether it's in academic achievement or the clothes they are wearing (school uniforms are a great way to eliminate that issue!). Elementary school is too soon for that garbage, in my opinion. Enough of that will happen later on in life to have to deal with it on a grade-school level. I still live in the same house, but am more than happy with our decision to move our kids to Spartanburg Prep. There's just more of a sense of "we're all in this together so let's do it!" than I got at Pine Street. Of course, that's just our experience and I'm sure others will have a different opinion.
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Old 11-16-2015, 03:22 PM
 
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Thank you FlopShotter - that was a very detailed response, appreciate it. How is the emphasis on STEM / Mathematics at SPS? Do they have any special/advanced Math programs? The Pine website mentions a maths olympiad program.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:47 AM
 
Location: The Hub City
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STEM education is promoted extensively, but it's not "advertised" as compared to something like GREEN Charter school in Greenville county. As an engineer myself, I've found the science and math courses to be quite good, and the teachers quite competent at their respective levels.

In addition to the GT classes, which start in third grade, there are Honors classes in ELA and Math in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. These, as you may expect, are smaller classes with a more rigorous curriculum than the standard class at the same grade level.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:55 AM
 
Location: The Hub City
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Here is a report that just came out with more information on performance:

http://ed.sc.gov/assets/reportCards/...c/e4701006.pdf
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:57 AM
 
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Thanks again, FlopShotter....this is very helpful...is there any 'religious' bend to the instruction at all? Perhaps in the 'moral and ethics' courses? Or as a charter school running on public funds, it is 'secular'?
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:44 AM
 
Location: The Hub City
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No religious aspect to really anything they do - typical public school approach these days. They do have a character education class, but it's not from any particular religious aspect - more of the moral and ethical approach, anti-bullying, etc.
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:36 PM
 
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We have decided on SPS, thank you FlopShotter!!...have just mailed an application to the school. One question - Where do we buy the school uniforms from? Are there any stores that carry them in Spartanburg?
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:02 AM
 
Location: The Hub City
181 posts, read 279,769 times
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Great! I'm sure you'll be pleased with your decision.

We typically buy the uniform tops at Old Navy (either in store on online - look for sales!) or Land's End. Wal-Mart also sells some of the colors, but the quality of those shirts don't last over one year, while we've been able to hand down some of the others. Land's End has the best quality but are the most expensive (again, look for sales).

I don't know of a specific school uniform shop in Spartanburg, but anywhere that sells clothes has had the school uniform items (those I mentioned above, also have seem some in Target, JCPenney, etc.).

The school has a sale once or twice a year, and also occasionally sells what they call "Friday" shirts - on Fridays, the kids can wear a more casual top (i.e. not a polo shirt with a collar) but only those with a school logo of some type. The normal uniform tops do not have to have a school logo on them, which is great as you can buy them anywhere as I mentioned. On all days, they have to wear khaki or navy shorts/pants/skirts.

You may want to check with the school office if you are interested in getting any of the Friday shirts or a sweatshirt - they just did a sweatshirt sale and may have some extras.
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