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New school to focus on dyslexia and other reading difficulties

On April 17, the Board of Trustees for the S.C. Public Charters School District approved a charter for the Palmetto Achievement Center for Excellent (PACE) Academy, the Midlands’ first tuition-free school that will provide support for students with dyslexia and language-based reading difficulties. The school is scheduled to open July 2021. Applications will be available starting July 2020.

“For many families, private school or even private tutoring is not an option,” PACE Chair Melissa Rabon, of Lugoff, said. “We want to give all students of the Midlands an opportunity to receive this type of educational approach, regardless of their family’s financial standing.”

PACE Academy is designed so that students will receive more than two hours of Orton-Gillingham-based language instruction each day. They will also receive multisensory math instruction and project-oriented instruction in science and social studies. Structured movement brain breaks will be incorporated throughout the school day as well.

“When we look at countries like Finland that incorporate more opportunities for students to move and play throughout the day, we see disruption in the classroom is minimized, identification of ADHD is lowered, and students perform better academically,” Rabon said.

PACE will open with grades 3 through 7 in July 2021. Additional grades will be added each year for four school years. By July 2024, PACE will serve students from kindergarten through 8th Grade.

For more information or to register for the weighted lottery, parents can visit the school website ( or Facebook page.