June 16, 2020


Hello PSA!


Happy summer! PSA staff members are busy finishing up loose ends from the 2019-2020 school year, while working to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.  It is amazing how busy each day continues to be!  While we are limiting visitors to the building, please know that administration is in the office Mondays-Thursdays 8:30-4. If you need to have forms signed, documents printed, or conduct other business, please feel free to email Corrigan Rutherford or Destiny Grant ( or


Report cards were released to the parent portal yesterday.  For students that require summer school, Ms. Speights will be in contact by the end of the week.  If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to her at


A COVID re-entry committee has formed to address plans for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please be assured that the Board and Administration are remaining in contact with district and state officials regarding next school year.  It is expected that the State Department of Education will release directives and/or guidelines within the next week or so. The information from the SCDE will be based on recommendations and feedback from the AcceleratED task force.  



In an effort to consistently offer elective courses that meet the needs of our students, please complete the pre-registration form according to the student’s grade level for the 2020-2021 school year. This information will be used to confirm courses offered as well as ensure that the number of sections is appropriate.  Information regarding the courses can be found in the Electives Guide linked below. Please complete the pre-registration selections by Friday, June 19th. Registration for core classes will follow soon.


Pre-Registration Electives Guide can be found HERE.

To pre-register, click on the grade level of the student(s) for the 2020-2021 school year:


6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

9th Grade

10th Grade

11th Grade

12th Grade



    • Graduation/Graduation Dinner: We understand that many of you are anxious to make arrangements regarding these events.  We are too!  We have been in communication with Lightsey Chapel (location for graduation), but have not received a response with a definitive answer regarding limits of attendees.  At this time, please plan for no more than 3 or 4 guests at either event.  Cords and stoles will be given during the graduation dinner.  Administration is working to ensure all information is correct regarding recognitions.  Questions regarding recognitions or either event may be directed to Ms. Grant at
    • Reminder! Prom has been moved to July 25.
  • Transcripts: Transcripts for graduating seniors have been sent to the requested institutions.  There has been a bit of confusion regarding the process of transcripts as this year has been atypical.  Students have been able to retrieve their transcripts from Naviance.  Moving forward, PSA will be switching to Parchment.  Information regarding this service will be shared in the coming weeks.  Students may also pick up a copy of their transcript from PSA beginning Monday, June 22.  Please email Ms. Rutherford ( regarding your pick up date/time.  Keep in mind that any time Monday-Thursday 8:30-4 is available. If you have additional transcript questions or need an electronic copy and you have trouble accessing Naviance, please email Ms. Rutherford. 
  • Rising 11th/12 Graders! Administration met with Trident Tech last week and College of Charleston Monday to discuss the dual enrollment process and determine the timeline for ensuring all documentation is submitted by the necessary deadlines.  Great news!  PSA has been a bit ahead of the game!  Administration and the Counseling Department are working to determine where each student is in the process.  Some students have been admitted and registered for classes.  Others have not been admitted yet. The expectation is that all students are admitted and have courses confirmed by July 15 (College of Charleston) or July 30 (Trident Tech).  PSA has hired a Dual Enrollment/Capstone Coordinator, who will be joining the team early August.  Until then, Ms. Speights ( and Ms. Frank-O’Connell ( will be following up on the process.  Please expect communication from PSA regarding next steps by the middle of next week.  Also, please note that acceptance comes in the form of an email to the address that the student entered on his/her application.  
    • ALEKS (supplemental math program) logins have been sent to parents/students.  Please be sure to work on ALEKS consistently through the summer.  This will help students as they prepare for 2020-2021.
  • MS Mailings! Eighth grade banners and sixth and seventh grade certificates were mailed earlier this week.  Note that some certificates are with locker items awaiting pick up. 
  • HS Awards will be emailed individually to the student.  
  • Locker items need to be picked up by June 24th.  All left items will be donated after this date if no arrangements are made for pick up. 
  • Withdrawals: We are sad to see you go!  Please find below the link to complete your withdrawal form for PSA. You will receive an emailed copy of the form for your records. You will need this form to enroll in your new school. Records will be sent out once a records request is received.  If you have any questions or concerns please let me know. **Please note only a custodial parent or guardian can complete a withdrawal form for the student.** 

Click here for the Withdrawal Form.

  • Attention rising 9th graders, current HS students, and alumni, we have created a summer book club on the theme of social justice that I am hoping you will all choose to join. I know that many of you are very passionate about a lot going on right now and we want to give you the chance to educate yourself, but also to discuss. Book club meetings will be moderated by a group of current and former students. If we are going to build a better community, first we must educate ourselves! I challenge each of you to read at least 3 books this summer. Going to the pool? Bring a book. Stuck inside? Read a book. Feeling frustrated and want change? Read and Discuss! I’ll be posting zoom meetings for book club on the HS Google Classroom page as we get closer to each date. Each week has a theme. Our first book club date is July 1st with the them of racial justice with the books The New Jim Crow and Between the World and Me. Feel free to read one or both! Come open-minded and ready to share in an open forum.   Love, Sullivan  
  • More information on upcoming weeks can be found HERE.
  • Looking for some summer opportunities?!?!?  Check out some options below:
  • Bit Project would like to offer a free 8 week program for high school students to explore the intersection of programming, marketing, and project management. We realized that summer opportunities were being stripped away not only from college undergraduates, but also high school students due to COVID-19. Thus, we wanted to design a program called Bit Heroes that would allow high school students to gain hand-ons experience as Developers, where they can use their technical knowledge to make cutting edge developer tools accessible to the masses. On the Bit Heroes webpage, we have listed the possible projects your students may be working on as well as more information and FAQs regarding this program.Here is an overview of the program: 
  • The duration of this program will run from June 29th to August 24th, remotely. 
  • Meeting and networking with Microsoft developers—who will be the mentors during the program—undergraduate college students across the nation, and other industry professionals.
  • Students will work in teams with each team consisting of 7 members and 1 project manager to put together a technical marketing campaign to gain professional work experience that’ll give students a head start later in their collegiate-level internship recruitment.
  • Each team will then have different Integrated Marketing Campaigns (IMC) that they can choose to work on.
  • In regards to technical experience required, we do take into account a high schooler’s typical experience in programming. Please let students know that we are not very strict about technical experience as long we see their genuine interest, which often is reflected in their enrollment in AP Computer Science for instance.
  • Teams will work on coding projects and post blog tutorials on our website. The main goal of the program is to produce a live webinar hosted by the students to demonstrate the project to their target audience. It’s the students’ responsibility to market this webinar to their target audience. 
  • If you are interested, click this link to apply! The application deadline is June 19th. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any more questions, or if you would like to discuss this program in person to get a better idea please set up a meeting here:
  • VirtualSC–Fall Courses
  • Please register here:  In addition, please choose Amber Speights as the counselor when registering.  If you have any questions or would like to discuss options, please reach out to Ms. Speights.  
  • New staff!  PSA is excited to welcome several new staff members. Please see brief biographies for each one.
    • Destiny Grant (AP–Operations) Hello PSA! My name is Destiny Grant and I am very excited to be joining the PSA team. For the last seven years I have been calling Arizona home. I am looking forward to new adventures in South Carolina. I have been in education for about ten years in a variety of roles including, community college instructor, high school language arts and creative writing teacher, high school Assistant Principal and Principal. Prior to my career in education, I worked as an International Flight Planner in the aviation industry. I love to read, travel and spend time with my family. I believe that not every student is the same and therefore not every school should be the same. I am an avid supporter of school choice and believe that charter schools provide opportunities for students to excel by supporting their diverse academic, social and emotional needs.  


    • Amber Nobles (Seventh Grade ELA) Middle School stole my heart! I taught 8th grade ELA for three years.  In addition, I have worked as a writing consultant and free-lance copy editor. I’m a born-and-raised Nashvillian, but I’ve come to adore Charleston. I love to cook, garden, read memoirs, needlecraft, and walk on the beach with my husband and my puppy; I’m basically the resident Granny wherever I go. I’m so excited to join the PSA team!


    • Donna Heisler (Algebra I/Geometry) started her professional career as an electrical engineer working for General Electric. After having her own children, Donna realized that she had a passion for teaching and she began to volunteer at her local elementary school. She continued to enjoy working with children and decided to go back to college to get her teaching degree. For the past 8 years, Donna has been creating and implementing a STEM curriculum at an independent school in Upstate NY.


In her free time, Donna enjoys hiking, gardening, and cooking with friends and family. Her future ventures include taking blacksmithing classes and enjoying a hot air balloon ride. Donna is looking forward to relocating to the Charleston area with her husband Ed, her two dogs (Rose and Bud), her cat (Whiskers), and her turtle (Tortuga). Her son is currently completing his 3rd year of study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University majoring in Astronautical Engineering. Her daughter is studying at the University of Hartford majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Pre-law.


    • Susan G. Harper (8th Grade Science/HS) lived for fourteen years in Athens, Ga, where she and her husband raised three children. She is originally from Greenville, S.C., and has good memories of attending the College of Charleston one summer for Governor’s School. While raising children in Athens, she worked for nine years as an academic advisor for the University of Georgia and attended classes at night on campus, completing over thirty hours in Conservation Ecology and going on to graduate in 2016 with a PhD in Science Education. She recently completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Education (2016-2018) and is now gaining experience in public school teaching. Her research interests focused on the integration of engineering design projects into science education in inner city schools and equity in education for refugee and immigrant students.


All three children have graduated from college: the eldest, Christopher, graduated from UGA with a degree in Geography and works as a paralegal in Atlanta; Gabe graduated from UGA with a degree in Landscape Architecture and is completing a masters thesis now for a degree from UPENN in Historical Preservation; and Hanna, the baby, graduated from Elon University last year with a degree in Environmental Science and works as a GIS specialist in Boulder, Colorado.Susan runs and keeps dogs to sustain positive mental health. She currently lives with two rescue dogs, Raleigh and Juniper. Raleigh, a brindle, is a plotthound mix and Juniper, just about one year old, is a Great Pyrenees/Golden Retriever mix. At one point, she had seven rescue dogs, a testament to her philosophy that dogs are linked essentially to human happiness. Learning with young people is also a source of essential fulfillment for Susan, and she looks forward to a promising year at Palmetto Scholars Academy in 2020-2021.


    • Jo Nell Beckum (Dual Enrollment/Capstone Coordinator) brings with her over a decade worth of experience in the dual enrollment and college access fields. Ms. Beckum is passionate about creating opportunities for young people that motivate and empower them, positively strengthen and expand how they perceive themselves, and encourage exploration and critical thinking about the world around them. She believes that potential is everywhere. Ms. Beckum has worked as a lead high school counselor and graduation coach, and she is    committed to maximizing the high school experience to exceed the unique needs and expectations of every student. Ms. Beckum enjoys a great adventure, a good book, relaxing on the beach, restoring anything old to new, and loving on her animals. She is excited to be in a new and exciting place to share her knowledge and experiences and to learn all there is to learn.


Thank you for your patience as we worked to get this update out to you!  Please expect another update prior to July 4th.  Until then, please do not hesitate to contact any of us.  


Take care, 

Corrigan Rutherford


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