The Learning Center! Offers Rich Program Across All Districts

The Learning Center! Charter School continues to break ground with innovations that present parents and their students with high-quality offerings in 21st century education. Ambitious facility improvements, including a newly renovated dining commons, are designed for rich academic opportunities on this “future-ready” campus.

The Learning Center! offers an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math) learning environment. The school’s education philosophy includes the belief that all young learners have the right to experience a broad, rich, and rigorous range of academics during the formative K-8 years. Additionally, the school offers an award-winning nutrition program, daily P.E., unique electives and extra-curricular opportunities. The school’s emphasis on healthy living, community involvement and high academic standards is designed to produce future-ready citizens. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) has NO district restrictions and accepts students across all counties.

Director Mary Jo Dyre is particularly proud to announce a Kindergarten Montessori Blend Program. “We have had such consistent, strong success with the feeder Montessori Program that is located on our school campus, that we wanted to continue the Montessori Method into Kindergarten, which we believe works best for young learners.”

Learning Center’s “Above and Beyond” programs include Compacted Math classes for gifted students, “Music Friday” guest musicians program, K-4 chorus, links to a variety of instrument lessons, a highly developed drama program. New this year is the upper grade’s CREW Program that promotes character development, goal setting and responsible behaviors.

More extras including National Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind teams, “Academics and the Arts” artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program, Writers Club, “Girls on the Run” and “Girls on Track” provide students with the possibility to become all they can be.

Designated as a “USDA Healthier U.S. School” (Silver Level), The Learning Center! places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. The school is proud to announce it’s free breakfast and lunch program available for ALL students.

The Learning Center! serves approximately 200+ students and is open to both in and out-of-county students. There is no tuition for grades K through 8th. The school also features a Montessori private preschool serving ages 3-5 years. After School programs are available for all ages. Summer Enrichment Programs such as “Inventors Camp” and Intervention programs are also offered.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call 828.835.7240. Visit, their blog ( and FaceBook page (

3rd Grade STEM – Designing Prosthetic Limbs


Science students in third grade have hit the ground running this school year. In order to learn about the skeletal, muscular and integumentary systems of the human body, science teacher, Ms. Emily, has the students designing prosthetic limbs. These third graders have spent time brainstorming designs and as they learn more about how the human systems works, they will revise their plans accordingly. Using science, technology, engineering and math, this lesson jumps out of a textbook and into their imagination!

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Upper Grades PE Takes on Their Version of the Olympic Games


During the first week of school, students in the upper grades participated in a unique version of the Olympic Games. Separated into teams, students held contests in wrapping students in toilet paper, whoopie cushion relay races and plunger throws. The games severed several purposes. They got the students moving. They got the students working in teams. They taught some of the basic rules and procedures of PE at TLC. And, they allowed the kids to have loads of fun!

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1st Grade on the First Day of School

1st Grade - First day of school Aug 11, 2016

2016-2017 TLC Staff

2016-17 Group Staff Picture

The first day of the 2016-2017 school year is in the books and among the new backpacks, sneakers and t-shirts was lots of talk about the summer and what everyone did with their time.  It’s only fair that teachers and staff share what they did during summer vacation as well.

  • Hiked to the summit of Mount Avery in Colorado
  • Visited Tybee Island, Georgia
  • Tended beehives
  • Went to the beach
  • Spent time with grandchildren
  • Toured the western US
  • Grew a huge vegetable garden
  • Made blackberry jelly
  • Slept in every single day
  • Judged the Asheville Wine & Food Festival

Welcome back students, staff and teachers!

TLC Grandparent Makes and Donates Chair Pockets to 4th Grade

20160731_084516Over the summer, a TLC grandparent designed and made chair pockets for the fourth grade class. You can see that they slip over the back of classroom chairs and have a pocket on the backside to hold anything from paper, books, pencils and other supplies.  20160801_200525

Like many public schools, we must be highly resourceful and financially creative to bring the best teachers, tools, and resources to our students. A giving community is essential to the continued success of our school. 

We are a non-profit, 501c3 organization, so any monetary gifts made to the school are eligible for tax deduction. While financial donations are incredibly important, you don’t have to give just money to give to our school! Your time and talent are appreciated in so many ways. Whether it’s reading to child, beautifying our campus, joining Parents Involved, or driving for a Fieldwork experience, you are providing an essential contribution to our Community of Learners. Visit our website and click on the “Giving” Tab along the top to find out more about volunteering and all the ways you can help.

What exactly is a charter school anyway?

(This post originally appeared on August 30, 2010.  However, it bears repeating now and again.  Be sure to be up to date on all things happening in charter law both in our state and across the nation.  How?  Use the category drop down menu located in the side bar on the right and choose “Charter School Updates” to see all posts relating to the subject.)


How many of you have been at a summer cookout and have been asked, “I know your kid goes to the charter school over there down from the pool.  What exactly is a charter school anyway?”  How about at Thanksgiving dinner when all your distant relatives are together?  Doesn’t someone invariably ask you to tell them what makes a charter school different from other schools?  I’ve even been asked by the check-out person at the grocery store when they see my kid’s school t-shirt.

So, what do you tell them?

Wikipedia says that,

a charter school is a school that receives public money (and like other schools, may also receive private donations) but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school’s charter.  Charter schools are opened and attended by choice.  While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition.


Um.  Well.  Okay.

What are you going to tell Great Uncle Earl when he asks what a charter school is at your next holiday get together?

A charter school is a public school of choice. It is public.  Public means no tuition.  In other words, it’s free.  And, you choose to go there.

A charter school offers innovation in education. A charter school has to meet the same state academic standards that every other school has to meet.  However, the school itself decides how it’s going to achieve those standards.

Now you know.

So go forth and educate the world.  Or at least your immediate community

Did you see the awesome Dining Commons renovations?


Over the summer, the Dining Commons underwent some much needed renovation. The roof was replaced, gutters were added, it was power washed, painted, drywall was installed where needed inside, and painted. These renovations ensure the structure remains protected from the elements and that our students can continue to use this integral space for many years to come.

20160622_142334 20160712_133101 20160712_133116 pressurewash1 pressurewash2 Resized_20160614_105508 roof progress- June 15, 2016


By now you have seen the new Early Bird Breakfast mural adorning the building as well. Be on the lookout for further murals decorating the Gymnatorium in the future.

School Supplies Donated by Parents Involved and BB&T


So much of what happens at TLC could not happen without the support of community businesses and partners.  Our very own Parents Involved organization donated the above pictured school supplies valued at $1,500.  Furthermore, our local BB& T Bank provided all the items pictured below with a value of $355. These generous donations will be put to good use in every classroom across our campus. Thank you PI and BB&T partners!


Parent Fair TOMORROW August 9th

2016 TLC Parent Fair (1)


The Learning Center! provides a safe and challenging academic environment for students that encourages independent thinking, healthy living, environmental responsibility, community involvement and personal excellence in order to produce a community of learners who are prepared to succeed in an ever-changing global society.

Support the Jackie Ward Foundation. The Jackie Ward Foundation for The Academics & The Arts honors teacher, advocate, and volunteer Jackie Marie Ward, 1950-1997. Jackie's love of children and her passion for education now serve as a source of inspiration for The Learning Center! Charter School to promote better educational opportunities for our youth.

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