The School District of Greenville County (Greenville County Schools) is helping all students develop the world-class knowledge and skills and personal characteristics of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by connecting students to engaging classes and meaningful experiences. Our vision is that students are inspired, supported, and prepared for their next opportunities in life, education, and employment. In doing so, we provide diverse opportunities for individual growth and development through an emphasis on project-based learning and the implementation of innovative courses in the arts, architecture, engineering, industry, business, law, agriculture, health science, and more.
Our Graduation Plus initiative encourages every GCS student to cross the graduation stage with a diploma PLUS college credit and/or industry certification in hand. Graduation Plus connects students to the 16 career clusters identified in the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) by enhancing relevance and rigor at all levels. As a result, the district has a robust 4K program and works closely with community partners to ensure school readiness for all students in Greenville County. Elementary schools are focusing on building a sound foundation in basic disciplines and increasing students’ exposure to a variety of careers and to the connection between education and career choices. At the middle level, enhanced academic rigor through an expansion of high school offerings is paired with greater exposure to career and college opportunities and an introduction to the career clusters. High school students are using specialized software and the IGP process to customize their schedules around potential college and/or career paths, and we have programs to connect them with work-based learning opportunities with business and industry partners, including paid internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing. These efforts are creating graduates who finish high school with a vocational/technical certificate, an advanced technical certification, completion of freshman-level college courses, or in some cases, significant progress toward a specific college degree (currently engineering, architecture, fiber arts, and K-12 education). Expanded dual-credit and AP options across the District provide opportunities for students to prove themselves in college-level courses while still in high school, and helps families save on the cost of college. Career and Technical Education offerings have been expanded both in our high schools and at our career centers and are seeing record enrollments, both in traditional offerings such as welding, cosmetology, and culinary arts as well as in newer programs such as health professions, mechatronics, and computer-integrated manufacturing. GCS is a member of the New Tech Network, providing a school-within-a-school New Tech program at J.L. Mann High Academy and school-wide programs at Carolina High Academy and Greenville Early College. Additionally, our district was a leader in advocating for the new statewide Employability Credential for special needs students who are not candidates for a SC High School Diploma.
Our district is a unified system covering more than 800 square miles with 49 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 2 K-8 schools, 15 high schools, and 18 special schools, centers, and child development centers. The District has a student-population of more than 74,000, which ranks as the 46th largest in the nation, and a significant percentage of our students take advantage of school choice to match their needs and interests. Choice is driven in part by thriving magnet schools, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs, STEAM/engineering-focused schools, career and technical education centers, a Fine Arts Center, a robust 100% virtual program, and other schools with specific programmatic or delivery designs.
The District’s focus on learning and increased rigor has resulted in an overall steady increase in the markers used to define success, including SAT, ACT, state testing, performance on nationally normed tests such as ITBS, and the graduation rate, which is currently at 86.1%. Additionally, the Class of 2020 scored above the national average on the SAT and claimed $152 million in scholarship offers. For more information on Greenville County Schools, visit www.greenville.k12.sc.us.