Liberty STEAM Charter News

November 2020

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

Welcome to the 9th 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,

As we close out October and look forward to November, it has been another amazing month of progress for Liberty STEAM Charter School. We have not only begun our recruitment efforts for our founding class of students, but we also have begun hiring our leadership team! As we look for character and a true sense of purpose in all the stakeholders working with scholars next year, I truly believe Dr. Latasha Carter will help us achieve tremendous outcomes for our scholars in her role as Director of Advocacy and Engagement.

I certainly hope that families get some time to rest and reflect during the beginning of the holiday season, as it has certainly been a trying year on many fronts for so many of us. We look forward to sharing many more aspects of our education and family engagement programming in the coming months. As always, please know if there is any feedback you would like to give us, then we are always open to listening to get to better!

At this point in the founding school process, I am always reminded that many days seem full of work, yet you can't see the results. I consistently remind my team we need to model the mentality of the motto “Win The Day!," because we believe that creating winning days each day lead to transformational results for everybody within an organization. So here is to you all having a winning day today and the rest of the month to keep the momentum going in your personal lives as we keep going full-steam ahead at Liberty STEAM Charter School!

As always, if I can ever be of service please be in touch with my office or contact me directly via email ( Full STEAM ahead!

Dr. Graham

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Priority Enrollment Window Deadline Approaches - Apply by November 30

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 November. 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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Board Recognition from October 2020 Meeting

At the October board meeting, the Founding Board of Directors recognized several stakeholders for their support of the charter’s efforts during the planning year that included Jay Schwedler & Brian Rauschenbach from Sumter Economic Development and Teresa Price from Thompson Construction. The board will continue this recognition at future meetings throughout its implementation year. Additionally, the board recognized Melissa Hudson from the Quixote Club , who will be helping around the administrative offices at LSC a few days a week! We are very excited about the unique partnership between LSC and the Quixote Club, who will be providing philanthropic support to help fulfill the school’s mission of providing a world-class STEAM-focused education for all scholars.

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Renovations CONTINUE at LSC's Primary Academy

A few months ago, LSC received its official construction permit from the SC Department of Education Office of School Facilities. Renovation continues with a complete gutting of the existing facility, abatement and demo, and readying the building for new construction. 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 located at 15 School Street in South Sumter. 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, Nov. 9th, 11:30am

853 Broad Street

Sumter, SC

The public is invited to attend with a few safety reminders: 1) social distancing will be practiced, and 2) face masks are required to enter the building. 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 by 10:30 am.
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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 and Dr. Ivey, two of our founding school leaders, visited several charter schools in the Houston area that have been in operation for varying years. During the visit, both school leaders 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!

LSC Connects with nearly 700 Families during Halloween Drive-Thru Trick-or-Treat Event

On Friday, Oct. 30, Liberty STEAM Charter School's leadership team, board members and volunteers held a drive-thru Trick-or-treat event at five locations across Sumter, including our Primary Academy Campus located at 15 School Street. Our team handed out candy along with flyers as participants drove through each location.

We would like to thank Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the NORTH Hope Center, the Birnie Hope Center along with all our volunteers. What a fun evening! It was great to see everyone dressed up and we enjoyed seeing your smiling faces.

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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.