Waccamaw Elementary School is located just outside of Conway, South Carolina and is a part of the Carolina Forest attendance area. The school served approximately 995 students in grades Pre-K through fifth grade in the 2021-22 school year. Currently, approximately 51% of WES students are Caucasian, 21% Black or African American, 17% Hispanic/Latino, 1% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 10% two or more races. The WES poverty rate is 75.82%.
Our school is helping all students develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Currently Waccamaw Elementary School has 79 Professional staff members who work diligently to ensure growth for all students at WES. As WES has increased in size, positions have been added and approximately 18% of our teachers have completed their first year of teaching in 2021-22.
The mission of Waccamaw Elementary School, a diverse and growing community of unique individuals, is to ensure that each child will experience optimal social, emotional, academic, and physical success through a challenging and progressive child-centered educational program in a safe and healthy learning environment.
The vision of Waccamaw Elementary is to be a premier, world-class school in which every student acquires an excellent education. Our school will be a welcoming center organized around high-quality teaching and learning. Our vision is guided by a set of beliefs that serve as the foundation for all of our efforts.
Foremost, we believe that our purpose is to develop the potential of each student and ensure that all students become productive members of their community, able to adapt to a diverse, ever-changing world. We also believe that we have the obligation to challenge every student to meet higher academic standards than his/her current level. In order to accomplish this, we believe that our students deserve exceptional and passionate staff, who share our core values. Our core values are:
• We put service to students above all else.
• We take responsibility for the success of all students.
• We care passionately about our work with children.
• We build strong positive relationships with students, staff, parents, and community.
• We model and promote civility and integrity.
At Waccamaw Elementary we foster a culture of LISTENERS, LEARNERS and LEADERS to become contributing members of our community and society. We strive to demonstrate The Waccamaw Way, every day. Waccamaw Elementary staff focus heavily on developing and continuing relationships with students, families and the community. In addition, Waccamaw Elementary partners with Coastal Carolina University to provide unique opportunities for mentor support, and one-on-one instructional support from CCU students. We have a variety of community partnerships which include work with local service clubs such as the Rotary, Rotaract and Kiwanis. The Rotary Club provides items and funding for our clothes closet, used to support students and families in need. Waccamaw Elementary School participates in events such as Jump Rope for Heart and Relay for Life. Our active Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) sponsors activities throughout the year such as a Field Day, Family Arts Night, and the 5th grade Drive End of Year DriveThrough Clap Out and Celebration. In addition, WES partners with Black Water Middle School to have the middle school principal and staff, to include school counselors, jointly share middle school transition information with parents via a special parent/student program. WES also partners with Carolina Forest High School. The CFHS show choir participates in school events and CFHS seniors hold a “Senior Walk” through the halls of WES where seniors wear caps and gowns and our WES students celebrate their accomplishments. These events foster community and cluster area collaboration and help families focus on the long-range goal of high school graduation. WES takes pride in student success and the relationships that are built with our community.
We are supported by our School Improvement Council, PTO, and various community organizations. Our School Improvement Council meets regularly to discuss the academic progress of our school and to discuss parental involvement activities and community support for school events. Parent Workshops are held throughout the school year to provide parents with information about the curriculum and strategies to help students at home. We have had great participation in events such as: virtual STEM/literacy make & take sessions, Family Literacy Camp Out, and 5th grade end of year celebratory events.
Our school is helping all students develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by providing opportunities that challenge students in the areas of academic, personal, physical, and social development. Driven by SC State Standards, our staff provides a rigorous curriculum that includes opportunities for acceleration, remediation, and enrichment through small group instruction, intervention and the gifted/ talented program. Students in all grades have access to digital devices throughout the school day. 4th and 5th grade students are provided opportunities to explore colleges and careers during our “College Exploration Day,” while our K-3rd graders participate in a special career day with community helpers.
The school wide management system at Waccamaw Elementary is centered around our wildcat mascot and focuses on our school wide motto of “The Waccamaw Way: Listeners, Learners and Leaders”. The faculty and staff of Waccamaw Elementary understand that it takes an entire school community working together to create student success. We expect our students to help create a positive, safe, and nurturing learning environment for all members of our school. To accomplish this, we focus on character education through instruction of life skills. Students are recognized and rewarded bi-weekly for exhibiting life skills and celebrations are held intermittently. Students have the opportunity to earn individual, class and school incentives, including our Wildcat Wagon prizes. This mobile prize store is taken around to each classroom on a rotation. Our staff works diligently to help students reach their full potential and we are extremely proud of them. Students are recognized for their accomplishments and work daily to demonstrate “The Waccamaw Way” at Waccamaw Elementary. This year we have continued our implementation of an explicit,direct social emotional learning program and we strive to support students as they apply this learning throughout all of the instructional day and beyond.
Our teachers grow and work together by participating in professional development activities and focusing on instructional strategies to improve student achievement. Using grade-level collaborative planning time, teachers, coaches and administrators develop strategies for addressing student weaknesses, enriching the learning process and challenging students. We are committed to promoting a school environment conducive to learning and growing together. Establishing and maintaining a focus and connection to yearly school-wide goals helps us achieve this. Our goals for 2021-22 were 1) Relationships, 2) Intentionality and 3) Powerful Task Design. Our school year theme was DARE to DREAM. Our focus is on helping students achieve their highest potential.
Leslie S. Huggins, Principal
Hayley Seasor, School Improvement Council (SIC) Chairperson