Why Choose PALS for my child?

 No tuition – It is FREE, just like every public school 
                  * High expectations for ALL students
                  * More gifted and talented instructional time 
                  * Parental involvement is always welcomed 
                  * Low student to teacher ratios (only 18 students per class)
                  * Science and technology labs
                  * Small school environment – where each child is treated as an individual
                  * Exposure to art, music, theater, field trips, guest speakers, community service projects, and much more
                  * Sports and clubs available for students
                  * Great location near Market Common
                  * On–site before and after school care available


Frequently Asked Questions

What special areas will be offered for my child?
PALS students will participate in art, music, and technology classes weekly. Every student will also receive physical education or health instruction twice each week.

What advance class options are available for my middle school student at PALS?
Currently our middle school students are on an accelerated track that fosters both a love for learning and rigorous curriculum. Students find PALS challenging yet exciting.  For example, PALS current math track includes Pre-Algebra Honors (6th), Algebra I Honors (7th), and Geometry Honors (8th).  

Will there be sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities available?
Students will have many co- curricular options available to them, such as: sports, clubs, and theater productions.  PALS is part of a well-established local intramural league, offering students a chance to experience age-appropriate competition and demonstrate good sportsmanship skills.

Does PALS use state standards and will the students still participate in end of the year testing like traditional public schools?
All PALS students will receive instruction on the grade-appropriate SC state standards. Students who have mastered grade-specific standards will also receive enrichment instruction above and beyond SC state standards.  

Students enrolled at PALS will be required to take the exact same end of the year testing as all other public schools.  Requiring our students to take these tests ensures that PALS maintains high standards of learning for all students, and is one of the ways that PALS demonstrates its accountability for a quality program of instruction to the SC Department of Education.

Are the teachers at PALS qualified?
Each classroom teacher at PALS will be certified and highly qualified. Many PALS’ teachers also hold additional endorsements, such as: gifted and talented and reading specialist. 

My child has been identified as gifted and talented, what will you do to foster his or her critical thinking skills?
PALS has been developed with the fundamental belief of providing an individualized educational experience for each student. Students identified as gifted and talented will have gifted and talented instruction incorporated into their daily lessons, as well as, have enrichment time with a certified gifted and talented teacher to pursue higher-level thinking activities. To clarify, gifted and talented students will receive enhanced instruction, not simply be asked to complete additional work!

Will the students wear school uniforms?
PALS’ students will wear uniforms to minimize distractions and increase the community feel within the everyday learning environment.  

How will a small and individualized learning environment be created?
To ensure a small and personalized environment, PALS will have only two classes per grade level and each class will have no more than eighteen students. 

What are the benefits of a small school size?
The major benefits found from small school size include: students often learn better, violence and behavior problems decrease, attendance is higher, the creation of strong personal bonds, the increase of parent and community involvement, improved teacher working conditions and job satisfaction, and an increase in extracurricular participation. A small school size also creates a learning environment where parents and other family members feel welcome and become more involved in their school community. It allows parents to take on roles of responsibility and decision-making regarding their child’s educational experience.

What are the benefits of small class sizes and low teacher/student ratios?
Compelling evidence demonstrates that reducing class size has a positive effect on student achievement overall. Smaller classes also tend to have fewer discipline problems and the students engage in more pro-social behavior, allowing teachers to devote more time to instruction and less to controlling class behavior. For their part, students are more likely to be on task and engaged in the learning process in smaller classes.

In addition, small class sizes allow teachers and staff to get to know each child and focus on his or her individual gifts, talents, and special needs. More teacher-student interaction also allows teachers to recognize the needs of individual students and customize instruction and assignments accordingly. A teacher who is familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student is able to provide a tailored educational program utilizing each student’s strengths to provide enrichment activities to overcome his or her areas of deficit.

What other innovative strategies will be used to educate my child?

  • Integration of the arts into the curriculum     
  • Focus on technology
  • Social and emotional development
  • Health and fitness standards 
  • Hands- on learning
  • Participation in co-curricular activities
  • Participation in community service projects

Is my child eligible to attend PALS?
PALS is open to any student who is eligible to attend a regular Horry County traditional school in kindergarten through eighth grade. If the number of applications exceeds the capacity of the program, a lottery will be held so that each child has a fair chance of enrollment.

As a parent, how will I be involved in my child’s education at PALS?
Parent involvement is strongly encouraged.  All parents will be able to participate in the school community in a way that works for and is comfortable for their family. The following are examples of opportunities for parent involvement:

  • Electing the Board of Directors
  • Seeking a position on the Board of Directors
  • Attending and/or participating in family activities, such as:  family reading nights, school plays, talent shows
  • Participating in fund-raising efforts
  • Attending parent- teacher conferences
  • Volunteering to help a teacher with a special project or activity
  • Attending field trips as a chaperone
  • Participating in parent workshops or focus groups
  • Sharing any special skill or talent that you possess in a way that meaningfully contributes to the students and school