Plus, pride month coming up
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Today’s Forecast

57° | Sunny | 7% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:21 a.m. | Sunset 5:27 p.m. | High tide 1:30 p.m. | Low tides 7:39 a.m. + 7:55 p.m.

This new, tuition-free school gives students an alternative pathway
Young woman using laptop at home
This virtual school is designed for students facing challenges or barriers in a traditional school setting. | Photo provided by Heron Virtual Academy of South Carolina
There are now more options when it comes to how high school students in our state receive an education. The Heron Virtual Academy of South Carolina (HVASC) is a new, tuition-free option for alternative, online education serving students in grades 9-12.

The school allows students to earn their high school diplomas on the pathway that is best for them. Students at HVASC receive an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP), aka a unique curriculum created specifically for each student that caters to their individual interests, academic strengths, challenges, and post-secondary planning.

“Our mission at HVASC is to be the solution for parents, students and families who have felt left behind or forgotten. We believe that all students deserve the opportunity to attend a school that believes in the possibilities of what they can achieve,” said David Crook, the school’s CEO. “Our school is passionate about the opportunity to serve those students who have had challenges reaching academic success, and show them that it is possible, no matter what past circumstances may have led them here.”

The school also:
  • Implements social-emotional learning and trauma-informed practices aimed at helping students cope with issues both in and out of the classroom.
  • Teaches life skills to develop a deeper sense of community.
  • Gives students access to credit recovery courses and merit-based mastery classes that allow them to focus and recover credits at an accelerated rate.
  • Provides career pathway opportunities, so students can prepare for industry-recognized certification exams and participate in work-based learning projects with local community partners.
As an Alternative Education Campus, HVASC’s unique enrollment requirements will put a high school diploma within reach for students who may be struggling in a traditional academic setting and need a new way to meet their challenges or may not be on pace to collect enough course credits to graduate on time.

The enrollment policies and structure make it easier to serve these students and provide them with continuity. Interested in learning more? Request more information.*
    This content was created in partnership with Heron Virtual Academy of South Carolina.*
    Would virtual school be an option for your student?

    A. Yes
    B. No
    C. Maybe
    Wednesday, May 24
    • Life and Legacy Blood Drive | Wednesday, May 24 | 8 a.m.-1 p.m. | Patriots Point, 40 Patriots Point Rd., Mount Pleasant | Free | Check out this great opportunity to volunteer and help local hospitals save lives.
    • West Ashley Farmers Market | Wednesday, May 24 | 3-7 p.m. | Ackerman Park, 55 Sycamore Ave., Charleston | Free | Stock up on foods for the week from community based growers.
    Thursday, May 25
    • Artist Meet and Greet: Ayodele Casel | Thursday, May 25 | 6-7 p.m. | Thoroughbred Club Patio, 205 Meeting St., Charleston | Free | Learn more about Ayodele Casel’s artistic life through this meet and greet opportunity.
    • Live Under the Oaks | Thursday, May 25 | 6-8 p.m. | Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, 1218 Belk Dr., Charleston | Free | Grab a blanket or chair, bring your family and friends, and sit under the beautiful oaks.
    Friday, May 26
    • Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition | Friday, May 26-Tuesday, July 11 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Marion Square, King and Calhoun streets, Charleston | Free | Bring your walking shoes and check out the fine art and daily painting demonstrations on a beautiful walk.
    • Pool Party Cocktail Making Class | Friday, May 26 | 5-6:45 p.m. | Firefly Distillery, 4201 Spruill Ave., North Charleston | $85 | Enjoy local sips and relax at this unique mixology session.
    Saturday, May 27
    • Summerville Goat Yoga Class | Saturday, May 27 | 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Flowertown Charm Farm, 255 Stallsville Rd., Summerville | $25 | Goat Yoga is a casual yoga class perfect for those new to yoga, pro yogi’s, and anyone who wants to snuggle with silly goats.
    • The Art & Science of Preservation: Exclusive Tour of the Aiken-Rhett House | Saturday, May 27 | 9-11 a.m. | Aiken-Rhett House Museum, 48 Elizabeth St., Charleston | $40 | You’re invited to tour the Aiken-Rhett House for a behind-the-scenes, in-depth tour of the preservation projects and efforts at this preserved-as-found house museum.*
    Click here to have your event featured.
    7 secrets comfortable retirees know about hiring a financial advisor
    Smart retirees know a thing or two — and you should, too. | Photo by SmartAsset
    Research suggests people who work with a financial advisor could end up with about 15% more money to spend in retirement.1 Read: A lot of margaritas.

    That’s because they know the seven secrets to hiring a financial advisor, like never hiring the first advisor you meet. (Rookie mistake.)

    The ultimate tip? Answer a few questions in this free, five-minute quiz to match with vetted financial advisors serving your area who can help optimize a retirement plan for you.*
    1“Journal of Retirement Study Winter” (2020)”. The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.
    News Notes
    • An Isle of Palms vacation home has been awarded VRBO’s South Carolina vacation home of the year for 2023. The stunning mansion features 11 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and faces the ocean. Have a look for yourself and invite us over if you plan on staying.
    • The Spoleto Festival USA unveiled its poster for the 2023 year on Monday, May 22. The poster was created by College of Charleston professor Elizabeth Bick using photography. The design is available for $30 online and at the Charleston Visitor Center.
    • The Charleston County Lifesaving Association will be hosting its inaugural paddle board race at at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 3 at Folly Beach County Park. Paddle on the Point will include a 5k and 10k race for all skill levels. Get tickets and register on the website.
    • Former Police Chief Luther Reynolds died on Monday, May 22. Luther made a large impact through his work for the City of Charleston by caring for members of the city and defending the community to his core. (WCIV)
    Plan Ahead
    • Pride month is right around the corner and Park Circle is gearing up with a huge calendar of events. It has everything from Pub Run to Educational Panels and Drag Karaoke. Check out the website for more information on events and ways to get involved.
    • Here comes the boom. Did y’all hear that crazy boom on Tuesday morning? Watch this video to hear it in real time. There have been multiple reports of the noise and the source has yet to be determined. We will keep you up to date as the reason unfolds. (WCIV, WCSC)
    • Looking for a new way to serve our community? Coastal Community Foundation is seeking volunteers to serve on its grant and scholarship committees. The team is looking for volunteers with a variety of personal and professional backgrounds — no prior experience with grantmaking required. Learn more.*
    • You’re invited to the homeRN Charleston Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 25 at 10 a.m. homeRN is a concierge caregiving service offering a wide range of services, from helping with daily living activities and post-operative care to communication between physicians and family members.*
    The Buy
    • Turn misplaced keys into a thing of the past with the Apple AirTag. The button-sized tracking device can give you step-by-step directions to your lost keys (or phone…or wallet…) and has a battery life of one year. Pro tip: Put one in your checked luggage and never worry about lost baggage again.*
    Hidden woods of the Holy City
    CHStoday woodlands nature reserve
    We feel serene just looking at this picture. | Photo by Richard Bell Photography
    Looking for a Memorial Day weekend getaway? Look no further than the backyard of the Holy City at Woodlands Nature Reserve’s Camp Fest.

    Located around 15 miles outside of downtown, this is a great spot to get some fresh air and spend quality time with family and friends. The property allows for primitive, tent, RV, and trailer camping.

    Camp Fest will feature a three day long weekend for groups to camp on the property. The festival will run from Friday, May 26 to Monday May 29.

    This includes access to the ponds to go kayaking, paddle boarding, and sitting on the freshwater beach. The reserve also has bike trails so make sure to bring bikes for your whole group to enjoy.

    All ages are welcome and it is $40 per person, with tickets for sale online. Pro tip: pack up your tent, cooler, and guitar as you can bring all the food, drinks, and music you like.
    The Wrap
    Mia Benvenuto.png Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    I am a big camping girl and have gone all over from living in Montana to camping Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Paradise Valley, Glacier, and Sedona. I can honestly say I really enjoy camping in the Lowcountry and have had great times at Woodlands Nature Reserve.

    Maybe I’ll see you there this weekend.
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