state-funded online high school looks to the future
By DR. DARRELL JOHNSON
Executive director, Provost Academy
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
16, 2009 -- Provost Academy South Carolina is the state's newest
online school, which is free to S.C. high school students as a fully
accredited and state-funded charter school. PASC is designed to
help students succeed in today's technological age by utilizing
the latest advancements such as streaming video, podcasts, virtual
classrooms, specialized coursework and on-demand tutoring to provide
students a complete and tech-savvy education.
have reached a point, with dropout rates near 70 percent, where
we can no longer allow students in South Carolina to fail. We must
ensure that they have the opportunity to obtain a diploma and pursue
a future based on choice, not limitations. By offering students
another educational avenue, we increase their chances to succeed
and pursue opportunities that may not have been available to them
Academy's mission is to offer a first-class education to all high
school students in South Carolina. By using the latest technologies,
customized curriculum and a focus on science and mathematics, we
offer a gateway to overall student success. Provost Academy individualizes
the learning experience for its students and prepares them for the
next level, whether the 21st-century workforce or higher education.
helps students succeed by making sure they are supported by a team
of certified and specialized instructors as well as academic advisors
who work with the students to ensure they are setting goals, meeting
performance expectations and staying on their individualized tracks.
to the first day of classes, Provost students take an assessment
test, and the students, along with their parents/guardians, can
meet with academic advisers to help create a customized learning
plan that that best fits each student's needs and interests.
the enrollment process is complete, Provost will supply students
with a computer, printer/scanner and an Internet stipend, free of
charge, that will allow them to attend classes online and at a location
and time that works with their schedule. Students, parents and guardians
can easily arrange a face-to-face meeting with their advisors, who
will work to ensure that the student's learning process is progressing
a state-funded school, PASC has core classes that each student must
complete. The academy also offers advanced curricula, such as technology,
art and foreign language classes. Grading scales at Provost follow
those of other public schools, with the school year starting and
ending on a similar schedule, but flexible to accommodate individual
needs. After students have completed their four years at PASC, they
will be able to participate in a graduation ceremony held by PASC
and will receive a high school diploma that is the same as they
would receive from a brick-and-mortar school.
and parents interested in learning more or applying to Provost Academy
South Carolina can log on at http://www.sc.provostacademy.com
or call 1-877-919-PASC (7272). An enrollment quota/cap of 1,000
is currently in place with more than 800 students already enrolled.
Along with South Carolina, there are 38 other states that currently
offer online courses for high school students.
and every opportunity to provide students with the most engaging
educational experience must be pursued. Whether in a traditional
classroom or an online setting, if we expect our students to succeed,
we cannot fail them.
Darrell Johnson is executive director of Provost Academy.
Be on the lookout
for manatees while boating
ANN THRASH, editor
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
16, 2009 -- A friend who took his boat out for a little fishing
near the Old Pitt Street Bridge last weekend saw a manatee - his
first - and it left quite an impression on him. He described it
to me as looking "almost like a mistake" - big and whisker-faced,
gray with hairs all over its body, and about 6 feet long.
(at least) one of these endangered animals hanging around the harbor,
it's a good time to share some guidelines about manatees from the
S.C. Department of Natural Resources - including how you can avoid
a collision with one while boating and how you can help ensure their
DNR says the first reports of manatees started coming into their
offices in mid-May this year. Each spring, manatees migrate up from
Florida as our water temperatures get into the upper 60s. In the
summer, they live in tidal rivers, estuaries and marine waters near
shore, not only in South Carolina but in Georgia as well. When our
water temps begin cooling down again in September and October, the
manatees are on the move once more, heading back to Florida for
can be hard to see in our often cloudy waters; they're usually grayish
in color, often with barnacles or algae on their bodies, and sometimes
propeller scars if they've been hit by a boat. Their bodies are
shaped like seals, and they have paired flippers and a round tail
shaped like a paddle. And, as my friend Matt noted, they've got
very prominent whiskers and coarse hairs on their bodies.
are some pointers from DNR about how to avoid collisions with a
manatee while boating, along with information on how to report a
sighting. If you happen to have a camera with you, try to get a
photo - that can be a huge help, as the folks at DNR explain below.
And if you do get a photo, send one to me, too!
Look around for manatees before cranking your boat's motor. Wear
polarized sunglasses to reduce glare, making it easier to spot
manatees below the surface.
between boaters and manatees are more likely to occur in shallow
waters, particularly around docks and at the edge of marshes where
manatees feed. When the water is shallow, they cannot dive to
get out of harm's way. Follow boater safety regulations ("No
Wake," "Slow Speed," etc.) in these areas to reduce
the risk of a collision. DNR also says boaters should watch for
manatee backs, tails, snouts and "footprints," a series
of round swirls on the water's surface caused by a swimming manatee's
If your boat accidentally collides with a manatee, stand by in
the area and contact the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16 or
call DNR at 1-800-922-5431. This is the best way you can help
not only the animal, which might be hurt, but also biologists
who are trying to study and learn more about them.
report a healthy, live manatee, call Nicole Adimey of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service at (904) 731-3079 or (904) 655-0730.
or e-mail her at Nicole_Adimey@fws.gov.
You can also report a sighting at a DNR
Web site devoted to manatees. Note the date, time and place
of the sighting, the number of manatees you saw, and the coordinates,
if possible. "Photographs of scars on their backs and tails
are especially useful because they can often be used to identify
previously known manatees," DNR says.
If you see an injured or dead manatee, call the DNR Hotline at
If you see a manatee near a dock, don't feed it or try to give
it fresh water. This could teach it to approach docks, putting
it at greater risk of a boat strike. It should go without saying,
but you should also never pursue, harass or play with manatees.
Not only are all these actions bad for the manatees, they're illegal.
Thrash, editor of CharlestonCurrents.com, can be reached at: email@example.com.
shop will make donations through Red Shirt Fridays
go to Roper Cardiac Rehab for workouts three times a week, and I
have been going for about two years now. Last year, to celebrate
one year of health, I started a "Red Shirt Friday" in
August. This was in conjunction with American Hearth Month. This
year we will do the Red Shirt Fridays again in August. Mount Pleasant
Seafood will donate $1 per red shirt worn to Roper Rehab workouts
on Fridays in August. Thank you.
Rial Fitch, Owner, Mount Pleasant Seafood
a comment or want to vent? If you have something to
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today, good barbecue or something about your community's government,
drop us a line to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information
(phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.
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Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise
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Day of Caring sees huge increase in project requests
United Way's Day of Caring - the largest in the nation, beating
out even cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta
- will be getting even larger this year. The deadline for nonprofit
agencies to submit project requests was July 7, and this year 200
projects have been submitted - up from 60 projects last year.
local Day of Caring, planned for Sept. 11, will mark its 10th anniversary
this year. The event is larger than all the other Day of Caring
events in the state, according to Trident United Way.
Kassing, CEO of JW Aluminum and chairman of the 2009 Day of Caring,
says he doesn't expect the final total to triple, but the number
of early submissions does suggest that the number of projects will
be larger this year than last. "We believe that's partly a
function of improved processes using the latest online technology
and more volunteer involvement," Kassing says. "We also
see ever-increasing enthusiasm for Day of Caring among our agency
and corporate partners and their employees."
year, Trident United Way recruited Project Assessment volunteers
to vet projects and help nonprofit organizations determine their
volunteer and supply needs. The Project Assessment Team helped agencies
identify their projects more quickly. Earlier this year, President
Obama proclaimed Sept. 11 as a national day of service and remembrance.
Trident United Way hopes that might also spur companies and organizations
that have yet to become engaged in Day of Caring to join this year.
more information, contact the Trident United Way at http://www.tuw.org
or call 740-9000.
Gospel Choir, Spiritual
Ensemble to hold new member tryouts
Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir and its sister group,
the CSO Spiritual Ensemble, are looking for new volunteer members,
especially singers whose voices are in the lower ranges (tenor and
CSO Gospel Choir will hold voice-assessment auditions at 5:30 p.m.
July 30 and Aug. 4 at Citadel Square Baptist Church Fellowship Hall,
342 Meeting St., downtown. Candidates should come prepared to sing
a solo of their own choosing and also to vocalize in a choral setting.
The choir, under the direction of Sandra Barnhardt, has 110 members
who perform gospels and spirituals around the Lowcountry.
group will be preparing this season for the Charleston Symphony
Orchestra's Sept. 17 opening night gala performance of "Porgy
and Bess," as well as the 10th annual Gospel Christmas and
Gala on Dec. 5. The group also offers a Palm Sunday concert and
Piccolo Spoleto performances. Rehearsals are held Tuesday evenings
at Citadel Square Baptist Church and begin on Aug. 18.
Spiritual Ensemble, directed by Nathan Nelson, is a 35-member vocal
group focusing on African-American spirituals. The group will have
voice assessments at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Aug. 8 at the Citadel Square
fellowship hall. The ensemble performs gospel concerts throughout
the tri-county area and will begin rehearsals on Aug. 11 this season.
For more information on the groups, go to http://www.csogospel.com
Hollings Center to
be featured on Jersey Mike's cups
Medical University's Hollings Cancer Center will be featured on
beverage cups at Jersey
Mike's franchises nationwide this summer. The story is one of
14 that will showcase how Jersey Mike's stores across the country
contribute to the communities they serves.
Jersey Mike's owners recently organized a fundraiser that brought
in several thousand dollars for the cancer center. "Hollings
Cancer Center is one of the nation's leading cancer research hospitals,"
says Jay Yates, Jersey Mike's owner and S.C. area director. "I
applaud and thank our local stores for raising funds and awareness
for such an important cause."
14 designs in the cup series will be in circulation by the end of
August, with each story appearing on 325,000 cups (the 22-ounce
size). Each cup will feature the words "Making a difference
in someone's life."
Mike's has Lowcountry stores at St. James Plaza in Goose Creek,
the Food Lion Plaza on Sycamore Avenue in Charleston, University
Boulevard in North Charleston, and three locations in Mount Pleasant:
Northcutt Plaza, Highway 17 North near Snee Farm, and Highway 17
North near Park West and Charleston National.
to sponsor driver safety courses at senior center
town of Mount Pleasant offered AARP Driver Safety Courses earlier
this year for adults and senior citizens, and the classes were so
popular that officials have decided to offer them again this month
and next. Drivers over age 50 who successfully complete the classes
are often eligible for discounts on their car insurance.
two-day program will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 20 and
July 22, as well as Aug. 10 and Aug. 12, at the town's Senior Services
Center Thomasena Stokes-Marshall Building. The course is designed
to help drivers become aware of and counteract age-related changes
that can affect their driving abilities. No driving is required
during the course. Gary Jaster, a recreation specialist at the senior
center, is the instructor.
class is open to anyone age 50 or older, and costs $14 per person.
Members of AARP receive a discounted rate of $12. For more information
or to register, call 856-2166 or stop by the Senior Services Center
at 840 Von Kolnitz Road, near the intersection of Von Kolnitz and
Mathis Ferry roads.
End of Overeating"
out for a simple ice cream cone used to be a treat. Now we expect
to have several scoops with some mini candy bars mixed into it.
In "The End of Overeating," David Kessler talks about
how our expectations of food have changed and how the food industry
markets to us. His conversations with food researchers are rather
alarming as he learns how much of our food really is not made of
food, but rather a combination of chemicals and flavors that drive
people to eat even more. Not to leave the reader discouraged, he
offers suggestions on "reprogramming" the way we think
about food and how to beat the marketing messages we receive about
foods we really should not be eating at all. Overall, this is a
great book for those who know they need a healthier way of eating
or who have an interest in the food industry.
Tina Arnoldi, Coastal Community Foundation, Charleston
If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts
endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann
Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
the period between 1880 and 1920, opera houses flourished in communities
across South Carolina. Beginning in the 1880s, as the state recovered
from the Civil War, opera houses provided live entertainment for
citizens who were able to afford leisure activities. By 1915 there
were opera houses in Columbia, Sumter, Greenville, Florence, Newberry,
Darlington, Laurens, Marion, Abbeville, and Bishopville, among other
in the larger towns, opera houses were imposing, architecturally
distinctive buildings with elaborate interiors. Newberry's three-story
brick opera house, featuring a bell tower, was constructed in 1882.
Sumter's 1893 opera house was a three-story, Richardson Romanesque
stone structure with a one-hundred-foot clock tower. Columbia's
second opera house, built in 1900, was three stories with two towers.
It had a large stage, concealed overhead machinery for curtains
and scenery, an orchestra pit, spectator boxes, and two galleries.
In smaller communities, opera houses were more modest and often
located on the second floor of multi-purpose buildings. For example,
the opera house in Laurens was situated above the city hall, and
Marion's opera house was on the second floor of a building that
housed the courtroom, jail, and fire department on the first floor.
shows" that traveled the country provided dramatic productions,
musical comedies, operas, minstrel shows, and other live entertainment.
Columbia's opera house booked Broadway hits and stars such as Sarah
Bernhardt, Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Russell, and Nat Goodwin. Even
in a smaller community such as Abbeville, special trains brought
theater patrons from nearby towns to see traveling shows such as
the "Klansman," "Yankee Drummer," the Ziegfield
Follies, or an escape artist. The Marion Opera House featured traveling
theatrical companies as well as local talent.
the 1930s the new sound movies had eclipsed live entertainment,
and some of the opera houses converted to motion picture theaters.
By 1941 "South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State"
reported, "Most of the old opera houses in the State have now
been pre-empted for movie theatres." In the decades after 1930
most of the opera houses in the state were demolished. A few survived,
however, and in the last decades of the twentieth century several
of them were restored, including the Abbeville Opera House, the
Sumter Opera House, the Marion Opera House, and the Newberry Opera
Excerpted from the entry by Mary W. Edmonds. To read more about
this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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Literacy Association's Lowcountry Book Burning fundraiser (read
more) is in full swing, and many local residents have made
a donation to the organization in order to save their favorite books
from being burned. As part of the project, a number of readathons
are under way around the tri-county area, including one today from
noon to 2 p.m. at Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., downtown. The
folks at Trident Literacy provided these five facts about which
books have been saved so far, who's reading today and more. To learn
more or save your own favorites go
- Most frequently
saved book: "To Kill a Mockingbird."
- Second most
frequently saved book: "Good Night Moon."
- Most frequently
saved authors: Mary Alice Monroe and Dorothea Benton Frank (both
of whom live in the Lowcountry).
- Local personalities
featured at the readathon today: Charleston Police Chief Greg
Mullen, Post and Courier columnist Ken Burger and "Lowcountry
Live" morning show host Ryan Nelson.
- Number of
functionally illiterate adults in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester
counties: One in seven.
word on work
place where success comes before work is a dictionary."
salon products guru Vidal Sassoon (1928 - )
Your Nonprofit for a Crisis: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 16,
Charleston County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St. Learn from
experts how to prepare your organization for a crisis and how to
handle the potential of a media and public firestorm. More info:
Night for Entrepreneurs: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 16, Charleston
County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St. Bring your business cards
and meet other entrepreneurs at this event, which is held monthly.
More info: 805-6930.
and Palate Stroll: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 17, downtown
Charleston. The Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association's Fourth
Annual Palette and Palate Stroll features art and food "pairings"
at 13 downtown galleries. Tickets: $30 per person; reservations
required. Call 819-8006 or go
Nights: 8:30 p.m. July 18, James Island County Park.
Join the Eclectic Roots Ensemble at the Charleston County Park and
Recreation Commissions Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series.
In addition to the music, there will be Caribbean fare, pizza, Lowcountry
favorites and crafts. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Cost: $8 or 5 books
of Greenbax; free for children 12 and under. Annual Gold Passes
will be honored. More
Skin Cancer Screenings: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 18, Isle
of Palms County Park, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Splash Zone
at James Island County Park. Dermatologists from MUSC will bring
the MUSC Mobile Health Unit a fully equipped doctors
office on wheels to the county parks to offer free skin cancer
screenings. More info: MUSC Health Connection, 792-1414.
Flop Ball: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 18, Gold Bug Island,
foot of the Ben Sawyer Bridge (Mount Pleasant side). The Fourth
Annual Flip Flop Ball will benefit Wings for Kids, a program that
helps children who grow up in poverty learn the skills needed to
succeed in life. Charleston Bay Gourmet will serving barbecue, and
Two 3 Ways will provide music. Open bar and beer kegs available.
Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the gate. More info/tickets: http://www.wingsforkids.com.
Little River Band at Boone Hall: 7 p.m. July 19, Boone
Hall Plantation, 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant. The popular
1970s and '80s band brings its classic hits ("Lonesome Loser,"
"Cool Change," "Reminiscing," "Help is
on Its Way" and more) to Boone Hall's back lawn. Beer, wine
and food from 82 Queen will be on sale. No coolers, pets or parking-lot
tailgating. Parking is free. Tickets: general admission, $20 in
advance, $25 at the gate; reserved seating up front for $34.50 or
$29.50. Tables for eight cost $250 per table. Tickets/info
ONGOING AND SOON
Business Challenges: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 21, Center
for Women, 129 Cannon St., Charleston. The Center for Womens
Entrepreneurial Woman Series will feature a workshop called Solving
Your Five Biggest Business Challenges. What are the make-or-break
issues you need to identify to keep your business successful? How
can you best adjust to a failing economy and still thrive? Find
out what resources are available to businesses through the federal
stimulus plan and other resources to help entrepreneurs stay afloat
during the economic downturn. Cost: $20 CFW members, $40 nonmembers.
Battery's Habitat Fundraiser: 7:30 p.m. July 24, Blackbaud
Stadium, Daniel Island. The Charleston Battery's match with the
Carolina Railhawks will be a benefit for local Habitat for Humanity
organizations. Tickets are $15 each, and the entire ticket price
will be donated to the organization provided that the tickets are
bought in advance from Habitat. Call Habitat at 768-0998 to purchase.
on the Cooper: 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 25, Mount Pleasant
Pier at Memorial Park, foot of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant.
Shag under the stars at the new pier. Music provided by The Sneakers
(four-piece party band playing beach music, jazz, funk and blues).
Beverages available for purchase on-site. Tickets: $8; only 800
tickets will be sold and must be purchased at the event (no advance
sales). More info: 795-4386.
Preparedness for Businesses: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July
30, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive,
North Charleston. The chambers Business Continuity Planning
Council will host the workshop, which features experts from local
governments and utility companies explaining how to write a business
continuity plan that works before, during and after a storm. Cost:
$25 chamber members, $35 nonmembers. Registration
Education Open House: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Continuing
Education Center (Building 910), Trident Technical College Main
Campus, 2001 Mabeline Road, North Charleston. The event is designed
to familiarize participants with TTC continuing-education courses
and they can provide training for a new career or personal enrichment.
Talk with course instructors, tour the facilities, register for
fall classes, learn about financial options, and enjoy refreshments
and prizes. More info: 574-6111.
Darius Rucker Homegrown Concert: 7 p.m. Aug. 13, Family
Circle Tennis Center, Daniel Island. Rucker will offer a special
concert to help bring in donations of school supplies for needy
local students. Country music star Dierks Bentley will be among
the special guests. Fans are urged to bring school supplies to the
concert to donate. Tickets: $40 for floor or first-tier reserved
seats; $32 for reserved second-tier seats; $25 general admission
third-tier seats. To purchase: Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone (1-800-745-3000),
local Publix outlets, Family Circle Tennis Center ticket office,
Surf Seining at Sullivan's: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28,
Station 30, Sullivan's Island. The Station 30 area on Sullivan's
Island area has been a seining hotspot for generations. Join the
experts from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to
catch and discover a variety of marine critters at the first CCPRC
seining program on Sullivan's Island. A registered and paid chaperone
is required for participants ages 15 and under, and pre-registration
is required. Open to ages 6 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County residents,
$9 nonresidents. Registration/more
info, or 795-4FUN.
In this section,
we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes,
Chris Lamb (List)
Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
a book to us
New local music CD
Uses of social media
Time for renovations
Dog days at Drayton
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
to old clunker
to squeeze in
Class of 2013
Class of 2013
stores, 7 days
know you're from...
the school menu
Day Fest facts