Dorchester School District Two’s award-winning school system continues to attract families to the area with more than 26,000 students attending district schools. Fifteen elementary schools, six middle schools, and three high schools serve the suburban community of Summerville. In an effort to serve the entire community, the district also offers a comprehensive Adult Education program, along with an alternative program for middle and high school students. The district employs nearly 4,000 individuals making it the largest employer in Dorchester County.
Recognized as a school system of excellence, Dorchester School District Two has been awarded district-wide National Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. The district is committed to providing opportunities for students to ensure they possess world-class skills and knowledge to be college and career ready. These goals parallel the tenets of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate and shape the rigorous and relevant curriculum and innovative programing in kindergarten through twelfth grade.
With more than 7,700 students enrolled in Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs this year at the three high schools, the district strives to provide students the academic, life, and career skills exemplified in successful citizens. Expanded CTE courses are offered at all high schools including Culinary Arts, Media Arts, Agriculture, Health Science, Industrial Technology, Sports Medicine, and Engineering career clusters. Through the support of regional business leaders and the Dorchester Two Educational Foundation, a second CTE wing opened in August 2019 at Summerville High School that houses a new Advanced Manufacturing Center. State of the art facilities provide comprehensive programs to prepare students for career opportunities in the high growth industries in the region. The Dorchester School District Two Early College Program had 52 students graduate with an Associate Degree from Trident Technical College, as well as a high school diploma in 2020. As reported on the 2019 South Carolina report card, Dorchester School District Two achieved a graduation rate of 90.3%. In addition, the 2020 graduating classes of 1,773 students were offered a total of $40,970,507 in scholarships.
Through robust partnerships with local industries and institutions of higher learning, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs have expanded dramatically at every level. Joseph R. Pye Elementary School earned the distinction of being selected as a National P21 Exemplar School by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning in recognition of their innovative learning practices. In addition, collaborations with local government agencies and businesses have provided resources for students and the community with a state of the art Performing Arts Center that opened this spring, and an aquatics center that will open later this year.
Our schools have a rich history of offering excellent programs in academics, athletics and the arts. Twelve district schools have earned the Palmetto’s Finest Award as being among the best schools in the state, and five schools have earned the prestigious designation as a National Blue Ribbon School. JROTC programs at all three high schools received Distinguished Unit Awards from their branches of the military. One-hundred and fifteen middle school students were named SC Junior Scholars. Outstanding fine arts programs in all district schools have garnered state and national awards, including the Kennedy Center Creative Ticket Award on three separate occasions. The district received the national designation of Best Community for Music Education in recognition of its outstanding commitment to music education.
Parent and community involvement is a critical element in the success of our schools. All schools have active PTA/PTSAs and active business partner programs that provide thousands of volunteers and numerous resources. Flowertown Elementary School Improvement Council was one of five state finalist for the Dick and Tunky Riley Award for the second consecutive year. The school was also designated a National PTA School of Excellence for initiatives to involve parents in their children’s education. All district schools participated in the MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness program to promote health and wellness for students and staff. The Dorchester Two Educational Foundation has provided classroom grants for teachers and resources for innovative programs.
The foundation of success for students and the school system is grounded in ten Core Values adopted by Dorchester School District Two. These core values of Students, Passion, Accountability, Integrity, Community, Excellence, Relationships, Diversity, Leadership, and Recognition affirm what we stand for, and provide a framework for a unified sense of purpose for us all.