Staying the Course: Excited About 8th Grade at BPLA

Staying the Course: Excited About 8th Grade at BPLA

Most educators understand the summer months are for preparation and planning for the upcoming school year. Likewise, Bettis Preparatory Leadership Academy (BPLA) administrators, staff, sponsors, stakeholders, and volunteers are focusing on continuing to create a safe and orderly environment while executing an effective recruitment plan for future 8th graders. 

Even though the pandemic forced a drastic change in our traditional educational system, Bettis Preparatory Leadership Academy was able to continue face-to-face instruction for the entire 2020-2021 school term. With support from loyal sponsors, BPLA aligned its daily interaction with students, staff, and visitors with the safety guidelines mandated by local and state officials. 

Last school term was a great challenge for many families, but BPLA is enthused and ready to conquer another goal, adding 8th grade. 

BPLA provides tuition-free public education for students in an innovative, safe, and orderly learning environment. BPLA is a fast-growing academy that allows teachers to share one-on-one interaction with students with the necessary personal-professional attention. BPLA is a high-performing STEM academy with instructors who share a wealth of knowledge, education, and experience. 

The STEM-based school has a loyal team of students, staff, stakeholders, partners, and sponsors that has enabled its program to grow stronger each year.  BPLA recently purchased 35 laptops. They are preparing to order 40 more laptops to ensure students have the proper tools to work each day. The laptops will also provide support for students and staff during school closures. 

Although the STEM academy is in Edgefield County, BPLA welcomes students from local and surrounding areas. BPLA has two (2) transportation shuttles that allow its certified drivers to pick up and drop off students in pre-arranged locations within a certain proximity of the academy. 

Dr. Myrtis Brightharp-Walker stated, “We welcome and embrace our upcoming eighth graders. 8th grade is a pivotal point in a students’ educational journey as it is the final preparation for high school.  At BPLA, we strive to know each student as an individual and create an environment that encourages them to be innovative and think creatively. Our goal is to support them on this path in becoming successful in their personal and professional lives!” 

During the design phase, the Bettis Preparatory Leadership Academy Planning Board created a plan to build a free Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) charter school from kindergarten through fifth (5th) grade K-5 to a kindergarten through eighth (8th) grade K-8 academy. This mission would start by adding a grade level every year, so staying the course, even though a worldwide pandemic, BPLA is ready to add 8th grade to its already successful STEM leadership academy. 

Of course, with the new 8th-grade edition for Bettis Preparatory Leadership Academy, there is also a need for additional staffing. Interested candidates can apply on the BPLA website at


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