Greenville County Schools – Greenville Area Development Corporation

Overview of the District

Greenville County Schools was awarded district-wide National Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, recognizing it as a high quality school district.  The District is a State leader in school choice, featuring schools of various sizes in urban, suburban and rural settings, and magnet academies offering specialized studies in areas such as communications arts, languages, the arts, and science and mathematics. About 15% of the almost 76,900 students take advantage of school choice to match their needs and interests.  Graduation rates are 86.8%.  To view other key statistics, please visit Greenville County Schools – Stats, Reports, Etc.

However what truly sets Greenville County Schools apart nationally is its Graduation Plus program designed to ensure graduates are college or career ready.  In 2019, graduates earned over 16,000 hours of college credit and over 2100 Industry Certifications.  Watch the brief video to learn more.

Key Facts Include:

  • With 76,900 students, the Greenville County School District is the largest in the state and 44th largest in the nation.  There are 101 schools and centers in the District.
  • The District has earned National Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission.
  • 684 teachers are National Board Certified Teachers (more than 24 states).
  • About 15% of students attend school on “choice.”
  • The graduation rate of 86.8% has increased 20% (14.4 percentage points) since 2012.
  • The class of 2016 received $121.7 million in college scholarships.
  • Eleven Magnet Academies provide a strong core curriculum enhanced with extensive course work in one of the following disciplines: academic excellence, communication arts, fine arts, international studies, languages, mathematics, engineering technology and health professions, law, finance and business, science and technology, and traditional studies.
  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is available at four high schools and includes an internationally recognized college preparatory degree program.
  • Unique learning experiences are offered at the A.J. Whittenberg School of Engineering, the Fine Arts Center, Roper Mountain Science Center, and the Sterling School with Charles Townes Gifted Center.
  • The District is a recipient of the Kennedy Center/National School Boards Association Award for Support of the Arts in Education.
  • Thirteen schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the United States Department of Education.
  • Twenty-one schools have been awarded the “Palmetto’s Finest Award,” presented annually to South Carolina’s top schools.
  • Forty-eight schools have been named “Red Carpet Schools,” an annual Customer Friendly Award.  Twenty-eight schools are PTA National Schools of Excellence.
  • Greenville County has a nationally recognized building program.
  • Nine of 14 Public High Schools in Greenville County plus the Governor’s School for Art and Humanities were named Newsweek’s Best High Schools.
  • A low administrative cost of 1.5 cents per dollar maximizes funding for instruction and support of students.

District Highlights and Specialized Programs

Recognizing that jobs in today’s workforce require more than a high school education, Greenville County Schools is committed to graduating students with a diploma, plus a technical certification and/or college credit. Graduation Plus is a district-wide initiative from pre-K through high school to ensure all students are career and college ready.

Eleven Magnet Academies offer unique educational choices to the students of Greenville County.  Magnet schools offer specialized curriculum in languages, math, science and technology, communication arts, international studies, traditional studies, engineering, and health professions.

The Charles Townes Gifted Center provides gifted and talented students in grades 3 thru 8 with a highly challenging, full-time instructional program that enriches, accelerates, and extends the program of studies in Greenville County Schools.

A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School is the most technologically advanced elementary school in Greenville County. The innovation is apparent in many ways – from its downtown location on the Reedy River, to the partnership with the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, to the learning emphasis as an engineering school.

The Roper Mountain Science Center offers hands-on learning experiences in the sciences.  The 62-acre Center offers science education programs, nature trails, a sea life center, an observatory, and a planetarium.  The Observatory features a 23” refractor telescope, the eighth largest of its kind in the nation.

Because the Center is a facility of the School District of Greenville County, the primary program participants are the county’s school children.  Programs in all areas of science correlate to the science curriculum of the District and provide reinforcement for concepts studied in the classroom.

The Fine Arts Center of Greenville County is the first public fine arts school in South Carolina, established in 1974.  Students apply to the Center and are selected on the basis of talent, interest, motivation, and commitment to their discipline and are able to study theatre, dance, visual arts, music, music engineering, creative writing, and digital film making.  Each year over 400 students attend the Fine Arts Center and, of that number, over 95 percent go on to higher education.

Greenville County Schools offers the full range of K-12 IB continuum: Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma. The K-12 IB sequence of study is offered in four different geographical areas of the county. With the exception of Beck Middle Academy and Southside High (Middle Years/Diploma), all other IB schools primarily serve their home-based populations. All students in grades K-5 though 10 enrolled in an IB school automatically participate in the program.  No screening or testing is required.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (DP) is a comprehensive, rigorous, international curriculum, leading to examinations, for students in grades 11 and 12. It provides students of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds with the intellectual, social, and critical perspectives necessary for the world that lies ahead of them. Students who successfully complete the requirements for this program earn the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma. In the United States, the IB is valued as an honors program which leads to advanced standing and college credits at the world’s finest colleges and universities.

Four career technology centers offer a variety of of courses that prepare students for postsecondary  training or the workforce. Students takes these courses as electives and attend for half days. The centers offer over 85 courses including Automotive Technology, Automotive Collision Repair, Cosmetology, Early Childhood Education, Graphic Design, Health Science, Mechatronics, Culinary Arts, BioMedical Science, Agricultural Education, and Welding.

A variety of non-traditional offerings are available including credit recovery, Twilight High School and Virtual School.

  • Die Deutsche Schule Spartanburg operates Saturday classes at USC Upstate for German-speaking students.
  • Ecole Francaise in Greenville teaches children of Greenville’s native-speaking French Monday through Friday in such subjects as math, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, German, French, Spanish, and English.
  • The Greenville Area Japanese Saturday School draws students from throughout the Upstate.
  • The Chinese School meets on Sunday afternoons providing opportunities for children to learn the Chinese language and cultural arts.

Would you like to learn even more about the Greenville area?

Please feel free to reach out to GADC today, or learn more about living in Greenville.