Liberty STEAM Charter News

October 2020

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Welcome to the October 2020 Edition of Liberty STEAM Charter's eNewsletter!

Welcome to the 8th community eNewsletter for Liberty STEAM Charter (LSC)! One of the five core pillars of LSC is meaningful family & community engagement. Designed with you in mind, our hope is for this newsletter to serve as another communication tool to remain engaged with the community so you can be in the know with what's happening at Liberty STEAM Charter!

Founding Executive Director's Corner

Dear Team & Family,


I am so excited to communicate with you about the last month of exciting news with Liberty STEAM Charter! As we prepare for our 2021 launch, it is inspiring to see the commitment local families and community supporters have for the young people of Sumter. I have connected with over 75 stakeholders in the last month for well over 100 hours of time in total with the singular focus of making Sumter and LSC a premier education choice for K-12 education. We believe in creating a “Championship Mindset” for everyone involved with our mission, and I look forward to our founding class being a shining light for our community in that regard!


I look forward to continuing to learn, love, & grow with everyone in our community, and I am excited about the future of LSC in the Sumter Community. As always, if I can ever be of service please be in touch with my office or contact me directly via email (kgraham@libertysteamcharter.org). Have a winning month of October! Go LSC!


Dr. Graham

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Official Enrollment Period for K-1 Scholars is Now Open - Apply Today

Interested families of scholars who will be eligible for grades K-1 in the Fall of 2021 can submit an enrollment application TODAY! As a public charter school, we have no attendance boundaries or admissions requirements. Prospective parents are strongly encouraged to participate in one of dozens of family preview sessions that will be held throughout October and November to learn more about the unique educational model. Submitting an application via our website is the first step towards enrollment. Please note that a lottery is scheduled for December 3 and will only be held if more than 72 applications are received for either grade level. Anyone wishing to receive an application via mail or needing assistance completing the online application can call 803-569-1217.
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Family Preview Sessions are the Best Way to Learn more about LSC!

Come join us on a journey that extends beyond education, where amazing things happen when potential meets opportunity! Liberty STEAM Charter (LSC) is excited to be Sumter's first tuition-free, open-enrollment public charter school. LSC will open in July 2021 and initially serve 144 scholars in kindergarten & first grade. Prospective parents who are interested in enrolling their scholar at LSC are encouraged to get as much information as possible to make the best decision for their child. Family preview sessions are the way to learn more about the unique LSC educational model from its passionate school leaders and dedicated board members. Information about LSC's mission, scholar expectations, core values & beliefs, being a part of the family, options for your child, project-based & personalized learning academic model, enrollment & lottery procedures, and much more will all be presented. We are offering over 40 in-person and virtual opportunities to attend a Family Preview Session in the month of October. COVID-19 restrictions have limited the number of seats available in each session, so prospective parents must sign up in advance.

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Renovations Begin for LSC's Primary Academy

On September 18, LSC received its official construction permit from the SC Department of Education Office of School Facilities. Four days later, the renovations began! We are excited about creating a world-class educational facility in this historic building that further honors the rich legacy of excellence and pride in the former Liberty Street Elementary School. Under the current design plans, this facility will house LSC's Primary Academy, which includes scholars all PK-2 scholars (preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade).
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What does LSC's Educational Model Look Like? What Makes it Different?

What's it look like to be a scholar at LSC from Kindergarten through 12th grade?

At Liberty STEAM Charter, we are dreaming BIG because the stakes are HIGH...after all, our scholars will only get one shot at a K-12 education!


The two images below illustrate a scholar's journey as s/he progresses throughout their tenure as a scholar at LSC. Our grade levels are grouped into academies to provide for a more personalized learning environment. The focus area and expected student competencies for each grade level are outlined. Scholars leaving the primary academy in grade three will be reading on grade level and on track to score in the 85th percentile on end-of-the-year benchmark assessments as they exit the elementary academy. Such off-the-chart achievement will help equip our scholars with the foundation to handle the rigor of 4-7 high school credit-bearing classes in the junior academy.


As scholars progress to the senior academy, many will finish state-required high school coursework (remember, we are a charter school that follows state graduation requirements) so that the focus during the second half of their junior year and full senior year will be to participate in either dual enrollment at a local institute of higher-education work-based learning opportunities (internship/apprenticeship) that lead to industry certification (s).

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Social Emotional Learning: A Core Design Principle of LSC's Educational Model

LSC is proud to incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) as one of the core design principles of its unique educational model! SEL is the process through which children understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Scholars will receive SEL instruction everyday during CHAMPS - Challenging Hearts and Minds to Promote Success - to start and end the day. SEL topics for instruction include self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness.

Liberty STEAM Charter Board of Directors Meeting

Monday, Oct. 19th, 11:30am

853 Broad Street

Sumter, SC

The public is invited to attend with a few safety reminders: 1) social distancing will be practiced, 2) temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and 3) face masks will be provided upon arrival. Additionally, remember to come prior to the 11:30 am “call to order” to sign up if you are planning to participate in public participation or email your comments to board@sumtersteamcharter.org by 10:30 am.

LSC Board Members Officially Take Office

In compliance with SC Code of Laws 59-40-155, the LSC Founding Board of Directors assembled on Thursday, September 17 for the sole purpose of participating in the state-required charter school board member certification program. The training was facilitated by the Public Charter Alliance of SC. School leaders also participated in this comprehensive training that included the following topics: effective charter boards, board member responsibilities, legal compliance, hiring for success, charter finance & fiscal responsibilities, and accountability. We are excited about strengthening our partnership with the PCASC!
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Liberty STEAM Charter Launches a Unique Partnership with Quixote Club

GOLF WITH A PURPOSE! The support Quixote Club will offer to Liberty STEAM Charter as its chief educational partner will further propel it in reaching its mission of ensuring all scholars reach their highest potential. According to LSC Board Chairman Greg A. Thompson, "a lead effort and goal for Quixote Club will always be to support ongoing, high-quality, free public education in Sumter and surrounding communities." Such support is very similar to what school leaders hope to replicate from Atlanta's East Lake Foundation. Under that model, the East Lake initiative provides a private funding source that supports the work of Drew Charter, a public charter school in the high-poverty East Lake community. Today, it is one of the highest performing public schools in Atlanta with graduates becoming success stories from all walks of life. The success of the East Lake initiative has served as a national model of holistic community revitalization offered through the assistance of a community network organization, named Purpose Built communities.
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School Leaders Conduct Deep-Dive Research Visits to other Charter Schools

LSC leaders are committed to a "no short cuts" and "whatever it takes" approach in creating Sumter's first tuition-free, open-enrollment public charter school! Recently, Dr. Graham, our Founding Executive Director, visited Caliber Beta and Perseverance Prep - two high-performing public charter schools in California that have been in operation for varying years. During the visit, Dr. Graham had the opportunity to learn of best practices and evaluate LSC's current strategic plan. The stakes are too high when kids only get one shot at a K-12 education, so we are committed to a strong launch from the very beginning to ensure we get it right!

NINE MINDS, ONE MISSION: Who are the school's founders and why are they committed to LSC?

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About Us - Stay Connected!

Liberty STEAM Charter is a tuition-free, open-enrollment public charter school with a project-based & personalized learning focus and will open in Fall 2021, initially serving 144 scholars in kindergarten and first grade.