Frequently Asked Questions about Langston
CHARTER SCHOOL QUESTIONS / ENROLLMENT
What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school governed by a board of directors elected by the parents of students and the school faculty. Charter schools provide an opportunity for the organization and operation of flexible, innovative, and substantially deregulated public schools. Charter schools must teach according to the South Carolina state curriculum standards and students are required to take all state-mandated assessments.
How is a charter school funded?
LCMS receives per pupil funding through the local school district. This funding is a combination of both state and local education dollars. Out of this allotment, the charter school must pay all of its expenses. Charter schools are responsible for their own facilities and payroll. The only materials supplied to a charter school are state-adopted textbooks. Langston Charter Middle School is classified as a public charity under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Do you charge tuition?
Charter schools may not charge tuition. They may charge fees normally assessed at other traditional public schools, such as fees for field trips or student planners.
What is the process for admission?
Refer to our detailed ENROLLMENT page for specific information. Please note: Langston is a choice and each family must decide if the school is a good fit for each child. The burden is on the parents to determine if this school is appropriate for their child. To that end, we hold Application Orientation Meetings prior to the enrollment lottery each year. The purpose of that meeting is to clearly explain the school program - what you should expect - what you should not. The dates and times of these meetings are published on the ENROLLMENT page of our school website. School tours are conducted in October.
SINGLE GENDER EDUCATION
Why Single Gender?
Boys and girls are different; they learn differently, their brains develop differently. In the single gender classroom, a teacher can teach to the strengths of his or her audience. Using what we know about how girls and boys learn, we can create an academic environment that will enhance the students' educational opportunities. For more on the science and research on single gender education visit www.singlesexschools.org.
In what ways do the boys and girls classes differ? Do the teachers teach the same material?
The boys and girls classes are held to the same academic standards. Teachers base their instruction on the South Carolina Education Standards. These can be viewed at http://ed.sc.gov/instruction/standards-learning/.
Classes may differ in the approach that is taken to meet the standards, but the same standards are taught to all students at each grade level. Boys and girls take the same tests. Rooms may be arranged differently, different novels may be selected for boys or girls, explanations may be stated differently, projects may be assigned to meet different areas of interest. The key is being able to work to the strengths of boys and girls while holding high learning expectations for both.
It is inappropriate to generalize and say "all boys learn better one way and all girls learn better another." However, there are strategies that tend to work well with each group in a single gender setting.
What is your discipline system?
Teachers are the administrators in their classrooms and are expected to set and enforce policies for appropriate school behavior. Behavior concerns are addressed first with the student and then to the parents. If there are continued concerns, the problem is referred to the administration.
Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning and their behavior. Actions which disrupt the learning environment can result in lunch detention, after-school detention/work detail, suspension from school, or other appropriate measures.
It has been our experience that parental support and reinforcement of school policies is a very effective solution to most behavior concerns.
What is the average class size?
Classes at Langston average 23 students per class.
What classes do you offer at Langston?
LCMS has a six period school day. Math, Science, English, Social Studies, and Spanish meet every day. P.E. and Leadership classes meet every other day.
All students are enrolled in an advanced mathematics curriculum. Sixth graders take either Math 6/7 or Math 6/7/8. Seventh graders take either Math 7/8 or Algebra I Honors. Eighth graders enroll in one of the following: Math 8, Algebra I Honors, or Geometry I Honors.
Qualified eighth graders may be recommended for English I Honors.
In keeping with the school's academic focus, all classes are designed to provide a challenging educational experience for our students.
Do you offer any advanced or Honors classes?
All 8th graders take Spanish I for high school credit. Students who qualify may take Algebra I Honors and Geometry I Honors for high school credit. We also offer English I Honors for high school credit to eighth graders who qualify.
What standardized tests are required at Langston?
All students are required to take state-mandated assessments.
Science and Social Studies are tested with the SCPASS and ELA and Mathematics are tested with the SCReady on a schedule determined by the state.
All students take the NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test in the fall and again in the spring of each year. MAP testing is computer-based and the results provide valuable feedback to teachers as they plan standards-based instructional units.
Do you offer after-school help if a student is struggling in a class?
Students are expected to pay attention and work diligently in class on a daily basis. For those needing extra help, teacher office hours are held every Friday after school. These sessions are meant to reinforce recent classroom instruction and help students as they prepare for upcoming assessments. Students are expected to let teachers know by Thursday if they are staying for help on Friday afternoon.
Teachers are in their classrooms after dismissal until 2:45. Students may visit one or two teachers for 30 minutes to 1 hour of additional assistance. Teachers expect students to come with specific questions so the time can be spent productively.
What is the Homework policy?
Homework is assigned, as needed, by all teachers. It is meant to be a review or practice of material presented in class. It may also be assigned as an introduction to a new topic.
Homework must be turned in on time for credit to be received.
Sixth grade students often go through an adjustment period with middle school work levels - adjusting to changing classes, having a different teacher for each subject, etc. This almost always works itself out by the end of the first quarter as students adapt and learn new routines. Parents can help by providing structure and support at home for homework. Helping keep backpacks and folders clean and organized, providing a quiet workspace, and helping students pace themselves with short- and long-term assignments are all valuable strategies to employ.
Is Langston meeting it's academic goals?
Every year since opening in 2005, Langston has met and surpassed performance goals that are part of state and federal accountability criteria.
What qualifications and training do teachers at Langston have?
Our teachers are certified by the state of South Carolina as required by law. Once certified, teachers continue their education with additional coursework and attendance at educational conferences to renew their credentials every 5 years.
Twenty-one of our twenty-six teachers have master’s degrees in education.
In addition to their educational credentials, all teachers participate in ongoing professional development to enhance their skills and knowledge for working in a single-gender environment. The faculty has attended workshops and conferences, both in-state and out, to meet with nationally recognized experts in the field. We also network with teachers across the state, sharing ideas, strategies, and insights into working with all boys or all girls classes. Our teachers share ideas with one another here and work together to build their resources. They are frequently called upon to present at state and national conferences.
Why is a uniform required?
The uniform helps students focus on education instead of "fashion" during the school day. Students are able to stand out by what they do and what they know instead of what they wear. The value of school uniforms is addressed in our Core Values Statement.
What is the uniform?
All students must wear the approved uniform in order to attend class at Langston. Please refer to our UNIFORM PAGE for detailed information.
Assistance is available to any family needing help purchasing school uniforms.
What are your school hours?
Monday - Thursday, 8:30 AM to 3:15 PM. Friday, 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
Students may arrive as early at 7:45 AM. They are expected to be picked up from school within a half hour of dismissal.
An after-school program is available until 5:45PM. In the after-school program, Langston teachers work with students on homework and other studies. The after-school program is limited in size and fills on a first come, first served basis.
Do you follow the Greenville County School Calendar?
We follow the Greenville County Schools academic calendar with few exceptions. We generally follow the GCS inclement weather closure/delay decisions. Any differences will be communicated directly or on WYFF Channel 4.
Do you have after school clubs or sports?
Langston is a member of the Carolina Middle School Conference. Students may also try out for teams at their zoned schools if the sport is not offered at Langston. For more detail about sports, visit the Athletics page of the website.
All clubs are parent-led and may vary yearly as parent and student interests change. Students will learn more about club opportunities throughout the year.
What are the community service requirements?
All students are required, as part of their Leadership class, to participate in community service activities. Sixth graders must complete 10 hours per quarter. Seventh graders complete 12 and eighth graders must complete 15 hours per quarter. While students discuss community service opportunities in class, they are responsible for making sure they complete these hours outside of school time. More information about community service activities can be found on the Leadership teacher’s webpages.
If there's no cafeteria, what do the students do for lunch?
Lunchtime at Langston gives students a chance to go outside, eat at picnic tables, and get some fresh air. Students either bring lunch from home or order a Take Out Lunch from one of four local vendors. Students must bring a lunch on Fridays
Take Out Lunches are pre-ordered and paid for on line. Mondays though Thursdays parent volunteers join our staff to organize and serve lunch.
What kind of field trips do the students go on during the year?
Students have the option of participating in the YMCA Youth in Government trip to the State Legislature in the fall and the Model UN conference in the spring. Eighth graders go to Washington DC in October. Other field trips may be scheduled if deemed appropriate by the teachers.