Montana Ferrell was a good student. But like many, he wrestled with math — a hurdle made even higher by the Covid pandemic and the lack of access to in-person support from teachers.
A second semester senior at a traditional high school, he had only one class left to graduate: Probability and Statistics. He failed the course on his first attempt, then came up short again in summer school.
“Math has always been a struggle subject for me,” he says. “I just felt hopeless for a while. I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’ ”
Then his mother found out about the newly opened Lowcountry Acceleration Academy, a free, public charter school that works in partnership with the South Carolina Public Charter School District to offer a personalized curriculum for students who have met frustration in traditional schools. Central to that approach is as much one-on-one coaching as a young learner needs.
Montana says math content coach Sarah Aquino provided a lifeline, sitting down with him on campus and via Zoom to patiently help him to mastery.
“She’s amazing,” says Montana, 18. “She was always there to help me when I had a question.”
Fueled by that support and his own hard work, Montana successfully completed the math course and recently became Lowcountry’s first graduate.
In addition to the academic coaching, Montana says he enjoyed the relaxed but studious atmosphere at the academy. He also appreciated the ability to work at his own pace, even as he was also working 20-30 hours each week at a restaurant in North Charleston’s Park Circle district.
“I’m definitely thankful for this place,” he says. “They care about each person’s individual success and goals. That’s the first thing they let you know in the orientation — they want you to ‘Own Your Success.’ ”
Want to pursue your high school diploma in the powerfully personalized way that has worked for Montana and hundreds of other students? Check out the Lowcountry Acceleration Academy page to find out how you can #OwnYourSuccess.