Gregg Middle School (GMS), located in a suburban area of Summerville, SC, is one of six middle schools in Dorchester School District Two. Seventy-two highly qualified teachers (68% with advance degrees), along with four administrators, four school counselors who are each certified as career development facilitators, a full-time nurse, school psychologist, resource officer, instructional technologist specialist and a full-time mental health counselor currently serve an increasing population of approximately 1,236 students in grades 6-8. A low turnover rate of faculty and staff (84% returning) allow teachers to get to know their students and their families.
Dorchester County is a rapidly growing, socially, and economically diverse area with both urban and rural settings. Its residents include both long-time residents, as well as “transplants” that move to the area because of the success and tradition of its schools; the quality of its neighborhoods; as well as the area’s charm and history. The attendance area that it serves is one of the largest in the district among middle schools and contains both urban and rural neighborhoods. About 65% of the students are white, about 31% are African American, 2% are Hispanic and about 2% other. The students represent a large socio-economic spectrum with approximately 48% qualifying for free or reduced meals. Every school faces its share of challenges. With the enrollment growth and impact of the pandemic we have experienced at GMS over the last several years, the challenge has been to maintain a student/teacher ratio that encourages success in a safe learning environment.
Our mission statement is “Gregg Middle School exists to provide an environment that is safe and conducive to learning. Together, every day and in every way, we help all students reach their potential in all aspects of learning.” This was created in a collaborative effort by the entire faculty and staff. It is that same spirit of collaboration that has led GMS to the success we have experienced. Planning times are coordinated and protected, so that our teachers can work together to create lessons that both engage and challenge our students. Communication with parents and the community has improved through the use of our school’s website, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google messenger, PTSA, School Improvement Council and weekly phone messages/text messages, Facebook, parent/community events, and email messages. GMS also has a strong school motto, “Success Is the Only Option.” It is displayed prominently throughout the school, on the website, and on “spirit wear” that is purchased by students, parents, faculty and staff.
Our school has a clear vision. “The Gregg Middle school community will provide a safe, structured learning environment to promote high expectations for student achievement and character development to encourage success.” As GMS has made academic gains and earned acclaim, our stakeholders have embraced our mission, motto, and vision. Several programs and services have contributed directly to the school’s success. Our school executes MAP testing and other benchmarks in all subject areas at all grade levels, and then debriefing occurs through PLC’s to identify performance strengths and weaknesses. Our Read-to-Succeed (R2S) School Literacy Plan has been implemented to improve reading and writing across the curriculum. GMS has various math intervention and enrichment programs, such as geometry (for high school credit), and Math 180.
Students benefit from technology driven by our one-to-one instructional technology model, as well as utilizing Smart boards, Chromebooks, HP Streams, wireless internet, and Senteo clickers. Teachers offer daily tutoring. For students struggling to achieve academic success, a Student Support Team (SST) meets to develop interventions and to determine potential learning disabilities. We also have our Gear-Up Program that monitors all students in the areas of Attendance, Academics, and Behavior. This program is designed to identify students who may be struggling in one or more of the areas listed above and provide specific interventions to help with those deficits. We offer after school tutoring through the Gear-Up Program for all students.
Gregg is a Capturing Kids’ Hearts school. We believe in fostering positive relationships that drive the development of healthy social skills while growing in all aspects of life. The Capturing Kids’ Hearts processes puts the social-emotional wellbeing of every member of our school community first. We are also a PBIS school. Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a nationally recognized program that helps create safe and more effective schools. Through PBIS, teachers and other school staff are taught to focus on improving the ability to teach and support positive behavior for all students. PBIS includes schoolwide procedures and processes to help all students and staff in classroom and non-classroom settings. This process also focuses on those students that present the most challenging behaviors. The most important aspect of PBIS is that it is a team-based process, centered around problem-solving, planning and evaluation. Students participate in a school-wide incentive program, PBIS Points. Students are rewarded for good behavior, character, and grades through a point system, which earn them special privileges. We also provide other incentives (Self-Guided) Goal Program that empowers all students to take ownership of their own learning.
GMS is an active participant in the Tri-County Quest competition, State Math Counts Competition, State Chemistry Challenge, District and Regional Spelling Bee, SPAWAR Dimension U Competition, The State Vex Competition, District Robotics FLL Competition, and other academic competitions. We always win or compete for state supremacy.
GMS has enjoyed great success with its athletic and performing arts programs. The recent success includes our girl’s-basketball team earning the District Champ Title in the spring of 2022, and our wrestling team earning the district and state recognition for sending students to the state finals. Our chorus, band, steel drums, and orchestra have competed at the highest level in our state and received superior ratings in all competitions.
Nine eighth graders earned state recognition as SC Junior Scholars for the 2021-2022 school year.
Over half of the eighth-grade student body are currently enrolled in high school credit courses. Additionally, approximately 8% of seventh graders are enrolled in a high school credit course.
We are currently working to close the gap between Caucasian and African-American students in the areas of math and ELA. We also are continuing to increase the number of students participating in high school credit courses and decrease the number of academically and behaviorally “at risk” students. GMS is actively expanding our mentoring and Fine Arts programs.
Finally, we are actively working through our Reade-to-Succeed (R2S) Plan to increase parent participation in both PTSA, SIC and school-wide activities. The local chapter of Trident United Way and other organizations like the Eagle Scouts, Elks Club, US Navy, local fraternities, engineering groups, church groups and Girl Scouts have volunteered to beautify our campus by painting and landscaping.