Beaufort County's 'Promising Students Program' - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort County helps elementary students through PSP

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

Struggling elementary students in Beaufort County now have an opportunity to catch up before it's too late.

The county is trying out a new program that gives those students one-on-one instruction with curricula customized for each child.

The Promising Students Program at Joseph Shanklin Elementary School is designed to close the gap on any academic and behavioral issues students are facing before they reach the middle and high school level.

It's time to learn the divisibility rules in James Dunbar's class.

Dunbar is the lead teacher for the "Promising Students Program."

"There's some other issues, some underlying issues, behind the scenes that we're trying to get to the meat of," he said.

When a student enrolls in PSP, Dunbar uses their test scores to develop a curriculum based on their individual needs.

A behavioral management specialist also works closely with them on their social skills.

"We don't want the student to suffer academically but we do want the student to grow from a behavioral standpoint in such a way that if and when they do return to the regular classroom environment, they'll do so seamlessly," Gregory McCord, chief student services officer for the Beaufort County School District.

So far the Promising Students Program has one student enrolled with two more set to start soon.

The goal is to have no more than a dozen students to maintain the one-on-one classroom interaction.

"It's very challenging, it's very interesting…but it's all worth the while," said Dunbar.  

Once the Promising Students Program enrolls at least seven students, the district will hire a teacher's assistant to help with the program.

The Promising Students Program is currently available to elementary students in northern Beaufort County. The school district hopes to expand it throughout the county after the pilot program.

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