SC Senator Visits Glenforest School

In case you haven’t noticed, this website has been doing its best in recent weeks to promote academic success stories in South Carolina. Wait … what? There are academic success stories in South Carolina (home of the absolute worst government-run school system in America)? Yes … you just have to…

In case you haven’t noticed, this website has been doing its best in recent weeks to promote academic success stories in South Carolina.

Wait … what? There are academic success stories in South Carolina (home of the absolute worst government-run school system in America)?

Yes … you just have to look outside of that broken taxpayer-subsidized system.

For example we recently profiled The Barclay School – an innovative special needs facility in North Columbia, S.C. that is serving children the government-run system is simply unable to help. Coming later this week we’ll have a report on another special needs school we visited in Greenville, S.C.

Two dramatically different but equally inspiring atmospheres …

Our efforts are paying off, too …

After our story on Barclay, a pair of state lawmakers – one Democrat, the other Republican – paid visits to the school in an effort to gain a better appreciation of its offerings. That’s nice to see considering the S.C. General Assembly recently approved South Carolina’s first-ever parental choice program – a modest tax credit targeting special needs children.

It’s also important when you consider lawmakers are debating parental choice again in 2014.

This week S.C. Sen. Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) – a staunch supporter of expanded academic freedom in South Carolina – paid a visit to Glenforest School, one of the many individualized learning centers in this state that’s actually meeting the needs of students (as opposed to trapping them inside “one size fits all” academic prisons).

The mission of Glenforest is simple: “To provide an outstanding education to those who have not thrived in a traditional learning environment.”

Founded in 1983, this West Columbia, S.C. institution is a family-based, community-backed academic center serving K-12 students with special needs – kids its founders say have “fallen through the cracks’ of the public school system.”

Glenforest has grown from four students at its inception to more than fifty students today.

“This was a great opportunity to see and hear about the work being done for our special needs children,” Shealy told FITS. “The students here are ones who do not necessarily ‘fit’ your public school mold. They need the special attention that Glenforest has to offer.”

Shealy also disputed the contention that supporting choice means weakening government-run schools.

“By supporting schools like Glenforest we are not taking away from our public schools,” she said. “This is about educating children with the best tools that fit their needs, not the needs of any one system.”

And in case you’re keeping score at home, South Carolina’s government-run schools aren’t exactly hurting for cash – they’re currently sitting on $1 billion in surplus cash.

Props to Shealy for supporting innovative schools like this one … and look for more examples of these innovative institutions on FITS in the near future.


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Mike at the Beach November 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm

What, Slick…no comment on her shoes?!

Sam November 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm

GlenForest is an incredible place. VERY student oriented. I highly recommend it to anyone. It is an absolute breath of fresh air for those who have had any experience with Richland Dist One.

BIN News November 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

…family-based, community-backed academic center.”

With a whopping 50 students?

Sounds like bankrupt.

sic(k) willie is such a voucher slut.

Thomas November 7, 2013 at 1:34 am

That’s nice. To those in Lex-1, if you have test anxieties, it is safe to say you will not be an attorney, doctor, engineer or a business executive. The story should be the Common Core agenda and how our school district administrators are engaging this program nation wide.

guest November 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

Agreed. I would love to see Senator Shealy support legislation to get rid of Common Core.

What??? November 7, 2013 at 2:00 am

Jesus. Anyone from Columbia public schools know exactly what Glen Forest is – the school where parents with some means to make sure their kids actually graduate from high school pay for credits to bail out fuck-ups. Can’t believe anyone that knows anything is touting this school as a local hero for kids “falling through the cracks.” Unless “falling through the cracks” is a euphemism for “way more interested in getting high than in getting an education,” this is ridiculous.

Really??? November 7, 2013 at 6:30 am

I am glad you called out toJesus before you started your comments because you will certainly be needing Him later. The children that attend Glen Forest have learning disabilities or special needs. Things such as autism or as burger or possibly whatever plaguing you? These children do not and cannot function in a public school setting, – your comment about them being bailed out by parents because they are Fu is as stupid as you must be. Undoubtedly you too were failed by the Public Education system in SC!

nitrat November 7, 2013 at 8:11 am

as burger?

Smirks November 7, 2013 at 8:47 am

“As burger” or “ass burgers” is actually a 4chan-ish spelling of “Aspergers.” Looks like Really??? unintentionally poked fun at the kids he/she was trying to protect.

WTF November 7, 2013 at 6:37 am

Isn’t she a little aged to be wearing such short skirts?
Bet Harv likes it though.

You Must Be Kidding November 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

At what age do you start wearing Nun garb? If you had those legs and could wear that suit and look professional doing it you would too!

nitrat November 7, 2013 at 8:09 am

At any age that one becomes a professional woman and hopes to be taken seriously.

Who's Your Daddy November 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

Harv likes ’em younger than Katrina.

Oh My dear November 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

Harv is a male slut! He would do a possum, if it would hold still long enough!

DP November 7, 2013 at 10:43 am

He and Bob must be related!

Robert November 7, 2013 at 7:57 am

You need to look into this school a little better. It is not all it seems to be. Many of their students get very little education. I’ve met graduates who know very little math and language skills. It was designed to educate kids with learning disabilities, and from what I understand it did that early on. But now it is a cash hound ($20,000 per year tuition) and far too kids get diplomas and don’t really display high school graduate minimum standards.

sue November 7, 2013 at 8:55 am

I agree..have money..get degree

xx November 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Obviously you don’t have a child who has high I.Q. and learning differences such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalcula, poor working memory, diagnosed anxiety disorder, etc. Public schools have nothing to offer these kids. Small class size (less than 8 students and one-on-one classes) is costly. These schools have a skeleton crew of admininistrators who, along with the teachers, have modest saleries. No one is getting rich here.

nitrat November 7, 2013 at 8:17 am

How do you ‘promote academic success stories’ when the schools you promote aren’t evaluated by the same testing criteria as public schools?
Does wishin’ and hopin’ make ’em successful, since you don’t have any actual evidence to prove it?

Elfego November 7, 2013 at 8:36 am

Barclay is a wonderful school that helps some of South Carolina’s sweetest kids!

sue November 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

the head of Barclay is so bad, even Glenforest got rid of her…

Luke November 7, 2013 at 8:53 am

there was a time when the place had over a hundred students,,,the place went downhill when the board got rid of Glenda Sternberg(the schools founder). Clemson U ran the place briefly…even they gave up .

Dr.Bernard November 8, 2013 at 7:10 am

In the mid 90s when Dr. Glenda ran the school, it was a good alternative to those kids from Richland One and Two, who fell thru the cracks. There are a number of students that are in their early to mid 30s who are married, have kids, good jobs and are contributing to the Midlands today. Those young people had parents, who were educators, doctors, lawyers, funeral directors and believed in doing what was needed to help their children.They made the decision that was right for their child to succeed. Times and staff may have changed where some of these poor comments have been thrown out, but like some of us today, we do the best with who we are and what we have. Perhaps those most critical could offer to visit for a volunteer reader or take a tour and see the exceptional help being offered to these children, you may be pleasantly surprised.


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