CCU hopes to bring ‘innovative-lab school’ to downtown Myrtle Beach

CCU hopes to bring ‘innovative-lab school’ to downtown Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Downtown Myrtle Beach could be the home to a new kind of school.

The Coastal Carolina Board of Trustees approved a motion last week to establish a memorandum of understanding with the city of Myrtle Beach to develop a K-8 innovative-lab school.

“The primary intent is to serve as an incubator for new ideas and as an effective teacher training vehicle for pre-service teachers,” according to a CCU news release.

CCU Provost Daniel Ennis said it would be a school with a diverse student body and there would be no more than a couple of hundred students.

“What we’re excited about is there’s a range of ways of learning, there’s a range of ways to teach. And when you have a lab school, for example, in a kindergarten, you can discuss with the students a multitude of ways you can teach a 5-year-old basic math. Or the multiple ways to teach a student reading text,” Ennis said.

Ennis said the First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach along Kings Highway is a possible location for the Myrtle Beach Innovative-Lab School. He said it’s not known if this location is chosen whether or not the school would open within the old church.

“Whether that’s renovations or new construction, that’s a conversation we would have with the city just like the one we had about the theater. What makes the most sense financially. What makes the most sense for the outcome of the building," Ennis said.

Ennis believes being innovative now when it comes to learning is going to pave the future way of education and that path starts with the youngest of students.

“Some of the interesting things that are going on in K-12 education are happening at the elementary and middle level and the lab school might be a place where we can explore a few of those things," Ennis said.

The hope is to attract a diverse student body to the kindergarten through 8th-grade school but it’s not known who will be able to apply to the school.

“That process is down the road, but certainly we are going to do everything we can to provide equal and appropriate access. Since it’s in the city of Myrtle Beach, that application process is going to be a little bit different than a public school in normal respects," Ennis said.

Ennis said funding for the school wouldn’t be too different from a standard school.

“That funding comes from the same property taxes you pay for public schools. But typically and we expect certainly in this case, because of what we will offer, there will have to be some extra funding. This will likely come from fundraising,” Ennis said.

This school will also be a way for student-teachers and professors to work together to improve their methods within the classroom.

“To have a lab school allows us to set up studies and collect data from a group of students we can get to know," Ennis said.

Again, the proposed school is still in the very early stages but it could mean big change to not only the school system but also to the downtown area in Myrtle Beach.

We’ll keep you updated as more details become known.

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