Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

What is a charter school?

A charter school is an independently run public school granted greater flexibility in its operations, in return for greater accountability for performance. The school’s “charter” is a contract detailing the school’s mission, program, scholars served, performance goals, and methods of assessment. Every 10 years we must submit an application to our authorizer to have our charter renewed.

What is the difference between charter schools and other public schools?

Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations imposed upon district schools. Our charter school is not part of the local school district, but instead, we are seeking to be authorized by the SC Public Charter School District (SCPCSD). If approved, the SCPCSD holds us accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in our charter. Every year we must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability.

What grades will Liberty STEAM Charter offer?

Liberty STEAM Charter will open in July 2021 with kindergarten and first grade. In our second year, we will add pre-kindergarten and second grade. We will add the next grade level each year (i.e., 6th in 2026, 9th in 2029, etc.). By 2032, we will be a full school with grades PK – 12.

How much does it cost to attend Liberty STEAM Charter?

LSC is a tuition-free public school. There is no application fee to apply and no tuition is required to attend. The only cost families will incur is uniforms. The first uniform will be provided free of charge to all scholars as part of the enrollment process.

If my student attends Liberty STEAM Charter, does he/she have to take the state standardized tests?

Yes—the federal government does not exempt charter school students from taking standardized tests. In fact, all public schools (charter, magnet, and traditional) can face severe financial penalties if at least 95 percent of the student population is not tested.

Do students at Liberty STEAM Charter learn the same state standards that students in traditional schools are taught?

Absolutely—while Liberty STEAM Charter has the freedom to choose its own curriculum, it must align with the standards established by the South Carolina State Board of Education.

Do you offer an after-school program?

Yes! SSC will offer an after-school program called ASPIRE (Advancing Scholar Progress in Reaching for Progress Enrichment) beginning in our second year. Scholars have the opportunity to complete homework, participate in additional STEAM enrichment opportunities, and receive a light dinner. Our Extended Day program takes place 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What type of school is Liberty STEAM Charter?

Liberty STEAM Charter: A School of Inquiry, Innovation, & Impact is focused on STEAM career fields through project-based and personalized learning. We offer four academies to further personalize learning, opportunities for scholars to engage in community service, a longer school day and school year, and access to significant enrichment classes. We focus on creating a school full of rigor, joy, and community in a safe, predictable, joyful, and inclusive environment where all scholars have a sense of belonging and significance. Once that is established, our scholars will be equally positioned to succeed emotionally, socially, and academically.

What is the mission statement of Liberty STEAM Charter?

Liberty STEAM Charter works to provide all students with equal access to a world class K-12 education in an academically rigorous & student-centered learning environment, creating graduates who will be thoughtful and engaged citizens prepared to take on the leadership challenges of the 21st century.

How can I enroll my scholar at Liberty STEAM Charter?

Our Founding Executive Director will oversee the beginning stages of our enrollment periods in the Fall of 2020. Interested parents/guardians will be required to attend a Family Preview Session in order to obtain an application. Representatives from LSC will embark on a grassroots campaign around Sumter County to host these sessions, so don’t worry…one will be coming to an area near you very soon so you will not miss out on learning more about this amazing educational opportunity for your scholar?

How can I work at Liberty STEAM Charter?

At LSC we’re committed to building something extraordinary, and we won’t settle for anything less than the most talented, innovative, passionate, and committed educators we can find. In the Summer of 2020, we hired our Founding Executive Director who will assemble a management team that will include a Dean of Academics and Director of Operations to guide the implementation of the approved charter during our planning and implementation year (2020-21). Our goal is to find teachers and instructional assistants who are committed to closing the achievement gap by making LSC a dynamic learning environment where every scholar is equally positioned to succeed emotionally, socially, and academically. We will begin searching for top quality teaching talent to join our team in the Fall of 2020.

How can I learn more about Liberty STEAM Charter?

Contact to schedule a time to meet with a representative from our Board of Directors or chat live with a school representative at 803-216-5745. Make sure to follow LSC on Facebook ( @ libertysteamcharter, Twitter ( @liberty_STEAM), and Instagram ( @ libertysteamcharter)

Charter schools operating in South Carolina need to be officially sponsored. Who is the sponsor for Liberty STEAM Charter?

The South Carolina Charter Schools Act allows three sponsors for charter schools – an institution of higher education, the South Carolina Public Charter School District, and a local school district. Presently, only Erskine College is authorized as an institution of higher education in South Carolina to grant a charter. For a variety of reasons, Liberty STEAM Charter is seeking sponsorship through the South Carolina Public Charter School District. The South Carolina Public Charter School District oversees more than 30 schools around South Carolina. Its schools are achieving off the chart record levels of achievement and Liberty STEAM Charter School is excited about the possibility of joining the district as its newest school. Presently, there are no charter schools authorized in Sumter County.

What are the attendance boundaries for Liberty STEAM Charter?

Liberty STEAM Charter, if approved, will be sponsored as a public school under the South Carolina Public Charter School District. Unlike a traditional school district, the South Carolina Public Charter School District boundaries are state-wide. As long as the student lives in South Carolina and has a way to get to the school, he or she is eligible to attend.

Will you provide transportation?

SSC is not slated to provide full bussing until our 4th year of operation. Families are responsible for getting their scholars to and from school each day. SSC will, however, work very closely with families in need to help arrange for transportation so that this is not a barrier for any admitted scholar to attend SSC.

My child has special needs. Can he/she apply for enrollment and attend Liberty STEAM Charter?

Without a doubt! All disability categories are welcomed at Liberty STEAM Charter. In addition, we serve English Language Learners and students meeting the poverty criteria. Everyone is welcome!

Why is the school day and school year longer?

Simply put, more time on task is important to our core mission. With an eight hour school day, scholars will receive access to meaningful enrichment and remediation activities that further develop the whole-child.

Will Liberty STEAM Charter be accredited like other traditional public schools?

Totally. South Carolina has a rigorous accreditation process for charter schools as a means to ensure its charter schools are recognized by all stakeholders as meeting operational expectations. Accreditation is extended through the charter school’s official sponsor and must be renewed on a regular basis, just like other traditional schools are required to do.

What is social-emotional learning and why is this a part of Liberty STEAM Charter?

We are glad you asked! At Liberty STEAM Charter School, we dream of a school where our scholars are taught how to effectively deal with conflict and they show up to school eager to learn! Social-emotional learning (SEL) teaches important skills such as self-regulation and self-awareness. Scholars across all four academies at LSC will receive SEL instruction on a daily basis as a routine way of starting and ending their day through a CHAMPS period where scholars are “Challenging Hearts and Minds to Promote Success.” In fact, scholars will be assessed on these critical components to further develop the whole-child.

Will my child have to wear a uniform at Liberty STEAM Charter?

Yes, uniforms are a non-negotiable for all scholars attending Liberty STEAM Charter. At Liberty STEAM Charter, we believe in teaching our scholars to dress smartly and take pride in their appearance. Our mission is to prepare scholars to take on the leadership challenges of the 21st century. Uniforms will help scholars to prepare for life after leaving school, where they may have to dress smartly or wear a uniform. When everyone is dressed similarly, worry about what you look like isn’t so important.

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Our Mission: Liberty STEAM Charter works to provide all students with equal access to a world-class PK-12 education in an academically rigorous & student-centered learning environment, creating graduates who will be thoughtful and engaged citizens prepared to take on the leadership challenges of the 21st century.