Great Schools

The Island's future.

Every child on Johns Island should have access to great education. Period. We are committed to bringing quality education to our community by the 2019 school year.

Education News

New Principal at St. Johns High

Charleston County School District (CCSD) has announced Stephen P. Larson as Principal of St. Johns High School. Larson joined the District in November 2016 from Broward County Public Schools in Florida where he previously served as a principal. After having served in an interim capacity as principal within CCSD, as well as successfully leading the District 9 Task Force over the past several months, Larson emerged as a proven candidate for the principalship.

Current St. John’s principal, Andre Dukes, announced his resignation to students and staff today in order to take another position in Greenville County School District this spring.

“Mr. Larson is a proven leader in the education field,” said CCSD Executive Director of Secondary Learning, Kim Wilson. “His ability to build quality relationships with all stakeholders will endear him to the St. John’s community. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber to step in and continue to provide quality leadership at St. John’s High School.”

Larson has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Spanish and a Masters in Special Education from the University of Oregon. He completed his Ed.S. at Portland State University in 2008.

Great news! Major Changes at Our Schools

The Johns Island Community Association’s stated goal is to have great schools on Johns Island by the 2019 school year. Today, we are excited to tell you about some major milestones toward achieving that goal.

No Rezoning in District 9

On Tuesday, March 7th, the District 9 Constituent Board voted 4-2 to OPPOSE rezoning District 9 at this time (A. Casey, P. Cline, R. Bligen, and C. Glover opposed, J. Howard and M. Smith supported, and K. Simmons elected not to vote).

We are glad the D9 Board has abandoned this idea, and look forward to working with our neighbors on Wadmalaw Island to increase enrollment at Frierson Elementary School.

NEW 3 Year Old Preschool at Angel Oak

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Angel Oak Elementary School will offer a NEW 3 year old Preschool on Johns Island. This program will be a full-day program that supports preparation for Kindergarten. All children who participate in the 3 year old Preschool program will be offered a seat in the 4 year old Kindergarten/Child Development the following year.

Enrollment requirements:
* Child must turn 3 years old by September 1, 2017
* Priority for families who live in the Angel Oak attendance area
* Participants will be selected by lottery
* Tuition: $154 per week
* Scholarships available with income verification

Applications are currently being accepted. Parents should apply in person at Angel Oak Elementary School. Space is limited.

(This Preschool program is the first-of-it-kind for all of Charleston County School District. The only 3 year old programs currently offered in District 9 are for Head Start, which is currently only available for qualifying families at Mt. Zion and Frierson Elementary Schools.)

4 Year Old Kindergarten / Child Development at Angel Oak

Applications are currently being accepted for full-day 4 year old Kindergarten / Child Development at Angel Oak. This program may be expanded based on demand from the community. Parents should apply early at the elementary school.

Space is limited and priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate need during testing.

The program is funded through Early Intervention and District General Operating funds, so there is no tuition.

For more information on the 4 year old Kindergarten/Child Development CLICK HERE

Angel Oak Elementary School Renovation

Angel Oak Elementary School is currently undergoing a major ($16.2M) renovation and addition project.

School improvements include:
* New Kindergarten/CD Classrooms
* New 1st Grade Classrooms
* Renovation of the 2nd - 5th Grade Pods
* New Multipurpose Room and Stage
* Conversion of the old 1st Grade Pod into New Administrative Offices
* Art-Infused Program Classrooms
* New Kindergarten/CD Playground
* New Upper Elementary Playground
* New Carpool Drive

All work is on schedule and will be complete in November 2017.

Spanish Instruction at Angel Oak

Spanish instruction is a high priority for elementary schools in D9. Angel Oak administration included a full time Spanish teacher in the proposed 2017-2018 budget for Angel Oak Elementary School, and is awaiting final approval by the Charleston County School Board.

Summer Program at Haut Gap Middle School

For the first time, Haut Gap Middle School will be conducting a summer academy starting on June 8th. This program is for rising 6th, 7th and 8th graders demonstrating a need in improving reading and math skills. CCSD intends for feeder elementary schools (Angel Oak, Frierson, and Mt. Zion) to identify students who are currently in 5th grade.

St. John’s High School Principal

Mr. Andre Dukes, principal at St. John’s High School, has accepted a new position in Greenville, South Carolina, effective April 27th. Recruiting for a new principal at St. Johns High School is currently underway.

Upcoming Round-Table Discussions

We have taken a giant leap forward, but there is still more work to be done.

Steve Larson, the CCSD District 9 Facilitator, and the Johns Island Community Association will host a number of informal listening sessions. These are intended to be informal, and provide a chance for you to share your ideas for improving education on Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island.

We are particularly interested in your views regarding high school education, after-school care programs, as well as your opinion on learning opportunities within the elementary schools.

CCSD Listening Session Schedule:

Topic: Elementary School Education
Wednesday, March 22nd at 6:00 PM
St. James Bethel AME Church
Wadmalaw Island
Eric Mack, CCSD School Board Member to join discussion

Topic: Middle and High School Education
Thursday, March 30th at 6:00PM
Johns Island Executive Airport Conference Room
Eric Mack, CCSD School Board Member to join discussion

Topic: Elementary School Education
Saturday, April 1st at 9:00 AM
United Methodist Church
Johns Island
Eric Mack, CCSD School Board Member to join discussion

Topic: After-School Programs
Thursday, April 20th at 6:00PM
John’s Island Library Conference Room
Jason Sakran, Director of Kaleidoscope (after-school care) for CCSD


Michelle Faust
Education Chair
Johns Island Community Association

Improving Our Schools

Say hello to the District 9 education steering committee!


Through a collaborative effort with CCSD and the Community, the mission of the District 9 (D9) Education Committee is to select a school model with proven results that can be implemented in an existing D9 Elementary School and is inclusive of all children living within the school attendance zone.

From left, Todd Gearhart, Michelle Faust (chair), Sharon Champaign, Marisol Bailey, Audrey Mack, Nancy Bright, Renea Bligen, Shannon Kennedy, Audrey Casey, Leon Green (vice chair). Not pictured Kelly Rezendis and Amy Stone (alternate non-voting member). 

Public Meeting: New Tech Elementary School Model

You’re Invited!

Several school models are being explored for implementation in a District 9 Elementary School. Come learn about the New Tech Elementary School Model.

NOTE: More school models will follow.
CCSD is not supporting any one option.
This is a community driven decision and your participation is needed.

DATE: Tuesday, November 29th
TIME: 4:30 PM- 5:30 PM
WHERE: Charleston County School District Offices
Edisto Board Room
75 Calhoun Street Charleston, SC 29403

For more information please contact:

Michelle Faust
Committee Chair
843-327-6742 or

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