"Development and learning are inextricably linked, but traditionally development is not intentionally addressed. The School Development Program enables educators, parents and families, and community partners to support development, integrate learning, and as a result, improve academic and behavioral outcomes."

— Dr. James P. Comer

The Comer School Development Program (SDP) was implemented in 2011-12 to support child development at four Hartsville elementary schools: Thornwell School for the ArtsWashington Street ElementaryWest Hartsville Elementary and Southside Early Childhood Center.

The Comer model focuses on six developmental pathways – social, psychological, ethical, cognitive, linguistic and physical – to ensure a child’s success in school and in life. Over the past 50 years, independent research shows that schools using the Comer School Development Program experience high levels of student and achievement and development. The Comer model has been successfully implemented in hundreds of schools in more than 20 states and across several countries.


  1. Improve academic achievement and personal development of elementary students
  2. Provide professional development programs for educators and multiple service-learning activities. 

Results (2011-2016)

  1. 6,565 students in the four area elementary schools participated in the program
  2. On average, students increased reading scores by 12-points and math scores by 14-points on MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) testing

Get Involved in a Comer School

Download our flyer (PDF) below about ways you can help with the Comer program.