Our History

MSS opened its Charleston, SC flagship Pre-K-5th independent school in 2008 as a proving ground; a place to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to close the opportunity gap that has plagued our community for decades. Drawing upon the best practices from innovative schools across the country, MSS’s founders developed this school as a prototype for educational change. MSS then launched its network of schools in 2012 with the opening of Meeting Street Academy Spartanburg, which was made possible by the contributions of a generous private donor who had been inspired by the success of the flagship school. In 2014, MSS partnered with Charleston County School District to create Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood, the first public-private educational partnership of its kind in South Carolina.



We began

as a small group of community members who recognized the need for a school that would provide a high-quality, college preparatory education to students who were assigned to failing public schools in Charleston. We developed the idea for our Flagship school, Meeting Street Academy Charleston, as a result of the belief that a child’s zip code should not determine his or her educational opportunities.


Meeting Street Schools’ (MSS)

founding members met with then Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, to discuss the concept of Meeting Street Academy. Mayor Riley was so inspired by the school’s premise and potential benefit to the Charleston community that he began working to secure a site for our flagship school.


We welcomed

our first group of students to come and learn with us at MSA-Charleston, then located at 1156 King Street. Our teachers and staff provided education and support to 45 preschoolers (PK3 & PK4) and their families.


The City of Charleston

generously leased/donated land at 642 Meeting Street (corner of Meeting and Cool Blow Streets) for the future site of MSA-Charleston.


Our first kindergarten class graduated!

All students entered first grade with the ability to read grade-level and above grade-level texts.


South Carolina Gubernatorial Candidate Nikki Haley

(elected Governor in November the same year), visited MSA-Charleston and launched the education platform of her campaign from our site.


Visitors from various parts of South Carolina

came to visit us at MSA-Charleston to get a first-hand look at our learning environment, already generating impressive results with our students. One of these visitors was inspired to propose a partnership with MSA-Charleston to develop a second Meeting Street Academy in Spartanburg, SC.



at the site of MSA-Charleston’s current location, 642 Meeting Street, began with Mayor Joseph P. Riley serving as Master of Ceremonies.


U.S. Congressman Tim Scott

visited MSA–Charleston and inspired our students and families with the story of his upbringing. Congressman Scott stressed the critical importance of education on the path to becoming a leader in the community.



hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly completed 642 Meeting Street location. Governor Nikki Haley, Former Mayor Joseph P. Riley and State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais participated in the event and celebrated the accomplishments of Meeting Street Academy-Charleston students and teachers.

Meeting Street Schools celebrated the opening of its second school in Spartanburg, SC: MSA-Spartanburg.


Meeting Street Schools founder

Ben Navarro, participated in TEDxCharleston, inspiring the Charleston community and beyond by sharing the Meeting Street Academy story and how academic success is possible for children from all backgrounds.


Meeting Street Schools

opened Meeting Street Elementary @Brentwood with the Charleston County School District, the first public-private educational partnership of its kind in South Carolina.


We celebrated

the first graduating 5th grade class at Meeting Street Academy-Charleston!


We began Phase 2 construction

at Meeting Street Academy-Charleston’s main campus. Additional classrooms were built to accommodate more students in downtown Charleston.


We entered a public-private partnership agreement

with Spartanburg School District 7. We opened our Spartanburg location as a public school, serving students in a newly created attendance zone.


We completed Phase 2 construction

at Meeting Street Academy-Charleston.


Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood celebrated the opening of a first-of-its kind clinic on campus, thanks to a partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina. MSE@B’s school-based clinic has a full-time nurse practitioner on staff who can diagnose conditions, write prescriptions and order X-rays and lab work as needed. A pediatrician is available to see patients once a week. The clinic is designed to meet students where they are by providing them with quality healthcare when they need it, without their parents having to worry about arranging transportation or taking off work. School-based health has been proven to increase academic performance and positively impact student health outcomes. We are grateful for our partnership with MUSC and this amazing opportunity to improve the lives of our students and families.

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About Meeting Street Schools

Meeting Street Schools (MSS) is an innovative non-profit where schools, families, and the community collaborate to create environments where all children can achieve their full potential. With a network of schools across South Carolina, including MSA-Charleston (Charleston, SC), MSA-Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC), MS-Brentwood (North Charleston, SC), MS-Burns (North Charleston, SC), and MS-Jasper & Beaufort (Jasper, SC), we are committed to providing students with the rigorous education they deserve.

Founded on the principle that every child deserves an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, Meeting Street Schools has been a beacon of hope and a testament to what's possible in education. Our schools are driven by a strong focus on student achievement, evidence-based instruction, and relentless support of our students and their families.

While united by our shared mission, each MSS campus, is unique in its character, tapping into the local spirit of the communities they serve. Explore each of our schools and discover how they're creating a brighter future for students in South Carolina.

News & NotesFrom Clemson University to Master Teacher and Player Coach: Emily Godwin

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Our Schools

MSA – CharlestonDowntown Charleston, SC - Independent School - Since 2008 - 364 Students

Nestled in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, MSA Charleston is more than just a school—it’s a hub for innovative learning and community engagement. As part of the Meeting Street Schools network, MSA Charleston embodies a commitment to excellence through its rigorous academic programs, inclusive culture, and focus on developing the whole child. With a curriculum that emphasizes both academic and personal growth, MSA Charleston prepares students to be curious learners and active citizens of their community.

MSA – SpartanburgDowntown Spartanburg, SC - Public School - Since 2012 - 323 Students

MSA Spartanburg stands as a pillar of educational innovation in the Spartanburg community. The school’s dedicated educators and supportive learning environment ensure that each child receives a high-quality, personalized education with exceptional faculty and teachers. MSA Spartanburg is distinguished by its emphasis on community partnership, fostering relationships that extend beyond the classroom to build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.

MS – BrentwoodNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2014 - 694 Students

MS Brentwood is a place where education meets opportunity. Serving the Brentwood area, this school is a testament to the transformative power of education. With a student-centered approach that celebrates diversity and encourages excellence, MS Brentwood is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. MS Brentwood also serves as a hub for the Brentwood community to access educational and wellness services. The school’s commitment to innovation, coupled with a warm, welcoming environment, makes it a standout in the MSS network.

MS – BurnsNorth Charleston, SC - Public School - Since 2018 - 478 Students

Located in a community rich with history and culture, MS Burns is renowned for its dynamic educational approach that intertwines traditional learning with modern teaching techniques. The school’s focus on experiential learning ensures that students at MS Burns are not only recipients of knowledge but also active participants in their educational journey. MS Burns exists to spark an educational revolution for the students and families in the Dorchester-Waylyn Neighborhood in North Charleston. With a commitment to creating a supportive and challenging academic environment, MS Burns is forging a new path in public education.

MS – Jasper & BeaufortJasper County, SC - Public Charter School - Fall 2023 -

MS Jasper represents the Meeting Street Schools’ dedication to community-based education with a global perspective. The school provides a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to explore their potential and cultivate a love for learning. With its diverse programs such as Eureka Math, and Wit and Wisdom, MS Jasper puts a major emphasis on character development, specialized learning and equips students to become thoughtful, engaged members of society, reflecting the MSS ethos of empowerment through education.


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“MSA is a family. Once you’re in, you’re in. They said they would follow our kids from K-3 to college and they actually lived up to what they said they would do. Not only did MSA challenge my daughter academically but it also exposed her to new things that she probably wouldn’t have been exposed to at our previous neighborhood school. Our journey at MSA was exciting and rewarding. They actually walk the walk.”

— Tyeka GrantParent

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“Meeting Street Academy is my family. They taught me that I am valuable. I am an asset to the world…They asked me, ‘What is your dream?’ I had never been asked that before. The MSS community gives me the strength to pursue my dreams.”

— Kadelyn SteedStudent

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“We come into work everyday truly believing that our students are capable of achieving anything that is put in front of them. Here at MSS, students are provided the opportunity to achieve success through the facilitation of well-educated teachers, resources, and a responsive classroom school environment.”

— NikToshia GilesTeacher