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8.22.2009

Summerton charter school closes

By JASON WERMERS
Item Content Team Leader
jwermers@theitem.com

SUMMERTON — A local charter school is closing only a year after it opened.

The S.C. Public Charter School District confirmed Friday that that Young Entrepreneurial Vocational Academy, which opened for about 40 students in seventh and eighth grades in August 2008, is in the process of shutting down.

Veronica Primus-Thomas, the school’s executive director, said when the school opened, organizers planned eventually to have 120 students in grades seven through 12.

A receptionist at the school at 10 S. Dukes St. referred questions to the school leaders, Primus-Thomas and founder Ken Harvin, who did not return calls Friday.

A published report quotes Harvin as saying the school didn’t get much help from the charter school district. Young Entrepreneurial Vocational Academy, also known as YEVA, was affiliated with that district, not with Clarendon School District 1. Harvin added that the charter district revoked the school’s charter agreement earlier this month. A charter school is not bound by all the rules and regulations that govern traditional public schools, although students in charter schools still take the Palmetto Assessment of State Standards tests.

Don McLaurin, chairman of the charter school district’s board of directors, also did not return calls seeking comment.

The Scott’s Branch ’76 Foundation’s Board of Directors, under the leadership of Alice Doctor-Wearing and Harvin, were able to help get legislation passed in the General Assembly to form the new school a few years ago.

During the school’s year of operation, it featured longer days than traditional public schools. Students began the day with a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. and stayed in classes until 3 p.m., then had two additional hours.

Students who were enrolled at YEVA, which was available to students across South Carolina, will have to return to their school district.



Contact Content Team Leader Jason Wermers at jwermers@theitem.com or (803) 774-1225.

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