Why University School?
For results. State Middle School Math Meet Champions (2013-2014, 2015-2016) and Runners-up (2014-2015). State Middle School Quiz Bowl Runners-up (2014-2015). State High School Math Meet Runners-up (2015-2016). High School Quiz Bowl Region Champions (2015-2016). Head of School Jason Kreutner received SCISA's Dr. Charles S. Aimar Educational Leadership Award for 2013-2014, which is presented annually to the most outstanding leader among the association’s 100+ schools. 84% of our students were honored with awards in the 2015-2016 Scholastic Art & Writing competition, including 17 Gold Keys. 7th grade state-level recognition, scoring better than 50% of juniors & seniors, on Duke TIP SAT every year (over 40% of our participants since our founding). Seven of our 7th grade students qualified for State Recognition in 2014-2015. This number is the same or more than any school, public or private, in South Carolina. This is the 2nd time in our school's eight year's of operation that we have had seven students receive State Recognition in one class. Click here to read what our parents have to say and click here for news about USL.
For learning by doing. The world is our classroom, and students explore and experience it first-hand through over 30 field trips per year. Click here for more information about the current year at University School and our hallmark Learning Outside the Classroom program (LOTC). Each student also participates in our job shadowing program to explore careers of interest.
For the study of global languages. Each student learns Mandarin, Latin and Spanish. USL is the only school in the state that has students receiving high-level instruction in three languages at the same time. Click here to learn more about our global languages and academic program.
For the human touch. USL features small class sizes and caring teachers. Students mentor and receive mentoring. Service and experiential learning foster empathy and commitment to improving the community. The student culture emphasizes civility and gratitude, and individualized learning enables students to earn from 2-10+ high school credits in middle school. Click here to learn more.
Recent and Upcoming Events
Support University School through an Annual Fund contribution. Congratulations on 100% parent, faculty/staff, and board member participation for 2015-2016!
Click here for printable flyers to learn more about University School, to see what we did in the First Semester of 2015-2016, to examine a recap of the 2014-2015 school year, and to see the highlights of a representative month of the school (April 2015)!
On Thursday, April 7, 2016, our Lower School (grades 4-5) Quiz Bowl team won their region! This means they will take part in the State Quiz Bowl later this month. We competed against Pinewood Prep, Charleston Collegiate, and Coastal Christian, and our students won all three of their matches. We are proud of the students: Charlotte Adragna, Jackie Berenyi, Kessler Kreutner-Eady, Mia Leone, Caitlin Parkman, and William Wettengel. We are grateful for the generosity of our hosts at Pinewood and all of the teams for a good competition and time together.
We are friends with Sweetgrass Village Assisted Living Center on Mathis Ferry Road in Mount Pleasant. They attend all of our cultural events throughout the year, and we help them with special activities and their annual Easter Egg Hunt for their residents. Despite taking place during our Spring Break on Friday, March 25, it was wonderful to have almost 20 students volunteer for a fun and meaningful time with others! *** Click here for the 2016 slideshow.
In early-March, 2016, four USL students were named Scholastic Art and Writing national award winners, and University School won 4 of the 50 national awards for writing that students in South Carolina received! We had 17 regional Gold Key winners, and they proceeded to the national competition. National medalists represent the top 1% of submissions to the 2016 Scholastic Awards. This competition is for 7-12th graders, and this year our 7th-11th graders entered 120 works of fiction, nonfiction, personal memoir, and poetry and received an amazing 94 awards at the regional level! 84% of our students were honored, and over 90% of our 8th graders garnered an award for writing in 7th or 8th grade. Typically the number of submissions in the region numbers in the tens of thousands and for the country is 300,000+. University School has four national medalists (attached picture with MS/US Writing Teacher Sara Peck):
Anne Adragna (11th) - National Silver Key for her poem "The Grass 524 Miles Away"
Hannah Godsill (7th) - National Gold Key for her poem "Bullet Stains"
Daniel Kalus (8th) - National Gold Key for his short story "Three Views on the Same Matter"
Allison Li (8th) - National Gold Key for her poem "As the Months Drag On"
On February 25, 2016, several interested students took part in the Charleston Air Force Base's Tuskegee Airmen program yesterday. The local CBS station, Channel 5, composed a video story about it for their evening news yesterday, and it is neat to see some of our students taking part.
In early-February, 2016, the results for the Scholastic Art & Writing competition for the Southeast Region were revealed. This competition is for 7-12th graders, and this year our 7th-11th graders entered 120 works of fiction, nonfiction, personal memoir, and poetry and received an amazing 94 awards! 84% of our students were honored. 17 Gold Keys were won, and these pieces will move on to the national level. Typically the number of submissions in the region numbers in the tens of thousands and for the country is 250,000+. It is our practice and belief to have all of our eligible students take part in this competition. Our talented and driven group of learners have been inspired and guided to become better and more confident writers by their devoted teachers -- success that has been recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards!
The spirit of Learning Outside the Classroom is to explore for oneself, and this allows one to make informed decisions based on experience. In mid-February, groups of students had the chance to attend presidential events for Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton. Students have had the chance to assess presidential candidates and how they present themselves. It is always neat to see adults buzz with the presence of students, and our children appreciate this positive feedback and get a lot of practice talking with strangers as they field questions. US Senator Tim Scott was on hand for the Rubio event, and it was neat for students to see him again because he visited USL last year. We had guest speakers from the Republican, Democratic, Green, and Libertarian parties. Donald Trump was at a private plantation in Walterboro for the Sportsmen for Trump event. Trump only spoke for 15 minutes, but there was a large crowd of 2000+. The students saw and talked with Mt. Pleasant Mayor Linda Page. Another highlight was Post and Courier reporter Paul Bowers interviewing the students about their thoughts, and he quoted two of them in his recap article.
On February 12, 2016, we made our annual trip to Marion Square in downtown Charleston for the first day of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Flight demonstrations by the Center for Birds of Prey, specialty breeds of dogs, various forms of wildlife art, local foods, and the presence of government and non-profit experts on the environment and wildlife are the highlights of this experience. We also explored the College of Charleston's Mace Brown Natural History Museum. Please enjoy the slideshow of the day!
From February 9-11, 2016, 5th Grade, Middle. and Upper School students took part in an array of activities at the College of Charleston for the 3nd Annual Piccolo Darwin Week . Students attended sessions entitled "A Walk Through Time," "Dinosaurs," and "Harry Potter and the Evolution of Fantastic Beasts." It was a powerful learning experience -- in terms of ascertaining the latest research and insights, seeing passionate professors and graduate students (and role models), and adding to each student's understanding of what college and beyond can entail. Please enjoy the slideshow of the three experiences!
On February 3, 2016, we visited Charleston County's Bees Ferry Landfill and its Composting Site. Over 60% of Charleston County's trash ends up here: the rest goes to a private landfill in Dorchester County. We saw 7 Bald Eagles, and our guide from Charleston County estimated there are around 30 total! As the total area is filled in, the old "cells" (or the holes in the ground, covered with thick plastic and then covered with trash and dirt in alternating layers) become nature preserves for wildlife. We also visited Grow Food Carolina to learn more about their efforts to support local farmers by more efficiently connecting them with potential customers. Supporting small farms with a favorable location and refrigerators, freezers, and marketing is a game changer! It was created by the Coastal Conservation League in 2011. Please enjoy the slideshow (including a picture of a Bald Eagle on top of a row of compost)!
On February 3, 2016, we had a successful day at the SCISA State Literary Meet, and we are proud of our participants and are grateful to Sara Peck, our Middle and Upper School English teacher, for inspiring and chaperoning them. As with our LOTCs that place students in all sorts of situations to learn, competitions like this allow students to test and push themselves -- and then learn from the experience. We participated in 1-2 events a few years ago, and this was only our third year fielding a full-complement of students in the array of fields. It was a busy day with a large contingent of schools present. Congratulations to following top finishers:
Allison Horan, 11th grade, for winning 2nd Place in High School Girls essay writing. Gabby Villacres, 8th grade, for winning 3rd Place in Middle School Girls extemporaneous speaking. Allison Li, 8th grade, for winning 1st Place in Middle School Girls essay writing. Participants: Middle School Oral Interpretation: Julian Griffin & Cayleigh Nicholson -- Middle School Extemporaneous Speaking: Daniel Kalus & Gabby Villacres -- Middle School Essay: Rhett Baldwin & Allison Li -- Upper School Extemporaneous Speaking: Kennon Saad & Anne Adragna -- Upper School Essay: Miko Crowley & Allison Horan --Upper School Oral Interpretation: Ellie Manucy & Cole Jones
On January 19, 2016, we won First Place Team at the South Carolina Independent School Association Middle School Math Meet, and this included having two of the top three high scorers for the whole competition! Congratulations to all of the participating students and our Middle School Math teachers: Mrs. Brockman, Mrs. Lawrie, and Ms. Elmore. The following were our participating students: Thomas Boyle (Third overall individual), Ron Kalus, Sabrina Lawrence, Allison Li (First overall individual), Isabel Prioleau, Julian Hill, Daniel Kalus, Mary Lee, Cayleigh Nicholson, Alex Pawlik, Jack Woodward. This is our third year of participating in this competition, and we’ve now placed First, Second, and First. Coupled with our Second Place finish in last week's High School Meet, we are on quite a roll in Mathematics! This is quite a testament to our Math program at University School, and kudos go to our Math teachers in all three divisions: Mrs. Brockman, Ms. Donoghue, Ms. Elmore, and Mrs. Lawrie. Our students also benefit from our individualized approach to the subject. In the Middle School, for example, students take classes at the level where they need to be. This includes 8th graders taking Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II. No other school in the state does this.
There was a lot of joy on campus on January 13! We hosted a performance by Chinese Acrobats, and over 300 guests from Moultrie Middle School, Christ Our King-Stella Maris School, Hibben Preschool, Charleston Area Homeschool families, and Trident Academy marveled at array of feats of strength, balance, and agility! Please enjoy this slideshow from the day
On January 12, 2016, we won Second Place Team at the South Carolina Independent School Association High School Math Meet! We are proud of all of the participating students -- Anne Adragna, Thomas Boyle, Allison Horan, Allison Li, Sandy Otap -- and our Upper School Math teachers, Mrs. Brockman and Mrs. Elmore! As our current highest grade is 11th, this is an amazing accomplishment -- including a top 3 individual high scorer! This is our second year of participating in this competition, and we’ve now placed Second and Fourth. This is also quite a testament to our Math program at University School, including the strong foundation that is established in the Intermediate and Middle Schools with Mrs. Brockman, Mrs. Lawrie, Ms. Elmore, Ms. Donoghue, and Mrs. Koches. Congratulations to the teachers and the students!
As is customary, we had our annual Winter Faiths/Holidays Interdisciplinary Day on the last day of the Fall semester. We visited Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim synagogue in Charleston. One of the oldest synagogues and congregations in America, KKBE also represents Charleston's significance as the birthplace of Reform Judaism. We last visited KKBE in 2009 and have also visited the local Conservative and Orthodox synagogues. In the afternoon we explored St. Michael's Anglican Church. The oldest church building in Charleston, visiting St. Michael's taught us about this church, its history, and the Anglican faith. Please enjoy this slideshow from the day
It is a December tradition to visit MUSC. On December 9, Students took part in several activities to learn about Pediatric Cardiology, Interventional Neuroimaging, Meducare (medical helicopter transportation), and Telehealth (allowing rural schools and other healthcare providers to consult with MUSC physicians using the latest technology). As is customary, the day ended with our visiting and delivering holiday cards to patients at the Hollings Cancer Institute. Click here for a slideshow of our day!
On December 2, we traveled to Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner. We visited the Trappist monks here a few years ago, but this learning adventure focused on their popular annual Creche Festival. In addition to learning about a key pillar of Christianity, the 50+ representations of the Christian Nativity allowed students to see a wide array of artistic mediums and incredible creativity from across the globe. Click here for a slideshow of our day!
On November 18, we traveled to Ebenezer AME Church in Charleston. This was our first visit to Ebenezer, having explored and learned about the AME faith via trips in earlier years to meet Pastor Bernard Brown at Holy Trinity AME in Mt. Pleasant and Rev. Clementa Pinckney at Mother Emanuel AME. Please enjoy this slideshow from the day!
In mid-November 2015, we were honored with WCBD-Channel 2's Cool School Award! They created two separate videos to highlight USL on their broadcast. The first gives an overview of USL. You can see it here. The second focuses on our LOTC program. Congratulations!
University School students, faculty, parents, alumni, and alumni parents took part in National Day of Caring service projects at thirteen sites across Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties through the Trident United Way in the Lowcountry. This is one of the biggest Days of Caring in America, and we contributed over 500 hours of service for the 2015 Day of Caring at Midland Park Primary, Pinehurst Elementary, Jane Edwards Elementary, FamilyCorps, Carter-May Assisted Living Home, International Primate Protection League, South Santee Senior and Community Center, Tri-County Family Ministries, Fresh Future Farm, Footlight Players, Matilda Dunston Elementary, Chicora Elementary, and Windwood Farm Home for Boys. Our relationship with some of these organizations extends back to the founding of University School, and it is neat to support and learn about these schools and non-profits in the greater-Charleston area. The Post and Courier had a nice article about the DoC ("Day of Caring turns out thousands to give back to community"), and it features pictures of some of our students at Fresh Future Farm along with an examination of our work there. Click here for a slideshow of our day!
In the November 8, 2015 edition, Post and Courier columnist Brian Hicks builds upon the results of a survey question in our exit poll from Tuesday about full vs. part-time mayor for Mount Pleasant ("Mount Pleasant should listen to voters on strong-mayor government"). After highlighting the history and reliability of our students' efforts over the years, Hicks focuses on the overwhelming support for a full-time mayor that was expressed in this survey question and expands upon it by looking at municipal government forms in other big cities in the region. The piece ends with a call to heed the exit poll results and move to a full-time mayor format in Mount Pleasant. Beyond the lessons already learned from Tuesday about social skills, math, governance, statistics, etc., the students have now played a role in agenda setting. This means their work has started/contributed to a public debate in Mount Pleasant.
On Election Day (Tuesday, November 3) students administered exit polls for the Mount Pleasant municipal races and the for Charleston mayoral race to determine who will succeed long-time Mayor Joe Riley. Each student canvassed voters at two precincts (one in each municipality), and USL visited 26 total voting sites. We then compiled the information and predicted the outcomes using our exit poll results. We included our own questions concerning the submarine Clamagore, preference for part-time or full-time mayor of Mount Pleasant, the proposed International African American History Museum, and quality of life questions. Here is some media coverage of this year's exit polling activity. The Post and Courier included a day-time update on our efforts on Election Day: "Lowcountry voters undeterred by wet weather, poll workers say." The P&C also featured a story on our exit polling on Election Night: "Exit poll smiles on John Tecklenburg, Leon Stavrinakis." The Moultrie News also spotlighted this experience for our students: "Students get it right with town council election predictions." Click here for the results of our 2015 exit polling and predictions!
The Upper School Quiz Bowl team won their region today! This means they will take part in the High School State Quiz Bowl on Tuesday, November 17. We competed against Charleston Collegiate, First Baptist, and Northwood Academy, and our students won all three of their matches. This was an amazing outcome considering it was our first time ever participating in a high school quiz bowl competition! Congratulations to team members Anne Adragna, Miko Crowley, Allison Horan, Cole Jones, Ellie Manucy, and Kennon Saad!
Seven of our 7th grade students qualified for State Recognition based on SAT scores received during 2014-2015 academic year (Thomas Boyle, Daniel Kalus, Ron Kalus, Sabrina Lawrence, Allison Li, Cayleigh Nicholson, Gabby Villacres). They earned the award by scoring at or above the national average (better than 50% of the nation’s high school juniors and seniors) on at least one part of the SAT. This number is the same or more than any school, public or private, in South Carolina. This is the 2nd time in our school's eight year's of operation that we have had seven students receive State Recognition in one class. A USL 7th grade student has garnered State Recognition every year that the School has been in operation, and over 40% of our students have achieved State Recognition in our history. Congratulations!
4/19, Tuesday – Special LOTC - A group MS & US students will visit a traveling First Folio of William Shakespeare's works at USC-Columbia. There will be a guided tour and then a presentation about Renaissance-era literature.
4/20, Wednesday – LOTC- we will tour and help with some of the weekly responsibilities at the Lowcountry Food Bank. Students will also learn more about foodways of local and Asian cultures at the H&L Asian Market.
4/22, Friday - First annual SCISA Lower School (Grades 4 & 5) Quiz Bowl Championship.
4/26-4/28, Tuesday-Thursday – Special LOTC - several students will attend and take part in activities of Charleston's Interactive Festival - Dig South.
4/27, Wednesday – regular schedule because of Friday's World Languages Day.
4/28, Thursday – HOSTED PERFORMANCE - University School will host Barynya for a performance of at 10 AM in the gym. The Russian Music, dance, and song ensemble Barynya is a world-renowned group known as the premier Russian folk ensemble. Barynya presents Russian, Cossack, Ukranian, Jewish, and Gypsy Roma traditional dancing, songs, and virtuoso performances on instruments including the balalaika, garmoshka (Russian folk button accordion), and balalaika contrabass. Every dance is performed in different sets of beautiful costumes, all hand-made for the stage presentations. The list of Barynya costumes includes Russian sets, Russian gypsy sets, Russian Cossack sets, Ukranian, Siberian, Jewish Ukranian, and more. Each costume is inspired by the place where the dance originated. Before each dance a short explanation will be given about the costumes the dancers will be wearing and how that applies to each culture's uniqueness. It is appropriate for all ages and lasts about 45 minutes. Guests will include our friends from Windwood Farm Home for Boys, Christ Our King-Stella Maris School, Sweetgrass Assisted Living Village, Hibben UMC Preschool, Moultrie Middle School, Charleston-area homeschool families, and other groups from the community.
4/29, Friday - World Languages Day - USL will host guest speakers, performers, and musicians representing the countries and cultures of the three languages each student learns (Latin, Spanish, and Mandarin). Special activities run from 10 AM-2 PM, and the public is welcome.
* University School has been awarded Darkness to Light's Partner in Prevention distinction every year since 2011. We are part of the inaugural class for this, and it honors our commitment to the prevention of child sexual abuse and to helping children grow up healthy and whole. USL faculty is trained in Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children program every August, and all parent volunteers for overnight trips take the same program and have their backgrounds checked.
Located in Mount Pleasant and serving the metro Charleston area, University School of the Lowcountry (USL) is an independent, non-sectarian, non-profit school for high-achieving students in grades 3-12 with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Accredited by the South Carolina Independent School Association, USL is a school-provided laptop school and our curriculum is designed to engage our students at an advanced level. University School seeks to develop self-confident, passionate, and empathetic learners who will make a positive difference in the world.
Location & Mailing Address:
The campus of Hibben United Methodist Church
690 Coleman Blvd. - Mt. Pleasant, SC
843-884-0902 (Main) 843-884-0905 (Fax)
P.O. Box 665
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465-0665