History of Charleston Progressive Academy
Charleston Progressive Academy (CPA) was founded by two retired Charleston County teachers and business owners, Martelle W. Robinson and Harriet W. Wilder in 1997. Mrs. Robinson was the owner of Mother Goose World of Readiness and Mrs. Wilder the owner of Hope’s Treasure Chest. The grade configuration at the time CPA was founded was kindergarten through second grades with a grade to be added each year until it reached fifth grade. The school’s magnet focus at the time of inception was multiage and thematic based instruction. Martelle Robinson was the school’s administrator and Harriet Wilder the Curriculum Coordinator. Martelle Robinson served as the school’s administrator until her death in 1999, at that time Brenda W. Williams became the school’s administrator and served until 2005. In 2005 until now Wanda Sheats has served as the school’s administrator.
Because of its success and parental support, CPA continued adding a grade reaching eighth grade in 2004 under Ms. Williams’ leadership. The middle school continued until 2009. During redesign of the district in 2009, grades seven and eight were eliminated and two child development classes added. The current grade configuration is CD-4 through sixth grade.
In 1996 Charleston Progressive was housed in the H.P Archer building on Nassau Street. In 2005 Charleston Progressive Elementary moved to 382 Meeting Street, the Courtenay Building, and its name became Charleston Progressive Academy to reflect the addition of the middle school. In 2010-2011, CPA’s Courtenay Facility underwent a seismic study and was deemed unable to withstand a 7.0 scale earthquake. What is most fascinating about this process is that CPA will be housed in a building that qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places. The original building was erected in 1955 as a part of the State of South Carolina’s Equalization Program. On July 10, 2010, the Charleston County School Broad approved an architect for this project, Liollio Architects. CPA was relocated to North Charleston to the Berry Campus as a result of seismic challenges of the downtown. The Courtney facility underwent extensive renovation and rebuild. In the fall of 2013 CPA returned to its current facility at the Courtenay site. CPA’s facility is definitely a blend of the past and the future. In 2015, Liollio Architect was awarded an architectural award for the design of Charleston Progressive Academy.
After gaining a full middle school in 2004, stakeholders saw a need to evaluate the effectiveness of its magnet focus. After much discussion the administration and staff voted on a fitness/leadership focus. The mission statement was rewritten in 2005 to include this focus. In 2011 CCSD was awarded the Race to the Top Grant for Personalized Mastery. CPA was one of the 19 schools to be included in this initiative. This year, 2015, the mission statement of CPA was once again revised to include personalize mastery.