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Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

Mon - Fri: 8:30AM - 5:00PM Sat: 8:30AM to 1PM

The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in James Island, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation James Island, SC

Quartzite

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling James Island, SC

Caesarstone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops James Island, SC

Silestone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops James Island, SC

Marble

 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops James Island, SC

Sensa

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops James Island, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops James Island, SC

Vicostone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops James Island, SC

Quartz

We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in James Island, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in James Island, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation James Island, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling James Island, SC

Granite Countertops in James Island, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in James Island, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops James Island, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops James Island, SC

Silestone Countertops in James Island, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in James Island, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops James Island, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops James Island, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in James Island?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops James Island, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in James Island, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops James Island, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation James Island, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling James Island, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops James Island, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in James Island, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in James Island, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

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Latest News in James Island, SC

Newly proposed Charleston City Council districts give Johns Island its own representative

After a decade of booming population growth, Johns Island may get its own representative on Charleston City Council.But making that change could cost a sitting council member their seat.The island is now in District 5, which also spans much of outer West Ashley. It is represented by Councilman Karl Brady, who lives in West Ashley.Two newly proposed City Council district maps...

After a decade of booming population growth, Johns Island may get its own representative on Charleston City Council.

But making that change could cost a sitting council member their seat.

The island is now in District 5, which also spans much of outer West Ashley. It is represented by Councilman Karl Brady, who lives in West Ashley.

Two newly proposed City Council district maps make Johns Island its own district without any extension into West Ashley. That means the City Council member to represent it would have to live on Johns Island.

"There is no one on council right now that drives our roads every day, sends their kids to school here, works here or lives here," said John Zlogar, chairman of the Johns Island Task Force.

The group was established in 2013 to bring together residents and local officials to address Johns Island-specific issues.

While Zlogar said he has no issue with Brady, he said he would like to have a council member who can put their sole focus on the island.

"We will feel like we have someone that has our voice," he said.

The island, which is partially within the city of Charleston and partially within unincorporated Charleston County, has deep roots in agriculture and the city's Black history. Several Black family farms have run their businesses on the island since Reconstruction, when formerly enslaved laborers took over former plantations.

An "urban growth boundary," established across the island limits where agricultural land must be protected and where development is allowed. Most of the city's side of the island is located within the urban growth boundary and as a result has seen a massive influx of residents looking for a lower cost of living than the city's core. Between 2010 and 2020, District 5, the district with Johns Island and West Ashley, grew a staggering 154 percent.

The redistricting process

Charleston Chief Innovation Officer Tracy McKee has led the city through the redistricting process three times in her career. Factoring in population growth between 2010 and 2020, McKee and city staff have been in the process of redrawing the council district boundaries for months.

"Four council members live on the peninsula, but we've had more growth in Berkeley County on Daniel Island and on Johns Island," McKee said.

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau releases new population and demographic data that governments use to redraw voting districts. In 2020, it was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Council voted last summer to delay redistricting until after the fall 2021 election.

Officials try to balance the population size of each district as well as their geographic spread. In Charleston, for example, it would be impractical to include Daniel Island and outer West Ashley in the same district.

Initially, city staff put out one proposal in July. That plan kept all sitting council members within their current districts. None of them were at risk of losing their seat or having to run against each other to keep their seat. But the proposal split Johns island into three districts that included other areas of the city as well.

The map was met with some criticism for the wide span of geography each district covered. Districts were stretched from the peninsula far into West Ashley and District 11, covered parts of West Ashley, James Island and Johns Island.

The League of Women Voters published a commentary in The Post and Courier calling for more compact districts.

"Drawing districts to protect incumbents means the maps defy logic in many places. James Island remains divided into three different districts, one with very dubious contiguity as it crosses briefly over West Ashley and onto the peninsula. Johns Island, now all in District 5, will be divided into three different districts, diluting the voices of those residents," the league wrote.

The league now supports the new proposals, mainly because the districts don't stretch as far across the city.

"They keep communities together. These really prioritize citizen interests," said Leslie Skardon, the director of advocacy for the League of Women Voters.

Impact to incumbents

On Aug. 28, city staff unveiled two alternative maps that took some of that feedback into consideration. The two new maps, referred to as 1A and 1B, are almost identical except for their effects on two current peninsula districts.

Both maps make Johns Island its own district.

To create the Johns Island district, city staff proposed two options. They can move District 3 or District 6 off of the West Side of the peninsula to only cover West Ashley. If District 3 moves off, District 6 will absorb the portion of the West Side that is currently in District 3.

Because District 3 Councilman Jason Sakran lives on the peninsula, he would be drawn out of his district. He would have to run for District 6 against fellow Councilman William Dudley Gregorie. But that seat is not up for election until 2025. In the meantime, depending on when council decides to make the maps effective, a special election would determine who represents the new West Ashley-only version of District 3.

The other scenario would be that District 6 would move off of its portion of the West Side of the peninsula. In that case, Gregorie, who lives also in the West Side, would be drawn into Councilman Sakran's District 3. Because District 3 is up for election in 2023, the two would face off sooner.

Sakran said he would be OK with running against Gregorie in 2023, but he is most favorable of the original map that keeps all council members in their respective districts.

"You are overhauling peoples' elected representatives to the tune of 40 percent of the city's population," Sakran said of the new proposals.

According to the city, if the original proposal is accepted, about 30 percent of the city's population will end up in new council districts. If either of the alternatives are chosen, that number will move up to 39 percent.

Another factor in the process is the establishment of minority-majority districts. Districts 4 and 7 on the all three map proposals are majority-minority districts. They cover the upper peninsula and part of West Ashley, respectively. When the maps were last redrawn in 2010, the city went from having five majority-minority districts to three. Now the city is guaranteed to have two. As demographics shift, it's difficult to group minority voters together and ensure their voice is in the majority in any part of the city, McKee said.

City Council will review the map proposals at its Sept. 13 meeting. No action will be taken. A public hearing will be held in the fall. Residents can view the maps and leave comments online the city's redistricting "Open Town Hall" webpage at www.charleston-sc.gov/Redistricting2020. Email comments are accepted at redistricting@charleston-sc.gov.

Taylor to lead OCSD communications

Dr. Erica S. Taylor has been named the assistant superintendent for communications, business and community partnerships for Orangeburg County School District.Taylor is a 20-year education communications veteran and will be supporting Superintendent Shawn Foster and Orangeburg County School District by leading the communications and technology program of work for the district. Taylor will begin in her position on Oct. 4.Before joining OCSD, Taylor served Charleston County School District for nearly 10 years, with her most recent...

Dr. Erica S. Taylor has been named the assistant superintendent for communications, business and community partnerships for Orangeburg County School District.

Taylor is a 20-year education communications veteran and will be supporting Superintendent Shawn Foster and Orangeburg County School District by leading the communications and technology program of work for the district. Taylor will begin in her position on Oct. 4.

Before joining OCSD, Taylor served Charleston County School District for nearly 10 years, with her most recent position being the district's chief of staff.

Taylor’s responsibilities included but were not limited to all internal and external communications, governmental relations, partnerships, Freedom of Information requests, grants, intercultural relations, family and community engagement efforts, translation services, and provided counsel to the superintendent and district leaders.

“Dr. Taylor’s extensive experiences cover a gamut of communications, from community partnerships to fundraising, grant writing and public relations,” Foster said. “Additionally, her work history in public schools is impeccable and her leadership throughout the state in K-12 and post-secondary education is second to none.”

She also led the Charleston County School District’s 2017 Strategic Plan and the 2018 district-wide accreditation process. In addition, during the 2021-22 academic year, Taylor led the creation of two new offices -- the Office of Family and Community Engagement and the Office of Translation and Interpretation Services. Both offices enhanced and created an engagement strategy that included parents, community members, students, teachers, and business partners.

Before joining CCSD, Taylor served at South Carolina State University from 2002-2012.

Active in the community, Taylor is the chairperson of the board of directors for the Charleston Urban League and serves on the board of the Charleston Leadership Foundation and the board of the Lowcountry Food Bank.

She is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America, a Paul Harris Fellow in the historic Rotary Club of Charleston, an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. member, and a member of The Charleston (SC) Chapter of the Links Incorporated. She attends First Baptist Church on James Island.

Taylor holds a doctor of education from Charleston Southern University, a master of science in broadcast journalism from Florida A&M University and a bachelor of arts in professional English from South Carolina State. She also has a certificate in fundraising from the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

She is the wife of Major Nathaniel Taylor Jr. and the mother of three children – Nathaniel (Trey) III, Jaxon Evan, and Lacee Christina.

Iron Horses trample Timberland; Bishops blanked by James Island

There were questions about the Philip Simmons High School quarterback position at the beginning of the 2022 football season. But Tavien Orellana has proven to be the answer.Orellana completed 12 of 19 passing for 146 yards and a touchdown last Friday night to lead the Iron Horses to a 31-12 victory over Berkeley County rival Timberland on a rainy night. Game conditions were what W.C. Fields might describe as “not fit for man or beast.”Orellana’s experience heading into the campaign was limited, although he com...

There were questions about the Philip Simmons High School quarterback position at the beginning of the 2022 football season. But Tavien Orellana has proven to be the answer.

Orellana completed 12 of 19 passing for 146 yards and a touchdown last Friday night to lead the Iron Horses to a 31-12 victory over Berkeley County rival Timberland on a rainy night. Game conditions were what W.C. Fields might describe as “not fit for man or beast.”

Orellana’s experience heading into the campaign was limited, although he completed all six passes he attempted last fall as a backup to four-year starter Tripp Williams, who owns all the major offensive records for a season and career.

“We had a coaches’ meeting and that was the consensus – Tavien is the answer,” Philip Simmons coach Eric Bendig said after his team gained its second victory in a row to improve to 3-1. “He does a good job. He’s a hard worker who puts his head down and gets the job done.”

Orellana, a 5-11 sophomore, has completed 36 of 60 passing for 516 yards and six touchdowns. He’s shown improvement every game and has the skills, energy and mindset to be a force for the Iron Horses.

But winning teams are balanced, and that’s part of the Iron Horses’ equation as they posted their 14th victory in their last 17 games. The Iron Horses were able to average 6.1 yards per carry against a Timberland defense, which has a history of shutting down teams. The

Iron Horses topped 200 yards rushing for the second straight game, finishing with 221 yards on 36 carries.

Junior running back Markellis “KJ” Asbury proved to be electric, carrying 12 times for 139 yards. He had a 53-yard touchdown run and finished with 12.6 yards per carry.

While Asbury was Mr. Outside, classmate Isaac Schimpf was Mr. Inside, finishing with 61 yards and a pair of short touchdown runs on 15 carries.

The offense has shown great balance in four games. Orellana has passed for 516 yards throwing only one interception. The running game has churned and burned foes for 843 yards as the offensive line continues to control the line of scrimmage.

The defense was dominant against a Wolves’ offense that has scored only 24 points this fall. Devontay McNeil led the Iron Horses with nine tackles, including six solo stops. He recorded a tackle for a loss. Defensive tackle Tyshawn Green tallied eight tackles, including four for a loss. Senior linebacker Chip Carlson also logged eight tackles.

The Iron Horses host Aynor this Friday. The Blue Jackets are 2-1.

Bishop England, meanwhile, dropped its third straight game after blanking Porter-Gaud in the season-opener. The Bishops were on the wrong end of a 23-0 decision against undefeated James Island, which has allowed only six points in four games.

James Island took a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back against the Bishops, who have scored only 17 points in their last three games.

The Bishops host Woodland on Friday. The Wolverines are 3-0.

Satirical Facebook post brings attention to Fort Johnson renovation

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A Facebook post got a lot of attention after making false claims about the Fort Johnson and May Forest renovation project.The post, which was created on Friday, got over 400 comments from upset and confused residents. It was created by the group “Charleston Municipality,” they made claims that the project is about international shipping and passenger cruise ships. They said on Saturday in a statement that “the post was obviously very satirical.”State Representative Spencer Wet...

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A Facebook post got a lot of attention after making false claims about the Fort Johnson and May Forest renovation project.

The post, which was created on Friday, got over 400 comments from upset and confused residents. It was created by the group “Charleston Municipality,” they made claims that the project is about international shipping and passenger cruise ships. They said on Saturday in a statement that “the post was obviously very satirical.”

State Representative Spencer Wetmore says seeing the Facebook post and reactions from the public was heartbreaking.

“This is a project that we were really proud of,” Wetmore says. “I sort of understood the assignment here that people do not want to see a whole bunch of new development. People are concerned about flooding or concerned about traffic. To me, I certainly don’t want to see a bunch of houses and development there either. The people that made this post are obviously playing on people’s fears of that.”

The real Fort Johnson and May Forest renovation project started in March of 2022 and its goal is to tie together history, nature, research and environmental preservation.

The land on James Island is home to many different historical artifacts dating back to the late 1700′s. For the project to take place, a few old buildings will be torn down to make room for the renovations.

James Island Town Councilman Garrett Milliken says the stakeholders worked hard to keep history and rising sea levels in mind during the planning process.

“While the public might have been restricted with access to these locations in the past, the future will actually invite the public to enjoy the rich history of this location that will be in concordance with the research mission of this area as well,” Milliken says. “Both things are going to happen simultaneously at this location. So, I think it’s a win, win for both perspectives, history and research.”

Currently, the area is home to research for the Department of Natural Resources, the College of Charleston and the Marine Research Institute. All of their work will continue to move forward at the location after renovations take place.

“It really is the jewel of James Island,” Milliken says. “It has so much history, so much ecological significance. And frankly, the views are spectacular.”

The project website contains detailed maps and plans of what the entire area of Fort Johnson and May Forest should look like in the future. Despite the drama surrounding the Facebook post, Wetmore hopes the community becomes more aware about the actual project taking place.

“I just hope people will get excited about the park,” she says. “I know this Facebook post is just, honestly, just a mean joke.”

The “Charleston Municipality” Facebook group released the following statement on the post:

The post regarding the James Island Global Gateway Terminal was obviously very satirical, as it was intended being that Charleston Municipality is a satirical Facebook page. The main goal behind the post was to bring awareness to the rampant overdevelopment of not only James Island, but the entire Lowcountry, largely at the hands of our local elected officials and review boards. The post angered so many people, and those people are ready to put up a fight against this project. We want the same collective passion from everyone for all the development that is ACTUALLY taking place all around us. This “huge” and impactful project easily got peoples attention, but everyone needs to pay attention to all the projects that take place, as they are directly and negatively impacting our daily lives, largely due to a seemingly lack of oversight and shady deals being given to developers on a daily basis. Everyone must stay vigilant, and fight to preserve what we have before we have no more.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Troubling TikTok challenges inspire new, digital hall pass system

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - To fight back on an uptick in illicit behavior inspired by the social media platform TikTok, a Charleston County school is taking the traditional hall pass digital.Through an application called SmartPass, students at James Island Charter High School can request permission to leave the classroom for things like going to the restroom or stopping by their lockers. The app is downloaded to each school-issued laptop but can also be downloaded to a cell phone as well.“We have had people, unfortunately,...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - To fight back on an uptick in illicit behavior inspired by the social media platform TikTok, a Charleston County school is taking the traditional hall pass digital.

Through an application called SmartPass, students at James Island Charter High School can request permission to leave the classroom for things like going to the restroom or stopping by their lockers. The app is downloaded to each school-issued laptop but can also be downloaded to a cell phone as well.

“We have had people, unfortunately, try to sneak into our school and they’re not supposed to be here. Now, at any given moment, we know there should be, say, seven people in the hallway and who they are,” Principal Timothy Thorn said. “It has a lot of safety components that allows us to keep our buildings safer.”

While the app does not track movements, all active passes are monitored on a screen by the principal, student concern specialists or the school resource officer. When students are issued a pass, they’re given a time limit before they’re supposed to return. When they run out of time the pass turns red on the screen and school officials can then follow up as needed.

Thorn says this system is new for them this year and is a direct response to some of the issues exposed last year.

“Last year, there was a TikTok challenge that a lot of schools went through. Kids would text each other to leave class. They’d meet up and then they’d go around the building and film themselves doing various things. The TikTok challenge was vandalism and stealing things from school,” Thorn said. “We are trying to cut back on the vandalism in our school, the sinks being ripped off the wall. . . it’s not a new problem but it definitely escalated in the last couple years.”

The time allowed for each hall pass is adjustable. For now, Thorne says bathroom breaks are generally given five minutes, while trips to the water fountain could be three minutes. Students start with five bathroom passes a day, but Thorn says they’re still figuring out what works best and teachers have the authority to override daily limits.

The app also has a feature that can control which students can have hall passes at the same time. Thorn says this feature allows them to crack down on significant others who might want to meet up in the middle of class or prevent groups of students known to abuse bathroom privileges from all being allowed to leave the classroom at the same time.

Thorn says the feature helps them keep students safe who are being bullied.

“It’s really about the bullying, harassment and safety contracts,” Thorn said. “If we can say student A, B and C can’t be out with student D to make sure it [bullying] doesn’t go on, that’s a tremendous way to keep kids safe. We have had to have adults follow students around just to get through some of these school harassment issues.”

You can learn more about the app, how it works and some of the reviews at its website.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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