Academics

Dorchester Academy believes that a quality education should be available for all students and provides a comprehensive curriculum that addresses the individual needs of all students.

Since our school attracts and serves a diverse population, we strive to provide a variety of course options for our students. The curriculum at Dorchester Academy is organized around the grade structures of kindergarten through 4th, grades 5th through 7th, and grades 8th through 12th.

Lower School

K3 through 4th Grade

Curriculum

The lower school curriculum is designed to encourage intellectual curiosity, to develop strong academic skills in the core subjects, and to provide enrichment programs in art, physical education, and technology.

In addition to the traditional subjects, Dorchester Academy students will have related arts periods to include Physical Education, Visual Arts, Ag in the Classroom, Computer, Library, and Music.

Middle School

5th Grade through 7th Grade

Curriculum

The curriculum of the middle school is intended to strengthen English and math skills, develop increased academic responsibility, teach self-discipline and strong work ethics, and to provide a challenging subject area content.

Students in these grades will study reading, English, science, and social studies and will also have two elective choices from among the following options: chorus, computer, theatre arts, and dance (for both genders).

High School

Curriculum

The curriculum at the upper school level is designed to prepare students to attend either a 4-year or 2-year college. Courses are selected and classes taught with the intent of providing the content, skills, and experiences that will develop habits that will mean success for our students when they leave us. To help with this, we encourage our students to pursue college credits through our cooperative program with USC Salkehatchie or CATE courses through Dorchester County Career and Technology Center.

8th Grade

Some 8th graders will take primarily middle school course (not for Carnegie credit) while others will start taking courses that will satisfy graduation requirements. It depends upon the students' abilities, previous progress, needs, and wishes. Final placement will be determined after a parent conference with the Head of School. All 8th graders will take SC History, Earth Science, and Introduction to Spanish. Some will take 8th grade Pre-Algebra and 8th English, while others will opt for Algebra 1 Honors and English 1 Honors. All 8th graders will have Carnegie-credit elective choices to include such courses as Theatre Arts 1, Chorus 1, and Dance 1 as well as the non-Carnegie-credit 8th Religion.

9th Grade through 12th Grade

High School students will have required offerings in English, math, science, and social studies, world languages (Spanish), physical education, computer programming as well as many elective options to include Chorus 1, Guitar 1, Dance 1, Theatre Arts 1, Introduction to Horticulture, Teacher Cadets, Psychology, Survey of Old and New Testaments, several dual credit offerings through USC Salkehatchie, and several career courses through the Dorchester County Career and Technology Center.

College Counseling

Fall

  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your college plans. Review your schedule to make sure you’re enrolled in challenging classes that will help you prepare for college. Colleges require four years of English, as well as history, math, science, fine arts, PE and at least two years of a foreign language.
  • Use College Search (Collegeboard.com)to find out the required courses and tests for colleges that you might be interested in attending.
  • Take PSAT in October
  • Start a calendar with important dates and deadlines.
  • Get involved with extracurricular activities.
  • Make a special place to keep passwords and college information.

Winter

Spring

  • Don’t blow your GPA.  It counts!!!
  • Sign up for classes for next year.

Summer

  • Look for a great summer opportunity — job, internship or volunteer position.
  • Check with your counselor and search online for summer learning programs.
  • Work on your summer reading list. 
  • Plan to visit college campuses to get a feel for your options.

Fall

  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your college plans.
  • Start a calendar with important dates and deadlines.
  • Get involved with extracurricular activities.
  • Go to college fairs in your area.
  • Sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT, which is given in October. Ask your counselor for the date. Get free online PSAT/NMSQT practice.
    • If you’re taking the PSAT/NMSQT, sign up for Student Search Service (Collegeboard.com) to learn about colleges and scholarships.
    • Schedule an SAT/ACT for spring if you have taken Alg I and Geometry. You want your best score by December of junior year.

Winter

  • Use the access code on your PSAT/NMSQT score report to sign in to My College QuickStart™. With this personalized planning kit, you can prepare for the SAT using a study plan based on your PSAT/NMSQT results and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors and careers.

Spring

  • Sign up for classes for next year.
  • Look for a great summer opportunity — job, internship or volunteer position.

Summer

Fall

  • Register with the NCAA if interested in college sports
    • Students who wish to play college ball must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center  in their junior year.  Be sure that you are familiar with the course requirements.
  • Register for tests: PSAT/SAT/ACT
    • At school, sign up to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. Qualifying scores receive National Merit Scholarships.
    • Check dates for SAT/ACT and sign up online.  ACT is usually given at our school in December
  • Start Your College Search
    • Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, preferences and personal qualities. List things you may want to study and do in college.
    • Jump-start your college planning by reading about majors and careers.
  • Take ASVAB – career inventory test
  • Use College Search to find colleges with the right characteristics.
  • Participate in our school sponsored college tours. During the junior year we usually plan at least 3 college visits.

Spring

  • Start visiting colleges: large, small, public and private. Get a feel for what works for you. Develop an initial list of 15-20 colleges that interest you. You can narrow it down later.
  • Review your senior year class schedule with your counselor. Challenge yourself with honors, dual credit  and AP classes.
  • Plan summer activities early. Enrich yourself by volunteering, getting an interesting job, or signing up for camps.

Summer

  • Visit colleges. Take campus tours and, at colleges you’re serious about, schedule interviews with admission officers.
  • Check important dates; some colleges have early dates or rolling admission.

Fall

  • Apply for College
    • Narrow your list of colleges to and review it with your counselor. Get an application and financial aid info from each. Visit as many as possible.
  • Make a master calendar and note:
  • Ask for recommendations. Give each person your resume, a stamped and addressed envelope, and any required forms. Be sure to write them a thank you note!
  • Write application essays and ask teachers, family members and friends to read first drafts
  • Things to Remember!
    • College application due dates.  Some are as early as October!
    • Required financial aid applications and their deadlines
    • Recommendations, transcripts and other necessary materials
    • Fill out transcript request form with Mrs. Ruth Anne.
    • Most applications are now online which require a credit card for payment

Winter

  • Review application details.
  • Keep copies of everything you send to colleges.
  • Contact colleges to make sure they’ve received all application materials.
  • Apply for Financial Aid
    • Submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible.
  • Males who are 18 years of age or older must register with Selective Service.
  • Many priority financial aid deadlines fall in February. To get the most attractive award package, apply by the priority date. Keep copies of everything you send.

Spring

  • You should get acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April.
  • Review acceptance letters. Compare awards from different colleges. Talk to financial aid officers at your college if you have questions about the award offered.
  • If you haven’t already, visit your final college before accepting.
  • Make your College Choice
    • You must tell every college of your acceptance or rejection of offers of admission or financial aid.
  • Make sure to notify Mrs. Ruth Anne of any scholarships and the college offer you accept so they can be announced at graduation. Do not assume we know of your scholarships.
  • We will automatically send your final transcript to your chosen college after graduation.