Our History

MSS opened its Charleston, SC flagship Pre-K-5th independent school in 2008 as a proving ground; a place to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to close the opportunity gap that has plagued our community for decades. Drawing upon the best practices from innovative schools across the country, MSS’s founders developed this school as a prototype for educational change. MSS then launched its network of schools in 2012 with the opening of Meeting Street Academy Spartanburg, which was made possible by the contributions of a generous private donor who had been inspired by the success of the flagship school. In 2014, MSS partnered with Charleston County School District to create Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood, the first public-private educational partnership of its kind in South Carolina.

Historic Milestones

May 2006

We began as a small group of community members who recognized the need for a school that would provide a high-quality, college preparatory education to students who were assigned to failing public schools in Charleston. We developed the idea for our Flagship school, Meeting Street Academy Charleston, as a result of the belief that a child’s zip code should not determine his or her educational opportunities.

January 2008

Meeting Street Schools’ (MSS) founding members met with then Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, to discuss the concept of Meeting Street Academy. Mayor Riley was so inspired by the school’s premise and potential benefit to the Charleston community that he began working to secure a site for our flagship school.

August 2008

We welcomed our first group of students to come and learn with us at MSA-Charleston, then located at 1156 King Street. Our teachers and staff provided education and support to 45 preschoolers (PK3 & PK4) and their families.

February 2009

The City of Charleston generously leased/donated land at 642 Meeting Street (corner of Meeting and Cool Blow Streets) for the future site of MSA-Charleston.

May 2010

Our first kindergarten class graduated! All students entered first grade with the ability to read grade-level and above grade-level texts.

August 2010

South Carolina Gubernatorial Candidate Nikki Haley, (elected Governor in November the same year), visited MSA-Charleston and launched the education platform of her campaign from our site.

December 2010

Visitors from various parts of South Carolina came to visit us at MSA-Charleston to get a first-hand look at our learning environment, already generating impressive results with our students. One of these visitors was inspired to propose a partnership with MSA-Charleston to develop a second Meeting Street Academy in Spartanburg, SC.

January 2011

Groundbreaking at the site of MSA-Charleston’s current location, 642 Meeting Street, began with Mayor Joseph P. Riley serving as Master of Ceremonies.

July 2011

U.S. Congressman Tim Scott visited MSA–Charleston and inspired our students and families with the story of his upbringing. Congressman Scott stressed the critical importance of education on the path to becoming a leader in the community.

July 2012

MSA-Charleston hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly completed 642 Meeting Street location. Governor Nikki Haley, Former Mayor Joseph P. Riley and State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais participated in the event and celebrated the accomplishments of Meeting Street Academy-Charleston students and teachers.

Meeting Street Schools celebrated the opening of its second school in Spartanburg, SC: MSA-Spartanburg.

May 2014

Meeting Street Schools founder, Ben Navarro, participated in TEDxCharleston, inspiring the Charleston community and beyond by sharing the Meeting Street Academy story and how academic success is possible for children from all backgrounds.

August 2014

Meeting Street Schools opened Meeting Street Elementary @Brentwood with the Charleston County School District, the first public-private educational partnership of its kind in South Carolina.

May 2015

We celebrated the first graduating 5th grade class at Meeting Street Academy-Charleston!

September 2015

We began Phase 2 construction at Meeting Street Academy-Charleston’s main campus. Additional classrooms were built to accommodate more students in downtown Charleston.

Spring 2016

We entered a public-private partnership agreement with Spartanburg School District 7. We opened our Spartanburg location as a public school, serving students in a newly created attendance zone.

July 2016

We completed Phase 2 construction at Meeting Street Academy-Charleston.

December 2016

Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood celebrated the opening of a first-of-its kind clinic on campus, thanks to a partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina. MSE@B’s school-based clinic has a full-time nurse practitioner on staff who can diagnose conditions, write prescriptions and order X-rays and lab work as needed. A pediatrician is available to see patients once a week. The clinic is designed to meet students where they are by providing them with quality healthcare when they need it, without their parents having to worry about arranging transportation or taking off work. School-based health has been proven to increase academic performance and positively impact student health outcomes. We are grateful for our partnership with MUSC and this amazing opportunity to improve the lives of our students and families.