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Charter school transfer to Erskine approved

Following a Nov. 30 meeting with the South Carolina Public Charter School District, Royal Live Oaks Academy in Hardeeville received permission to transfer to the Charter Institute at Erskine, according to Royal Live Oaks Executive Director Karen Wicks.

“It’s a great day for the children of Jasper County and Royal Live Oaks,” Wicks said following the approval. “We look forward to increasing opportunities for our students.”

The school campus remains in Hardeeville and the college will work along with the school. Daily operations at the charter school will remain the responsibility of the local administration.

Wicks said during a prior interview the change in authorizer will offer many benefits to the school’s students and staff that are not available to the school through the charter district.

Four other schools also received approval, including Gray Collegiate Academy in West Columbia, Oceanside Collegiate Academy in Mount Pleasant, Coastal Leadership Academy in Socastee and Mevers School of Excellence in Goose Creek.

“We are thankful that this stage of the transfer of Royal Live Oaks to the Charter Institute at Erskine is behind us,” Chief Executive Officer of the Charter Institute at Erskine Cameron Runyan said. “We will now begin the nuts and bolts process of preparing to physically migrate the school’s oversight and support infrastructure to the Charter Institute.”

Runyan said the changeover process would take several months and would formally be completed on July 1, which is the start of the fiscal year.

“We are very excited about working with Royal Live Oaks,” he said. “Karen Wicks and her team are proving that with hard work and proper approach, it is possible to make a phenomenal impact in one of the most disadvantaged areas of our state. In the coming months, we will work with Royal Live Oaks to identify areas where the Charter Institute can help amplify the great work the school is already accomplishing.”

Erskine College is in Due West, about 180 miles north of Hardeeville. It is a higher education authorizer which registered as a charter school sponsor with the state earlier this year.

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