If you live in the Charleston area, you have probably heard of Wando High School, the only public high school in Mount Pleasant as well as the largest schools in Charleston County School District. Originally located at the intersection of Mathis Ferry and Whipple Road, Wando High School moved to a 100-acre campus in upper Mount Pleasant in 2004, next door to the Carolina Park development. More than 3,450 students attend Wando High School and the schools has received many accolades over the years in several areas, from academics to music.
For example, as of the 2013-2014 school year, about 103 students were named AP scholars. Wando was also selected as a PRIME school, which is a national honor given to just 25 institutions with above-average instructors, engaged students, exemplary curriculum and support from the staff and surrounding community. Meanwhile, the Wando marching band has been awarded eight state championships in a row, not to mention finishing in the top 12 of the Bands of America Grand National Championship.
Academically speaking, students at Wando are asked to choose a "cluster of study" as part of their framework of curriculum. The main framework is designed to help Wando students experience an efficient transition from high school into either the real world or post-secondary education. Different clusters of study include "majors' such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Transportation, Distribution and Logistics; plus many others.
Students are asked, with the help of counseling, to choose an area of study by their sophomore year at Wando - though they are not forcibly committed to that program of study and can change at any time. However, this does encourage students to focus their courses and electives on a specific future goal. parents too, are encouraged to become involved with the programs of study by offering their time as volunteers. Tutors, field trip guides and guest speakers are needed regularly.
For students who are looking for real-world experience, the Wando Warrior Store offers such an opportunity on campus. The store sells items such as clothing, snacks and school supplies. Academic credit, rather than monetary compensation, is awarded to students for their hard work.
Though many of the Wando students are fortunate to have what they need in terms of clothing, school supplies and other items necessary during their educational journey, some are not. The Wando Dreamweavers organization is an in-house charity funded by parents, community members and administrators, for the benefit of these less fortunate students. Dreamweavers is now in its fourth year and has made quite a difference for students in need.
And of course, the students at Wando have a unique relationship with the East Cooper community. Drive around Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island during football season and you'll see the phrase "Go Warriors!" displayed on the signs of local businesses.