Letter: What is it?

Story by Jen Jordan / March 26, 2018

Journalists, armchair social media commentators, community leaders and sometimes even the very school board members who voted on establishing Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood refer to the school as something it is not.

It is not a charter school.

It is not a private school.

It is not a magnet school.

It is a public school.

To be precise, MSE@B is a public, neighborhood, Charleston County School District elementary school.

It has an attendance zone like every other public school. There are no admissions standards. All public school children living in its attendance zone can attend the school.

One unique thing about MSE@B is that CCSD partnered with our organization to operate the school. Close to 100 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced price lunches. Our nonprofit has more than a decade of hands-on experience educating under-resourced children, supporting their needs, holding them to incredibly high academic standards, challenging them daily to exemplify grit and optimism, and ultimately helping them achieve academic results on par with the best and brightest. Because they are just that — the best and brightest.

The proof? MSE@B scholars have among the most successful achievement results on standardized tests in the entire county. Yes, that includes all CCSD elementary schools.

As these students continue to prove what’s possible, we’d ask these journalists, Facebookers, leaders and board members to not attach any false excuses as to why these students are excelling. There are no hidden rules or special exceptions.

When describing MSE@B, the correct definition is this: a public school in North Charleston filled with optimism, a culture of excellence, dedicated teachers and children who, despite having certain challenges in life have finally been given what they’ve always deserved — an opportunity.


Chris Allen

Chief of Staff

Meeting Street Schools

Leeds Avenue



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  • 1/3

“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

  • 2/3

“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

  • 3/3

“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