Teacher Attends 2018 William Friday Teachers Retreat

Jess Stephens (front, fifth from the left) was one of only 35 teachers selected to attend the William Friday Teachers Retreat Carolina Voices on July 25-27, 2018 in Asheville, NC.

Jess Stephens, eighth grade Social Studies teacher at The Learning Center Charter School, was selected from over 400 applicants to attend the 2018 William Friday Teachers Retreat Carolina Voices in honor of Wilma Dykeman on July 25 – 27th in Asheville, NC.

One of only 35 teachers chosen to attend, Stephens participated in the two and a half day academic retreat.  Generously funded by the North Caroliniana Society and the Hillsdale Fund, Inc., the retreat focused on North Carolina history and literature.

“Much of what my eighth grade social studies students explore in class deals with the diverse and distinctive people and events that have occurred in our Tar Heel history,” said Stephens. “It was such a wonderful, immersive experience to attend this academic retreat and what I learned will be brought into my classroom daily.”

Come Support ARTrageous & Our Own GrowZone Players TONIGHT

TONIGHT is ARTrageous 2018 — art, food, live music, and our fabulous GrowZone Players performing a one-act play. $8 for adults and $5 for students. Please consider supporting this awesome event. Plus you’ll be able to bid on items in our silent auction. OH! Did I mention there will be food? 


3rd Grade STEM — Building “Robotic” Hands

What can you build with a pile of paper, string and paperclips? “Robotic” hands.

Third grade students at The Learning Center Charter School did exactly that in conjunction with what they were learning about in science during the month of September.

Third grade teacher, Gina Stafford, and elementary science teacher, Emily Willey, wanted students to research, design, construct, and troubleshoot ways to build moving hands as a means to better understand the human skeletal system.

Stafford said, “Designing and building are foundational components of STEM education. Plus, those activities really force a student to take a deep look at how things work.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and is a guiding philosophy of education at the charter school.   The school takes it a step further by including entrepreneurship, arts and agriculture – E-STEAM.

Stafford added, “It is one thing to read about something in a book and another to delve deep and understand a topic. Building these moving hands has allowed my students to comprehend how bones and muscles work together to move our bodies. Plus the kids had a total blast.”

Other Seasonal Celebrations Around Campus at Halloween Time – Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Computer Coding

In addition to our annual Makers Mash that took place last week on Halloween, our students founds lots of other ways to celebrate the season as well.  Students in third grade decorated pumpkins and middle schoolers across the board did fun computer coding with a Halloween theme.

Apple Crazy in 2nd Grade

As part of their study on Johnny Appleseed, students in second grade had to learn how to read a recipe.  Students learned what recipes are, why recipes have ingredients as well as suggestions for cooking supplies.  They also learned how a person cooking must follow the step by step written directions when assembling the recipe.

Students were able to make a recipe called Apple Smiles where they gathered ingredients and supplies and followed the directions on assembling their Apple Smiles snacks.

Along with recipes and making Apple snacks, the students learned all about the life of John Chapman and made an Apple Fact Tree as part of their Guided Reading time.

Clearly, everyone  had fun learning about Johnny Appleseed as well as how to read a recipe.

Scenes from Makers Mash 2018

Each year at Halloween time, our school puts on a party for Makers. We call it our annual Makers Mash and it is an event that student and staff look forward to each year. Students make decorated/carved pumpkins, monsters from upcycled materials, and come dressed in costumes in all sorts of categories such as traditional, upcycled, yearly themed and group categories. Judges are on hand to pick winners in a wide variety of categories and even award cash prizes. This yearly Maker event gets the creative juices flowing and gets our students thinking about our annual School Maker Faire that will be held in March. Such fun!

4th Grade STEM — Energy


Recently fourth graders began their energy types unit by working with different STEM sets creating vehicles and a variety of electric circuits. Students collaborated in groups to figure out solutions to problems as they interacted with these much loved kits.