A LOOK AT A FEW OF THE LOWCOUNTRY’S MOST POPULAR SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTIONS.
LOWCOUNTRY DAY CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL & CAMP
Address: 357 Red Cedar St, 285 Red Cedar St., Bluffton
New campus coming soon on Gibbet Road in Pritchardville
Grades: Ages 6 weeks-pre-kindergarten, Pre-kindergarten–3rd grade (camp & after school)
Director: Kimberly Duke-Clark
Phone: 843-815-2271 (357)
Student Population: 400
Capsule: Established in 1997, Lowcountry Day schools are privately owned, state-licensed Christian preschools. Lowcountry Day provides a year-round pre-kindergarten curriculum, welcoming families from all denominations and encouraging learning through the creative arts by providing a ballet and music room on campus. The schools’ mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment and the highest quality care to meet the needs of every child.
What’s New: Lowcountry Day is partnering with Hilton Head Christian Academy to provide after-school care and transportation on the Little Eagles Bus.
THE CHILDREN’S CENTER
Address: 8 Nature’s Way, Hilton Head Island
Grades: Ages 6 weeks-5 years
Executive Director: Jody L. Levitt
Student Population: 175
Capsule: The Children’s Center is a unique not-for-profit organization that provides affordable early childhood education and childcare services to working families, ensuring every child is ready for success in kindergarten. The multicultural, bilingual program is provided five days a week, year-round, from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Open to children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old, with before- and after-school services available up to age 8. The school is part of the ABC Program, which supports low-income families with tuition assistance. As a partner with the USDA, children receive breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. More importantly, they receive educational building blocks built on a foundation of love from qualified teachers who see each child’s individual. potential.
What’s New: New South Carolina early learning standards will be implemented in all classrooms to measure each child’s development.
Address: 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton
Grades: Ages12 months to 8th grade
Head of School: Dr. Brad Schultz
Director of Admissions: Jennifer Drury
Student Population: 500
Capsule: Established in 1998, Cross Schools provides a Christian-based education for children 12 months through 8th grade. Cross Schools strives to create an atmosphere where students develop a passion for learning through small classes, rigorous academics, various enrichment courses, and faith-based learning. Students attend weekly chapel, participate in community service projects, and have the opportunity to join various clubs. Its athletic program, which features cross-country, basketball, golf, soccer, volleyball and baseball, encourages teamwork, discipline and physical fitness. The guiding principles of the Cross Schools community are academic excellence, christian values, and community service.
What’s New: Work on a new wing of the school will completed in time for the 2018-19 year. It includes a new wing of classrooms and an expansion to the current gymnasium/sports complex.
HILTON HEAD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Address: 55 Gardner Drive, Hilton Head Island
Grades: Kindergarten-12th grade
Headmaster: Doug Langhals
Director of Admissions: Dona Wood
Student Population: 380
Capsule: HHCA is a non-denominational Christian college preparatory school ranked as one of the top 10 private schools in South Carolina by Niche Rankings. HHCA encourages a pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics and the arts, as well as a relationship with Christ. With a student to faculty ratio of 8:1 and 21 different honors and AP courses, HHCA has a 100 percent college matriculation rate and acceptances to schools such as Duke, West Point, Georgetown, Wake Forest and the U.S. Naval Academy. HHCA has 33 different athletic teams and more than 70 percent of students participate in the school’s fine arts programming.
What’s New: HHCA is building a new campus in Bluffton. Working with the country’s pre-eminent education architects, Fielding Nair International, current plans call for HHCA to break ground on the school’s sports fields next year and open the 27-acre campus in fall 2020.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL
Address: 70 Wilborn Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Principal: Amanda O’Nan
Student Population: 1,271 students
Capsule: U.S. News & World Report ranked Hilton Head Island High School No. 5 of all South Carolina high schools for its commitment to excellence and academic rigor, with opportunities to take AP courses and exams. Hilton Head High prepares its students to become responsible citizens in our global and technological age by providing a balanced curriculum, disciplined atmosphere, and quality facilitating, and excellent faculty. In addition to having a curriculum with traditional academic courses, clubs, activities, and sports teams, Hilton Head High offers an International Baccalaureate diploma, allowing students to earn college credits while in high school.
What’s New: Hilton Head High’s culinary arts program is booming, the school’s visual and performing arts programs are busting with talent and a new aquaculture program under the Marine Science curriculum will be a highlight this year.
HILTON HEAD PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Address: 8 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Headmaster: Jon Hopman
Director of Admissions: Bobbie Somerville
Student Population: 450
Capsule: Hilton Head Prep is an accredited private school with exemplary faculty who strive to create students of character, integrity and responsibility in a safe and welcoming environment. With an average class size of 12 students, Hilton Head Prep uses a traditional college preparatory curriculum that includes courses in liberal arts, science, technology and ethics, as well as rigorous Advanced Placement and honors courses. AP Capstone is a course of study that aligns with students’ passions. Participation in co-curricular arts, athletic programs and meaningful community involvement is highly encouraged. Hilton Head Prep also has a residential boarding program for national and international students.
ISLAND ACADEMY OF HILTON HEAD
Address: 2 Finch St., Hilton Head Island
Type of School: Nonprofit, private
Grades: Kindergarten-12th grade
Head of School: Mary Ann Cyr
Phone: 843-342 9826\
Student Population: 38
Capsule: Island Academy of Hilton Head is an innovative, dynamic, thought-provoking and authentic learning community. The nonprofit school uses a team approach when it comes to learning, and each educator works with students of all ages in some capacity. Head of school Mary Ann Cyr and teachers Mollie Kinard, Leonard Ciliento, Marilee Willey and Emma Malinoski work together to help children become the best version of themselves. The school’s mission is to "turn students on" to learning and inspire them to become life-long learners. The safe and supporting environment encourages students’ natural and unlimited curiosity. Student receive both academic rigor and opportunities to collaborate, innovate, develop their creative thinking skills and implement their ideas. Island Academy is committed to an 8:1 student-teacher ratio.
SEA PINES MONTESSORI ACADEMY
Address: 9 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Type: Private, Non-profit
Grades: 12 months to 8th grade
Headmaster: Melinda A. Cotter
Student Population: 150
Capsule: Mary Stone Fraser founded Sea Pines Montessori Academy in 1968 as a children’s house — the desks, windows, and tables were at eye level so that it was truly owned by the children. Today, Sea Pines Montessori includes 10 classrooms, a library, multipurpose room, a Suzuki piano and violin studio, an art studio, an outdoor green space and other amenities. In addition to offering golf at First Tee of the Lowcountry and Sea Pines Resort, tennis with Van Der Meer Academy, and a thriving fitness program, we offer numerous after-school sports and clubs for all ages. Sea Pines Montessori instills a love of learning, strong social and problem-solving skills, a positive work environment, and respect for community.
What’s New: It’s the school’s 50th anniversary this year. Alumni are invited to come to the school at 9 a.m. Aug. 17 for a 50-year photo and celebration.
ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Address: 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island
Grades: Pre-kindergarten-8th grade
Headmaster: Brian Pope
Student Population: 210
Capsule: St. Francis Catholic School’s mission is “to nurture students’ spiritual and intellectual growth in an authentically Catholic community committed to academic excellence.” Children from ages 4 to 14 benefit from an integrated faith formation through weekly Mass, religion curriculum and service opportunities. St. Francis offers students a well-rounded and challenging curriculum that provides foundation to be successful in high school. The school also has an exceptional parental and volunteer support system. St. Francis Catholic School accepts both Catholic and non-Catholic students.
What’s New: St. Francis Catholic School built a new playground this summer, replacing the old jungle gym with two new ones, one for younger students and one for older. The school added a field that is larger than the previous area. Artificial turf covers the entire playground and field.
JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Address: 4211 N Okatie Highway, Ridgeland
Grades: 7th-12th grades
Principal: Walter Dupre
Student Population: 220
Capsule: John Paul II Catholic School educates our children for the challenges they will face in college and beyond. The school’s motto, “Nolite Timere” (be not afraid), means we are constantly examining our courses offered and evaluating academic standards while creating an environment rich in spirituality, fine arts and athletics, where each child reaches their full potential. At the center of everything the school does is our faith in God. We are blessed to partner with our parents to help our children grow in their faith.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA BEAUFORT
Address: Campuses in Beaufort and in Bluffton; campus on Hilton Head Island slated to open this year
Type: Public university
Chancellor: Dr. Al M. Panu
Student Population: 2,000
Capsule: USCB offers the region’s only human services degree, as well as more traditional degrees such as English, psychology, business and education. The school opened a nursing facility in spring 2009. Human simulators provide nursing students hands-on training opportunities. Another popular program, hospitality management, capitalizes on nearby Hilton Head Island resorts, drawing international students and provides internship experiences. The school is a baccalaureate member of the USC system and serves the southeast coast of South Carolina and Georgia. USCB is a multi-campus institution with campuses in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island. The Hilton Head Island campus focuses on the hospitality management program and will open in this year.
USCB CENTER FOR EVENT MANAGEMENT AND HOSPITALITY TRAINING
Address: 1 University Boulevard, Bluffton
Type: Professional Development
Program Director: Keri Olivetti
Capsule: USCB's Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training offers professional development opportunities and education in addition to event management resources and support services. Its Island Ambassador training is especially popular with local businesses and includes in-person seminars about Hilton Head Island culture, knowledge and ecology. After a half-day session, hospitality and customer service staff members can confidently discuss topics ranging from wildlife seen on the beach to Hilton Head’s early history with island visitors and guests. More than 1,450 ambassadors have been certified through the center so far.
What’s New: The center recently added secret shopper evaluations and service quality improvement support for local hospitality businesses. An ambassador program is also in development for Bluffton. The center will soon be moving, along with USCB’s Hospitality Management department, to the new Hilton Head Island campus opening this fall.
TECHNICAL COLLEGE OF THE LOWCOUNTRY
Address: 100 Community College Drive, Bluffton, SC 29909
Type: Two-year community college
President: Dr. Richard Gough
Capsule: The Technical College of the Lowcountry provides quality, affordable academic and technical programs leading to associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in an environment that fosters excellence in teaching and learning. The college prepares graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to transfer to senior colleges and universities and for careers in computer technology, industrial technology, engineering technology, occupational technology, business, health sciences and public service.