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EDUCATION GUIDE

Learning for everyone

Technical College of the Lowcountry

Campuses: Beaufort, Bluffton, Culinary, Hampton
Type: Two-year community college
President: Dr. Richard Gough
Phone: 843-525-8207


About the School: The Technical College of the Lowcountry is the region’s primary provider of post-secondary education and workforce training. The public, two-year, multi-campus community college serves approximately 5,000 students annually. The college offers a variety of curricular programs including university transfer options, career and continuing education, online learning, and dual enrollment for area high school students. The college graduates more than 300 students annually from programs in building and industrial; business; culinary arts and hospitality; health sciences; human services; law and criminal justice; and STEM. Fully 95% of TCL graduates either go on to four-year institutions or move directly into jobs here in the Lowcountry. TCL has served more than 85,000 students since 1968.

University of South Carolina Beaufort

Address: Main campus in Bluffton. Specialized campuses in Beaufort and on Hilton Head
Type: Public university
Chancellor: Dr. Al M. Panu
Phone: 843-208-8000
Website: uscb.edu
Student Population: 2,100
About the School: USCB offers small classes and personalized instruction in 51 areas including 19 bachelor’s degree programs and two master’s degree programs. Associate’s degrees and 100 percent online degrees are also offered. USCB specializes in experiential learning, with students participating in internships, community service projects, international programs, fieldwork and research. The Beaufort College Honors program is open to qualified students of all majors and has specific cohorts in Biology and Nursing. The graduate programs are M.S. in Computational Science and M.Ed. in Literacy. The USCB Sand Sharks are excited to be new provisional members of NCAA Division II and the Peach Belt Conference. The school will add in 2023-24 men’s and women’s basketball (current sports are baseball, softball, women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s golf, cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field). USCB’s Beaufort and Bluffton campuses house students from 31 states and around the world in apartment-style residences. The university’s world-renowned Hospitality Program is based on the Hilton Head Island campus.

Educational partnership: A unique partnership between USCB and SCETV offers students the opportunity to work as production assistants on “By The River.” In its fourth season, it is distributed by American Public Television to public television affiliates across the nation. Showcasing Southern culture and literature, the show is a love letter to Southern stories and the authors and poets who write them. More than 50 USCB students have helped produce the episodes, which are filmed in SCETV’s studio in Beaufort. They operate the cameras, record the audio, help coordinate the authors’ appearances, promote the show and more.

University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training

Address: 1 Sand Shark Drive, Hilton Head Island
Type: Professional Development
Program Director: Keri Olivetti
Phone: 843-208-8320
About the School: USCB’s Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training offers professional development for hospitality professionals, ensuring exceptional experiences for their Island guests. The Center is home to the Hilton Head Island Center, the Bluffton Center, the Education Center, the Research Center and the Center for Strategic Planning.

The Hilton Head Island Center offers the Island Ambassador Program, which educates hospitality professionals about the history, culture and ecology of their beautiful Island. It also offers the Quality Management Initiative helping the hospitality industry set and exceed quality standards. In addition, it works with local festivals on volunteer management and event incubation.

The Bluffton Center educates new Blufftonians and hospitality professionals about the rich history, eclectic attributes and unique culture of Bluffton.

The Education Center offers educational resources, including videos on current trends and topics in the industry promoting best practices.

The Research Center provide festival and hospitality research enabling the events to improve the guest experience.

The Center for Strategic Planning works with businesses and organizations to facilitate strategic plans, board meetings, workshops, retreats, and entrepreneurial assessments.

Hilton Head Preparatory School

Address: 8 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island
Type: Private
Grades: Junior Kindergarten-12th grade
Headmaster: Paul W. Horgan
Director of Admissions: Sarah DeMaria
Phone: 843-671-2286
Student Population: 440
About the School: With new Head of School, Paul W. Horgan, starting in the summer of 2022, exciting things are on the horizon for Hilton Head Prep. Hilton Head Prep is an accredited independent school with exemplary faculty who strive to create students of character, integrity and responsibility in a safe and welcoming environment. With class sizes among the smallest in the area, Hilton Head Prep uses an innovative college preparatory curriculum that includes courses in liberal arts, science, technology and ethics, as well as rigorous Advanced Placement and honors courses. The school is continually ranked among the top K-12 independent schools locally, regionally and nationally, and 100% of Hilton Head Prep graduates are accepted to college. Hilton Head Prep also offers numerous opportunities for participation in athletics, the arts, after-school clubs and community service.

Heritage Academy

Address: 11 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island
Type: Private
Grades: 6th-12th grade
Head of School: Amanda Williams O’Nan
Director of Admissions: Sandy McGuire
Phone: 843-842-8600
Website: heritageacademy.org
About the School: Heritage Academy, a private coeducational school for grades 6-12 on Hilton Head Island, is fully accredited by SCISA and COGNIA. Heritage Academy has students from the local community as well as internationally who enroll to take advantage of the school’s unique academic program and philosophy. Heritage Academy is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Their students are actively engaged in learning as accomplished scholars, artists, and athletes whether in the classroom or pursuing extracurricular activities. The academic expectations and level of instruction at Heritage Academy exceed SCISA/COGNIA guidelines, university admissions criteria and NCAA Eligibility Center standards.

Hilton Head Christian Academy

Address: 3088 Bluffton Parkway, Bluffton
Type: Private
Grades: Kindergarten-12th grade
Head of School: Doug Langhals
Director of Admissions: Dona Wood
Phone: 843-681-2878
Student Population: 615
About the School: With the start of the school year, HHCA will begin year two on its state-of-the-art campus in Bluffton. This innovative, award-winning campus is home to 615 students, a record in HHCA’s 43-year history. HHCA’s project-based learning model focuses on outcomes that matter, a culture that empowers, teaching that engages, and technology that enables — in a distinctively Christian environment. Students have the opportunity for deeper learning through practical application, giving them real-world experience that prepares them for future success in their desired field. HHCA has an extraordinary guidance team, with a proven history in preparing students for college, career, and life. 100% of students who apply to college are accepted and over 90% earn merit-based scholarships. Ranked among the top private K-12 schools in South Carolina, and voted the No. 1 K-12 school in Bluffton, HHCA boasts an award-winning Fine Arts program and 27 athletic teams offering students opportunities to participate and excel. Interest in HHCA is at an all-time high and families interested in admissions for the 2023-2024 are encouraged to begin the application process now.

Island Academy

Address: 5 Dunmore Court
Type: Nonprofit / Private
Grades: Pre-K through 12
Head of School: Mary Ann Cyr
Phone: 843-342-9826
Website: hhiacademy.com
Student Population: 47
About the School: The Island Academy of Hilton Head, a Pre-K through 12 school, incorporates academic rigor into an inspiring learning environment. Students and teachers collaborate by way of a multidisciplinary approach to engage and develop higher order thinking skills around the big ideas in each of their subjects. Students practice teamwork, collaboration, adaptability, and digital literacy with the goals of maximum development of intellect and personal character. Core learning traditions provide a structure for students to excel in their current environment and be best prepared for moving on, whether to a four-year college of choice or any number of paths.

Cross Schools

Address: 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton
Type: Independent
Grades: Ages 12 months to 11th grade
Head of School: Chuck Evans, Interim Head of School
Director of Admissions: Brenda McPherson
Phone: 843-706-2000
Website: crossschools.org
Student Population: 670
About the School: Established in 1998, Cross Schools provides a Christian-based education for children ages 12 months through 11th grade. Cross Schools helps 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 can join various clubs. Its athletic program — which includes cross-country, basketball, golf, soccer, volleyball, sporting clays, softball, football, 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: The 2021-2022 school year welcomed the addition of Phase VI: The High School Auxiliary Building which now houses performing arts, visual arts, and a workout center for athletes and students.

Savannah Christian Preparatory School

Address: 1599 Chatham Pkwy, Savannah, Ga
Type: Private
Grades: 6 months through 12th grade
Head of School: Jeff Plunk
Director of Admissions: Debbie Fairbanks
Phone: 912-721-2114
Website: savcps.com
About the School: Savannah Christian Preparatory School is an independent, non-denominational PK-12 college prep Christian school. The only Savannah school triple-accredited through CESA (the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability), SAIS, and Cognia, SCPS offers twelve dual enrollment courses, ten honors courses, and seventeen AP courses.

Sixty lower school, middle school, junior varsity, and varsity teams are available within 18 different sports, as well as 33 fine arts program offerings from pre-k through 12th grade. Located just 34 minutes from Bluffton.

John Paul II Catholic School

Address: 4211 N. Okatie Highway, Ridgeland
Type: Catholic
Grades: 6th-12th grades
Principal: John McCarthy
Phone: 843-645-3838
Student Population: 333
Website: johnpaul2school.org
About the School: John Paul II offers a rigorous academic program that prepares students for college and life. The school has 21 AP courses leading to the prestigious AP Capstone Diploma for highly motivated students. Eight pre-AP classes prepare younger students for higher level courses and allows 8th graders to earn high school credit in math and English. Thirteen Project Lead the Way courses provide students with hands on, skill-based courses in engineering, computer science, and biomedical science. There are courses in the visual, graphic and performing arts to develop each student’s creative side. A competitive athletic program and multiple clubs and activities provide students with a well-rounded middle and high school experience. The school’s enrollment has grown by 30% in just the past year and is considered one of the best and fastest growing private schools in South Carolina.

St. Francis Catholic School

Address: 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island
Type: Catholic
Grades: Pre-kindergarten-8th grade
Headmaster: Andrea Smith
Phone: 843-681-6501
Website: sfcshhi.com
Student Population: 217
About the School: 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 education approach 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; enrollment has increased more than 15% in the past few years. The increase illustrates the commitment to the spiritual and intellectual growth of their students by their faculty.

What’s New: St. Francis Catholic School is pleased to announce its new principal, Andrea Smith. Smith, M.Ed., LPC, NCC assumed the role of principal on July 1. She served as principal in Houston, Texas. Smith’s career encompasses more than two decades in education with extensive administrative, curriculum, accreditation, development, and counseling experience. Her experience also includes working with several New York advertising agencies.

May River Montessori

Address: 60 Calhoun Street, Bluffton
Type: Private, Non-profit Montessori
Grades: 24 months to Grade 9
Head of School: Michele Quigley
Director of Admissions: Gail Daunt
Phone: 843-757-2312
Website: mayrivermontessori.com
Student Population: 200

About the School: May River Montessori has proudly served the children and families of the Lowcountry since 1987. Their mission is to nurture each child’s natural development; to inspire curiosity, creativity, and imagination and to foster academic excellence. They cultivate an environment rich with warmth, kindness and respect. The school is committed to the development of the whole child, enabling each to celebrate individual gifts and reach his or her greatest potential. In addition to a rich academic learning environment, there is a strong emphasis on the arts and environmental and community stewardship through their unique whole-campus Organic Gardening Program.

What’s New: Beginning Fall 2022 the school will welcome ninth-grade students to the campus. The unique Adolescent Program will center on a microeconomics experience. In addition to an individually customized daily academic and humanities curriculum, adolescents will operate their very own organic, agricultural/artisan-based business together in the heart of Old Town. Through these rich and authentic experiences, the students will learn trade skills, financial planning and budgeting, human resource, and general management skills along with so much more.

Lowcountry Day Christian Preschool & Camp

Address: 357 Red Cedar St. and 285 Red Cedar St., Bluffton
Type: Private
Grades: Ages 6 weeks to pre-kindergarten and pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade (camp, after school)
Directors: Alana McBride and Lindsay Marshall
Phone: 843-815-2271 or 843-815-2273
Website: lowcountryday.com
Student Population: 400

About the School: Established in 1997, Lowcountry Day schools are privately owned, state-licensed Christian preschools. Lowcountry Day provides the world-renowned The Creative Curriculum for Preschool Program, 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 preschools, under new private ownership, implemented the world-renowned The Creative Curriculum for Preschool Program in January 2021. Soccer Shots of Savannah is on site at both schools weekly to provide new monthly sessions for ages two to five.

First Presbyterian Day School

Address: 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island
Type: Preschool
Grades: Ages 2-5
Head of School: Jennifer Hummel
Director of Admissions: Jennifer Hummel
Phone: 843-681-3695
Website: fpdshhi.org or facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianDaySchool

About the School: The First Presbyterian Day School was established in 1984 and serves working parents. It is open year-round from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the school year beginning each August. Tuition includes two healthy snacks and a nutritional, well-balanced lunch each day. The Day School is licensed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and holds an A+ ABC Quality rating through South Carolina’s statewide quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early care and education providers.

Sea Pines Montessori Academy

Address: 9 Fox Grape Road, Hilton Head Island
Type: Nonprofit, private
Grades: 12 months to 6th grade
Headmaster: Susanna Myburgh
Phone: 843-785-2534
Website: seapinesmontessori.com
Student Population: 145
About the School: Mary Stone Fraser founded Sea Pines Montessori Academy in 1968 as an inviting home-like environment for children — the desks, windows, and tables were at eye level so that they were truly owned by the children. Today, the school carries on Montessori’s child-centered vision to create the most nurturing environment for young children to grow in and build their confidence. Sea Pines Montessori Academy includes 10 classrooms, a library, an art classroom, a music room, a Spanish room, a Suzuki piano and violin studio, an outdoor green space, and other amenities. Sea Pines Montessori Academy instills a love of learning, an emphasis on strong social and problem-solving skills, a positive work environment, and a respect for community. In addition to offering tennis lessons with Smith Stearns Tennis Academy in the fall and golf at The First Tee of the Lowcountry in the spring, Sea Pines Montessori Academy has a thriving athletics program and diverse clubs for all ages. The school invites parents and guardians to observe their children in the classroom throughout the school year.

What’s New: Sea Pines Montessori Academy’s new After School Clubs will start in the fall, including gardening, karate, yoga, woodworking, art, ping pong, Lego club, soccer, and more. The school believes children should have opportunities to pursue their passions and build their social and emotional skills as they interact with their peers through a variety of engaging clubs.

Amazing Creations

Address: 4464 Bluffton Park Crescent, Bluffton
Type: Child Care/Preschool/After School
Grades: Newborn to 11 years old
Head of School: Marsha Davis
Director of Admissions: Cathy Stevens
Phone: 843-837-5437
Website: amazing-creations.net
Student Population: 389
About the School: Amazing Creations is a licensed child-care center in Bluffton. Business partners and mother-daughter team Marsha Davis and Cathy Stevens opened the school in 1998 with a dream and a promise — to provide a loving, nurturing learning environment so parents could work without worries. Amazing Creations has grown from a licensing capacity of 75 to 389 students. Amazing Creations serves children 6 weeks-Pre-K, and has an after-school program for elementary school students. Amazing Creations partners with Sprenger Health Memory Care, Self Help, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

The Children’s Center

Address: 8 Nature’s Way, Hilton Head
Type: Private, Non-profit
Ages: Six weeks to Pre-K, with after-school and summer camp programs for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade.
Executive Director: Jody L Levitt
Phone: 843-681-2739
Website: thechildrenscentersc.org
Capacity: 200
About the School: For 55 years, The Children’s Center has served families across the Lowcountry. Affordable, early childhood education is an important choice faced by families. The Center focuses on the development of each child as an individual, helping to ensure they are kindergarten ready. The school provides breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack for all children, accepts SC Tuition Vouchers, and is rated B+ by ABC Quality standards. Offers care between 6:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. daily and Saturday care during the summer.