SC charter school enrollment surges as COVID-19 awakens parents to education options

Quan Pollock had long felt like the local public school district in Beaufort County wasn’t the best option for her teenage son.

She’d looked at home schooling and seen commercials for virtual charter schools on television, but wasn’t sure her son, who has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, was self-sufficient enough to thrive in a virtual environment where he would have to take greater responsibility for his own education.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, forcing Pollock’s son to finish his freshman year virtually, she realized she had underestimated his ability to learn independently.

“We saw that he would have been able to adjust and maintain himself,” she said.

So over the summer, Pollock joined the burgeoning ranks of South Carolina parents who have abandoned traditional public education during the pandemic and enrolled her son at Connections Academy, the largest of the state’s five virtual charter schools.

The pandemic-fueled exodus

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