Ocean Drive Elementary is a quaint school that is bordered by homes on all sides. Our school is unique in so many ways to our staff, students, parents, and community. There are connections made to individuals dating back to the 1950's, when the school was originally built. Through numerous phases of construction, Ocean Drive Elementary has created a learning environment that currently had enrollment of approximately 700 plus during the COVID Pandemic. We are approximately ½ mile from the Atlantic Ocean and approximately ½ mile from the Intracoastal Waterway. We are only one of two elementary schools in the Horry County Schools District located within the city limits. Although we encompass all the City of North Myrtle Beach elementary students, we also extend north into Little River to include students all the way to the North Carolina state line east of Highway 17.
The City of North Myrtle Beach, in which the school is located, has a population of approximately 14,000 permanent residents and continues to grow. The median age is 58.3 in the city. Ocean Drive Elementary is not a Title I school, so we seek funding by writing grants, and partnering with businesses from our community. Community members support our school above and beyond through service, support, and giving.
Ocean Drive Elementary is a Preschool to Fifth Grade school with a diverse population. The school is unique in its relationship with our community. We pride ourselves on the use of technology in all grade levels and students participate in S.T.E.M. classes weekly. Our students in grades 3-5, participate in career surveys to help them start to look formulate an Academic Plan. Our daily goal is for our students to be productive citizens and contribute to society. Prior to COVID Pandemic protocol, Ocean Drive Elementary estimated 50 plus visits by volunteers or parents joining their child(ren) for lunch.
Ocean Drive Elementary received the prestigious recognition of National Blue Ribbon School 2020 this year. Although the protocol for gathering to celebrate was limited, Ocean Drive Elementary celebrated with a virtual national celebration, National Blue Ribbon School shirts and boxed lunches. We were very excited of this accolade that we shared with our district, parents, students, and staff.
One of the biggest challenges we face is a growing student population with very little physical space to grow. Another challenge is the large gap between poverty and wealth. Together, these two challenges are something we monitor in the classrooms as well as outside of the classrooms. Therefore, we work diligently with our advisory board and School Improvement Council to create solutions and find ways to increase student learning among these challenges. Once A Chief, Always A Chief.