MYTH vs. REALITY
MYTH: Charter schools are private, not public schools.
REALITY: Charter schools are State-approved public schools, governed locally at the school-level.
MYTH: The NEXT School Eagle Ridge is only for students who live in Salem.
REALITY: As a member of the South Carolina Public Charter School District, students may enroll from any town or community in South Carolina.
MYTH: The NEXT School Eagle Ridge is not a good fit for students who want to go to college.
REALITY: Our school is designed to ensure all students have multiple options upon graduation--including any college or career path they choose.
MYTH: Students will not take classes at the NEXT School Eagle Ridge; they will just be assigned projects to work on independently. All academic work is done online.
REALITY: Students will enroll in teacher-facilitated courses and must successfully complete all required courses, as well as pass both local assessments and associated state exams.
MYTH: Families will be required to pay tuition, purchase a computer and textbooks, and be assessed fees.
REALITY: There is no tuition to attend (we are a state-funded public school). Learning resources and materials will be provided. A basic personal school supply list may be sent home (notebooks, pens, folders, etc.).
MYTH: The NEXT School Eagle Ridge is only for high school students.
REALITY: The NEXT School Eagle Ridge is a 6-12 grade school.
MYTH: There will not be a food service program at the school.
REALITY: Students will have lunch (and breakfast) options provided through the school. Free and reduced meals will be provided to eligible students.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If we are already registered to attend another school (e.g., Walhalla High School or Middle School) is it too late to choose to enroll at the NEXT School Eagle Ridge?
It is NOT too late. Students in Salem and the surrounding area currently assigned to a school have the right to change their registration and enroll in another approved school. The choice is available even at the very start of the school year (and beyond, based upon available enrollment spots). As a member of the South Carolina Public Charter School District, The NEXT School Eagle Ridge is open to any SC student in grades 6-12.
Will NEXT School Eagle Ridge students receive a State-issued diploma and will colleges accept our graduates?
YES. NEXT School Eagle Ridge is fully-recognized and accredited by the South Carolina Department. of Education and our students will receive the same diploma as every other graduate in the state. Our program of studies will offer courses and other learning opportunities colleges require and seek in applicants. The NEXT School’s research-based instructional approach is strongly aligned with what colleges express wanting to see evidence of in their incoming students--i.e. ability for deep inquiry, critical thinking and applied problem-solving, as well as honed communication and collaboration skills. Students will also be eligible to receive scholarships, both through GPA-qualifying Education Lottery and several others specific to our region and school.
Will students have access to Honors courses? How about early college credit?
Yes. Our teachers will offer rigorous, real-world applicable courses where interested students may take on Honors coursework to earn honors weight and distinction.
The school does not offer Advanced Placement classes, however students may receive college credit for dual enrollment classes through Tri-County Technical College during their Junior and Senior years.
Will NEXT School Eagle Ridge accept/enroll and support students with IEPs, 504s, and/or other support needs?
YES. As a public school, NEXT School Eagle Ridge is required and designed to provide a sound and robust educational experience that meets State standards and learning outcomes for ALL students. The school understands, respects and values that people learn in different ways and often have specific accommodation needs to address. The school has fully-trained certified special education staff members to work with students classified with special needs.
Will there be a PowerSchool parent/student portal to review grades and progress?
Yes. As a state public school we use PowerSchool to track attendance and academic grades, and parents and students will have access to view their status to date via an online portal. In addition, families will be invited to regular conferences held throughout the year with teachers, students and parents to reflect on school performance and plan and set goals moving forward.
Will NEXT School Eagle Ridge an interscholastic athletic program?
YES. We currently offer boys and girls basketball, softball, baseball, cross-country, and girls volleyball.
Will there be traditional school experiences at the NEXT School Eagle Ridge (dances, socials, spirit week, graduation, etc.)?
YES. We cannot forecast what students and families will want to continue as far as past traditions, but all will be considered, along with being part of creating new ones too. Certainly, rite of passage events like graduation, prom, spirit week, etc. are bound to remain.
Will NEXT School Eagle Ridge provide transportation for students?
NSER does not currently offer any tranportation. Federal and state funding for charter schools does not cover the cost of buses or transportation..
What is the school day like for students? Does the school follow the same academic calendar as most area schools?
NSER currently has a schedule consisting of four 90-minute educational blocks per semester. A student therefore can earn eight high school credits per year such that the typical student can graduate in three years if they so desire, or spend their senior year accruing college credit or pursuing work internships and experiences.
The calendar requires the same number of school days as any other approved public school in the state. Our calendar will typically align with the county school district, although on occasion there may be some variation.
Have more questions? Please reach out and ask: