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Frequently Asked Questions

What grade levels are offered at Tall Pines?

2017-18 - 5th, 6th and 7th grades. For the 2018-2019 school year grades 5-8.

What is the educational philosophy for Tall Pines?

Tall Pines STEM Academy’s philosophy for educating students includes a small intimate school located on over 400 acres of land that offers students the opportunity to learn and become engaged in their learning by going outside of the classroom to solve relevant problems through project-based assignments. Tall Pines STEM Academy believes that students should be engaged and active in their learning and environment, and that the importance of physical activity, health/wellness and leadership training should be included in the school culture daily.

What is a charter school?

Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools that operate in South Carolina. Charter Schools provide educators with flexibility to operate different types of public schools that focus on specific missions (such as Tall Pines STEM Academy). Further, charter school operators and teachers have the opportunity to be much more flexible in their approach to teaching.

Within the context of the agreed upon accountability standards, teachers and school leaders have freedom in choosing curriculum and staff, as well as flexibility in determining the hours of operation, the school calendar, and the goals and standards of student behavior.

Motivation is the basis of learning. And, achieving the correct match of student to school mission is key to this choice. Motivation is the basis of learning. Achieving the correct match of student to school mission is the key.

Who can attend?

Any student residing in SC can attend. Must be age appropriate for the grade.

Is there tuition?

No! Tall Pines STEM is a public charter school authorized by the SC Public Charter School District. There will be a small materials fee for each student to ensure there are adequate supplies for hands-on experiences and projects.

Are there uniforms?

NO! There is a student dress code, but Tall Pines students will have PE every day, therefore students will wear tennis shoes and clothing that allows them to move freely and comfortably.

Does the school provide transportation?

No, parents are encouraged to carpool.

Will the school provide breakfast and lunch?

YES! There is a cafeteria on-site.

What will the school hours be?

8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (tentatively)

School calendar

The Tall Pines STEM Academy will base its calendar around the calendar of the Aiken County Public Schools. As a charter school, some flexibility in scheduling is allowable, but the requirement for students to attend school for 180 days is the same.

Who are the Tall Pines Academic Staff?

All teachers teaching core subject matter are highly qualified and licensed teachers per SC Department of Education and SC Public Charter School district requirements. Teachers will receive professional development in providing high quality STEM Project based learning to provide high quality education for Tall Pines students.

What if my child is not "strong" or gifted in science or math?

STEM education learning is collaborative and project-based; kids work closely together in a hands-on way to solve real-world problems. Learning problem-solving skills — and helping students develop into creative, critical thinkers — is at the core of Tall Pines STEM Academy.

What is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?

STEM education includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology. It is our belief that Tall Pines STEM Academy will be able to offer a cutting-edge educational program that will meet the growing demands for STEM education. STEM education curricula should be driven by engaging science, technology, engineering, and mathematics problems, projects, and challenges, which are embedded within and as culminating activities in the instructional materials. Our students will have opportunities to see STEM education come to life through outdoor wilderness activities, real-world business excursions, and other experiential learning activities.

How does the curriculum differ from the curriculum at the existing making middle schools?

STEM focused, outdoor opportunities, physical education, leadership training, service learning, project based activities will be daily occurrences at Tall Pines.

How can I be involved with Tall Pines?

Contributions from community members are essential to Tall Pines’ mission, purpose, and success. If you are interested in volunteering please call the school.

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