student at Belton Preparatory Academy tuition-free charter school working quietly at a classroom desk

Top 10 Reasons To Choose Belton Prep

At Belton Preparatory Academy, there are so many reasons why students thrive at our tuition-free charter school. Here are our top 10!

student at Belton Preparatory Academy tuition-free charter school working quietly at a classroom desk

1. Knowledge Starts Here

We are the first public school in South Carolina to offer Classical Education, which teaches reading, writing and math through the Classical Education stages of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. Our students are developing thinking skills and natural curiosity – what better way to inspire a lifelong love of learning?

2. We Celebrate Excellence

Belton Prep students routinely score in top percentiles statewide on standardized tests, including in the top one percent in the state of South Carolina for math and top two percent in the state for English. Each year we welcome parents and community members to Kindergarten Graduation, Literacy Night and Awards Day – where we celebrate student and school-wide achievements. Last year our school scored 6th overall in the state, out of 666 elementary schools, and first out of all Title I schools in the state! We have been recognized as a Diamond School of Excellence by the Charter Institute at Erskine – the highest award the institute gives. Our school culture celebrates excellence!

3. We Teach the Whole Child

At Belton Prep, we don’t just teach reading and writing and math. We also offer a “Whole Child Education”, which means that we spend time each day on character building activities. Our Core Virtues program focuses on a different life principle every week, and BPA Live is an interactive meeting for classrooms to discuss the Principle of the Week, augmented by read alouds and lesson plans.

student at tuition-free Belton Preparatory charter school raising hand while sitting at a classroom desk

4. Excellent High School Prep 

We are committed to student success – in high school and beyond. Belton Prep’s K5-7 Classical Education curriculum establishes a strong base of knowledge from which students may expand and practically apply their knowledge at the secondary level. Our middle schoolers can access a broad variety of academically challenging classes, field trips and extracurriculars. Taking learning into the community, Beta Club students volunteer with nonprofit organizations throughout our community. 

5. Nurtured Leadership 

At all grades, we emphasize the development of leadership qualities and learning behaviors such as taking positive risks, viewing errors as opportunities, recovering from mistakes, exchanging feedback, collaboration, planning with a purpose, and tracking personal progress. Our students are critical thinkers who are able to advocate for themselves both inside and outside the classroom.

6. A Thriving Arts Program

In a time when many public school art programs have been cut or eliminated, Belton Prep is known for our robust art and music programs. Students in all grades have access to excellent music programs and robust visual arts and performing arts offerings. We invite families on campus to enjoy exhibits of student work and performances, and field trips bring our students to area museums. 

7. A Safe and Secure Campus

We prioritize student safety and maintain a safe and secure learning environment. Our staff know each of our students personally and check in with them throughout the year. We offer student support services and can link students to outside resources if they need them. 

8. We Know Our Students

We are the only school in the area that offers K5-7 education. Those grades, combined with our small-school setting, creates a school where staff and teachers know every student – and their families – by name. We are a tight knit community! 

9. Support for All Learners

All learners are welcome here – from students needing extra support to those who want to engage more deeply in their learning. We offer effective reading intervention and challenging enrichment opportunities that inspire all students to thrive.

10. School Pride!

We love our school and it shows! Respectful classroom culture, engaged families, and friendly and caring teachers and staff all come together to support our students and instill pride in our school. Come visit and see for yourself why “It’s a Great Day at BPA!” 

These are just some of the ways that Belton Preparatory Academy serves our students with top-notch classical education in a tuition-free charter school environment. Are you interested in learning more about how classical education can be a fit for your child? Contact us and enroll today!

 

About Belton Preparatory Academy

Belton Preparatory Academy is an award-winning tuition-free charter school serving K5-7 grade students in the Belton, SC area. We offer an academically rigorous Classical Education curriculum and character building activities that inspire all learners. Students are supported by a close-knit community of caring teachers and staff and engaged families. Join our public charter school today! Enrolling now.  

Public School, Private Feel

Belton Preparatory Academy has the feel of a private school… but it’s not!

There is absolutely no tuition cost for your children to attend this school. But, while your family will not be strapped with additional education costs, your children will have access to a unique education style. That is because BPA is a publicly funded charter school.

So, how is BPA similar to a traditional public school?

  • It is tuition-free. Though the school looks similar to a private school, elementary-age children can attend the school for free.
  • It is a public school. Charter schools are part of and funded by the South Carolina public school system.
  • It follows state testing standards. Though BPA is autonomous in choosing a curriculum, students still must take standardized tests. And, the school can still be evaluated based on the scores. (Click here for info on BPA’s latest scores.)
  • There are no special admissions requirements. By law, charter schools in South Carolina are open to all children. There are no special requirements to attend.

How is BPA different from a traditional public school?

  • BPA uses a different curriculum. Charter schools usually have a specific focus. BPA uses a classical curriculum and emphasizes entrepreneurship. (Find out more about classical education at this link.)
  • There is a different school culture. BPA has a specific code of conduct and style of education that is unique to other schools in the area. They call it, “The BPA Way”.
  • Students are not limited to a specific district. Students do not have to live in the Anderson School District #2 to enroll. If more students apply than there are available seats, admission is determined by a lottery.

If you are interested in enrolling your children at Belton Preparatory Academy, it is not too late! Applications will be accepted until February 1, 2022. Click here for admissions information.

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Because they are public schools, they are open to all children, do not charge tuition, and do not have special entrance requirements.

The core of the charter school model is the belief that public schools should be held accountable for student learning. In exchange for this accountability, school leaders should be given the freedom to do whatever it takes to help students achieve and should share what works with the broader public school system so that all students benefit.

In the early 1990s, a small group of educators and policymakers came together to develop the charter school model. Minnesota’s legislature passed the first charter law in 1991, and the first charter school opened in 1992.

Why Charter Schools?

 All children should have the opportunity to achieve at a high level, and charter schools are meeting that need:

  • Charter schools are some of the top-performing schools in the country
  • Charter schools are closing the achievement gap by raising the bar of what’s possible – and what should be expected – in public education
  • A higher percentage of charter students are accepted into a college or university

How Do Charter Schools Work?

Charter schools foster a partnership between parents, teachers, and students. They create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are allowed to innovate, and students are provided the structure they need to learn. Some specific examples of how charter schools are working to improve student achievement include:

  • Adjusting curriculum to meet student needs. A charter school can break up the day to provide students with more time on the core subjects they need most. Charter school teachers have a say in the curriculum they teach and can change materials to meet students’ needs.
  • Creating a unique school culture. Charter schools build upon the core academic subjects by creating a school culture or adopting a theme. For example, charter schools may focus on Science Technology Engineering or Math (STEM) education, performing arts, college preparation, career readiness, language immersion, or meeting the needs of dyslexic students — just to name a few.
  • Developing next-generation learning models. Charter schools are rethinking the meaning of the word “classroom.” In Hawaii, students learn biology with the sky as their ceiling and the ocean as the classroom. Other schools combine online classroom time with classroom time in a physical school building. Excellent charter school networks like KIPP and Uncommon Schools are codifying how to develop an excellent teacher.

Purpose of Charter Schools

The purpose of “South Carolina Charter Schools Act of 1996” is to:

  1. Improve student learning
  2. Increase learning opportunities for students
  3. Encourage the use of a variety of productive teaching methods
  4. Establish new forms of accountability for schools
  5. Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site
  6. Assist South Carolina in reaching academic excellence
  7. Create new, innovative, and more flexible ways of educating children within the public school system, with the goal of closing achievement gaps between low-performing student groups and high-performing student groups

Who Can Sponsor a Charter School in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, applications to start new schools may be made to the following entities:

  • A local School District in which the proposed school is located
  • The South Carolina Public Charter School District
  • A public or independent institution of higher learning that is registered as a Sponsor with the South Carolina Department of Education

The South Carolina State Department of Education received the Charter Institute at Erskine’s registration to sponsor Charter Schools in May of 2017. The Charter Institute reviews applications for new charters, grants charters, and oversees the accountability and public stewardship of the schools in the Charter Institute.

To learn more, visit: http://www.publiccharters.org/get-the-facts/public-charter-schools/