History of CPA
In 1965, several parents determined that there was a need for an alternative educational system other than the existing public school system. Classroom overcrowding and larger student-teacher ratios in local schools led these parents to believe that the education of many children would suffer because of a lack of individual attention in the school environment. Thus, in the spring of 1965, a group began to research private schools in South Carolina and Virginia. Because of the shortage of time before the 1965-66-school term, this group decided to wait until the following year to establish a private academy in Colleton County.
In the interim, a charter was granted and a board of trustees chosen. Additionally, a school building was obtained, and a headmaster and teachers were selected to staff the academy.
The first year of operation for John C. Calhoun Academy was the 1966-67 school year at Grace Advent Christian Church. Although not an ideal situation for either community, the patience and tolerance of the parishioners along with the efforts and dedication of the faculty and students allowed for a successful year. Plans were then established for the Academy to have its own building.
Countless hours went into making the plans a reality, and for the 1967-68 school year, students arrived at a modern building in Academy Acres. An additional building was added for each of the following school years, due to the tremendous growth of the school. The gymnasium was built in 1970-71 to facilitate athletic events, suppers, bazaars, PTO meetings, dances, assemblies, and musical presentations. The construction of a new administration classroom building in 1972 completed the originally planned complex. The stadium and football field were completed in 1973, while an addition to the gym was constructed five years later.
After a year of investigation, the school’s board of directors chartered Colleton Preparatory Academy as a tax-exempt organization in March 1989. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service approved the school’s change in status, and on July 1, 1990, John C. Calhoun Academy was renamed Colleton Preparatory Academy.