FAQS AND POLICIES
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Summit Classical a private school?
No, we are a free, public charter school.
What is the cost of tuition?
There is no tuition for Summit Classical School. We are a FREE public charter school.
Who can attend?
Anyone in the state of South Carolina can attend. There are no attendance boundaries. Students do not have to reside in Laurens county to enroll. By law, charter schools can never have selective admissions. If, however, more students apply than there are seats available, a lottery is held to determine who is admitted.
How can I apply?
Applications are accepted each year beginning in October. Any applications received after open enrollment ends will be added to the waiting list (or enrollment list if openings remain) in the order in which they are received. The online application may be accessed at https://goo.gl/forms/s7j8WjcQ9pwp4uQu1. Paper applications will be available in the building or upon request.
What are the school hours?
School hours are 8:00am – 3:00pm. Students may be dropped off at 7:15 am.
Is there afterschool care?
Is transportation provided?
No. Parents/Guardians must arrange student transportation to and from school.
Is lunch provided?
No. Students must bring their own lunch.
Is there a school uniform?
Yes. (Please see Dress Code)
What curriculum is used?
Summit Classical is using Core Knowledge and Eureka Math for its curriculum program.
What type of technology is used in the classrooms?
Summit believes that children learn best from classroom teachers, who at times use technology to support their instruction. Our students will learn how to operate technology so that they can be competitive in our technology driven world. While Summit Classical is equipped with quality technological devices including Interactive boards in each classroom and Chromebooks our focus is on training the mind using classical methods. Our students will primarily use books, paper, and pencil.
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are a part of the South Carolina Department of Education’s school choice initiative. The purpose of charter schools is to create new, innovative, and more flexible ways of educating children within the public school system, with the goal of closing achievement gaps between low performing student groups and high performing student groups (SCDE). Each charter school has an expressed educational focus such as early college, entrepreneurship, foreign language, and STEM to name a few. Because they are public schools, charter schools are open to all children; do not charge tuition; and have no special entrance requirements.
Are Charter Schools accountable?
Public charter schools are highly regulated by a local school district or a state-wide charter district. Summit Classical is sponsored by the Charter Institute at Erskine (https://erskinecharters.org). Unlike traditional schools, a local school district’s Board of Education, a state-wide charter district’s Board of Education, or the SCDE’s Board of Education may close a public charter school that is failing students academically or found to be fiscally unsound.
Do charter school students take the same state assessments as traditional public schools?
Yes. Charter school students are mandated to take all state assessments. Data is used to measure academic progress.
What is Classical Education?
Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, while systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium. Knowledge, reasoning, and self-expression play a part in all stages. Our school, which is chartered to serve grades K5-8, will address the first two stage of the trivium. The rhetoric stage begins at the high school level.
In classical education, history provides the foundation for the study of science and humanities. Students will take two chronological sweeps throughout history. The first occurs from grades 1 to 4 and the second from grades 5 to 8. The sequence for history is as follows: Ancient times, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and modern times. Students study biology in the same grades that they study ancient history since plants and animals were topics known to the ancients. Astronomy and earth science are investigated at the same time as the middle ages since that era brought advances in astronomy. Chemistry is covered along with the Renaissance, which is when the great chemists appeared. Physics, a modern subject, is explored when students learn modern history. Art, music, and literature selections include works from the corresponding historical period. This approach brings a coherence to the curriculum not found in most other schools. Latin is also taught beginning in the third grade as part of the language curriculum (prefixes, suffixes, and roots).
The first years of instruction are called the “grammar stage.” These are the years in which the building blocks for all other learning are laid, just as grammar is the foundation for language. In the elementary school years — what we commonly think of as grades one through four — the mind is ready to absorb information. Children at this age actually find memorization fun. During this period, education involves learning of facts rather than learning through self-expression and self-discovery. Instruction is focused on rules of phonics and spelling, rules of grammar, poems, the vocabulary of foreign languages, the stories of history and literature, descriptions of plants and animals and the human body, the facts of mathematics — the list goes on. This information makes up the “grammar,” or the basic building blocks, for the second stage of education.
By fifth grade, a child’s mind begins to think more analytically. Middle-school students are less interested in finding out facts than in asking “Why?” The second phase of the classical education, the “Logic Stage,” is a time when the child begins to pay attention to cause and effect and to the relationships between different fields of knowledge. A student is ready for the Logic Stage when the capacity for abstract thought begins to mature. During these years, the student begins algebra and the study of logic and begins to apply logic to all academic subjects. The logic of reading, for example, involves the criticism and analysis of texts, not the mere absorption of information; the logic of history demands that the student find out why the War of 1812 was fought, rather than simply reading its story; and the logic of science requires that the child learn the scientific method.
The final phase of a classical education, the “Rhetoric Stage,” builds on the first two. At this point, the high school student learns to write and speak with force and originality. The student of rhetoric applies the rules of logic learned in middle school to the foundational information learned in the early grades and expresses his conclusions in clear, forceful, elegant language.
Character development is an essential component of classical education. The classical model assumes that character can and should be shaped. At Summit, students and staff will display and demonstrate virtue, character, and integrity. Character formation is a lifelong pursuit, much of it happening long after instruction in the trivium. The examples that students are exposed to now in good literature will give them something to draw on for many years to come.