Kindergarten Celebrates 100th Day of School


Kindergarten celebrated the 100th day of school. They created shirts with 100 items. They also had a 100 day STEM party where students participated in many different STEM activities with 100 items. The class extends a special thank you to parents for the snack donations and helping the children create their shirts.

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4th Grade Visits Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center and Learns About Fossils


Recently, students in fourth grade were invited to attend a special presentation and exhibit on fossils presented by Jane Brechbill and the Georgia Mountain Research and Education Center. Coinciding with North Carolina science standards, students learned about the three types of rocks, plate tectonics and fossils. They were also given the opportunity to handle and examine many rare fossils dating back millions of years.

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Local AMVETS Group Donates, Invites Participation in Student Contests

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Mary Jo Dyre, director of The Learning Center! Charter School accepts a supply of copy paper from Commander Larry Reid with the Murphy, NC AMVETS, Post 2015, who spearheaded the donation effort.

The Learning Center! Charter School, like many schools in the area, face yearly challenges to keep basic supplies on hand. Take copy paper for instance. It’s a necessity even in our digital world. Earlier in the school year, Commander Larry Reid with the Murphy, NC AMVETS, (American Veterans) Post 2015, spearheaded a copy paper donation to the school. “Copy paper is one of those items that we have an ongoing need for on our school campus,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre. “Of course, what captured my attention is that a group that has given so much wants to give back even more to their communities.”

Commander Reid invited the school to participate in the National Americanism Contests that are co-sponsored by the membership of AMVETS and AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary. The AMVETS website states, “The youth of America will be the torchbearers for the next generation and we can make a significant contribution in helping them to understand our rich heritage by taking part in our Program of Essays, Poster and Flag Coloring contests, with appropriate themes, in our nation’s schools.” The Learning Center is encouraging student participation in all three areas of the National Americanism Contest.

As one of America’s leading veterans service organizations with over 250,000 members, AMVETS has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who is currently serving, or who has honorably served, in the U.S. Armed Forces from World War II to the present, to include the National Guard and Reserves.

AMVETS Post 2015 meets every fourth Monday at Penland Senior Center, 69 Alpine St., across from Murphy Public Library. For details, call Larry Reid at 835-7405.


***IMPORTANT**** Due to widespread sickness among staff and students, we will begin our winter break EARLY. There will be NO SCHOOL FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17th, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20th and TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21st. These dates will replace the previously scheduled Winter Break. School will resume a normal schedule WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. Please get some rest and come back healthy.

3rd Grade Tends the Winter Garden


Third graders have been tending the winter garden at The Learning Center. They have weeded and inspected the lettuce, chard and turnips and are please to see how well everything is doing.

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Charter School Joins Advocates Across the Country for National School Choice Week


Local Charter school, The Learning Center!, joined 2.9 million charter school students nationwide last week in support of National School Choice Week.

Held every January, National School Choice Week focuses on increasing public awareness and empowering parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environments for their children. These options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, online learning, private schools, and homeschooling.

The Learning Center! celebrated National School Choice Week on January 22-28, with an on-campus campaign of awareness that included increased social media presence, placing posters around the school, and distributing bright yellow School Choice Week scarves and stickers. “This campaign has sparked many questions about National School Choice week,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre. “School choice is the movement that offers charter schools as a viable option in education. We are a North Carolina Public School Choice opportunity for education and parents who are seeking a choice for their students’ academic needs have said YES to choosing our school.”

The Learning Center! is among many school choice advocates paying close attention to the annual event. “With more than 21,392 events across the nation in 2017, National School Choice Week is now the world’s largest annual education-related celebration,” said Dana Bolyard, Social Media Director and Charter School Advocate for The Learning Center. “And with School Choice, more parents have the opportunity to choose motivating, challenging, and effective educational environments for their children than ever before.” The school was awarded a School Choice Leadership award last week in recognition of its dedication to providing all children with access to effective education options and it’s participation in the 2017 National School Choice Week.

Started in 2011, National School Choice Week is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort. Advocates for school choice believe that education is not “one size fits all” because not all children learn the same and therefore every child, and their parents, should have the opportunity to choose the best education to suit their needs.

The Learning Center! was one of the first of 34 charter schools to open its doors in 1997 when charter legislation was passed in North Carolina.

5th & 7th Graders Work Together Building Roller Coasters


Recently, students in fifth and seventh grades collaborated on a STEM project to learn about force and motion. Students worked in groups to design, build and trouble shoot desktop roller coasters while learning about and applying the scientific concepts of force and motion.


From Pokemon to Pottery, Learning Center Offers Unique Variety of Electives

unnamedThe Learning Center! Charter School continues to break ground with innovations that present parents and their students with high-quality offerings in 21st century education.

The tuition-free charter school offers unique electives to enrich the curriculum with an E-STEAM learning environment. (E-STEAM is an acronym for Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math.)  The Learning Center’s offerings for electives are vast for an area the size of Murphy, NC. Some examples include two “purposeful project making” courses in P.E. taught by Shelly Crawford, that offers a boot camp course and a course in which students create flags and jerseys for flag football.

Another example of the school’s electives, “Pop culture creations” encourages students to use Pinterest-inspired ideas to create crafts, activities and art that are inspired by their favorite pop culture themes such as Harry Potter, Mindcraft, Pokémon, Dr. Who and more.

Students interested in math would enjoy the Art/Math elective that uses the principals of math to create art. Science teacher, Jess Karageanes claims art skills are not necessary to create art the mathematical way. Another elective called, “Behind the Scenes Make-up” is taught by Ms. Heidi LaCentra who has over 15 years of experience working in theater in Florida.

The school also has a local jewelry maker and staff member, Cindy Brockway, who leads a group in a jewelry making elective. She will assist in setting up a business so the students can sell their creations at the May Art Walk in downtown Murphy.

Pokémon has been a hit this year with students as well as adults and students will have the opportunity to use Pokémon cards and explore the art behind the characters during this elective. They may even get to take a trip and search for digital Pokémon in downtown Murphy.

Other electives include a book club to spend time studying the written arts, a drama and theater arts elective, and for those who like to get their hands dirty, an aquaponics elective that involves growing plant life without soil. Students have many other choices including pottery, art & design, web design, knitting and crochet, hiking, forest management, puppetry, primative skills, coding, chess, cooking, and many more.

Upper Grade Elective Offerings

Check out the awesome sampling of electives offered to fifth through eighth grade students this semester!

The Spring Musical: The Fearsome Pirate Frank: Auditions have taken place for what is always a spring drama success. The Cast has been announced.

Aquaponics: This elective continues to be a growing opportunity.  Only those with a desire to get their hands dirty need apply.

Pokémon Cards: Students can bring their cards on Fridays and do whatever they do with them. On nice days in the spring, they will be allowed to use their phones (if available) to go Pokémon hunting.  We will walk to the park and downtown.

Pinterest PE Projects: Most people get the power of Pinterest to inspire a project. This Pinterest inspired elective will begin with the accessories for flag football by creating belts with detachable flags. Other projects will include making hula hoops, practice jerseys, quivers for archery, a bow rack, playground repairs and upgrades, and a boot camp obstacle course. We will be working with anything from thread and needle to hammer and nails, maybe even a couple power tools.

Entrepreneurs in Training: Use your special interests to start your own business. As young entrepreneurs in training, you will learn how to be your own boss as you make many important business decisions. There are lots of different types of entrepreneurs; however, this semester we are going to learn about starting a jewelry design business: 1. Learn the basics about starting your own business and designing your own logo. 2. Use your artistic flare to design jewelry for men, women, children and pets. 3. Learn tips for pricing your handmade goods. Sell your creations at the 1st Murphy Art Walk of the 2017 Season in May!

Using Math to Create Beautiful Art: Create and see countless examples of gorgeous, simple, clever, and amazing art, all made from mathematical ideas. View fractions like Piet Mondrian. Experience tessellations and symmetry like M.C. Escher, fabricate with Fibonacci and see how irrational numbers can “in-spiral” you.

Pop Culture Creations: Have you ever wanted to create a piece of art from your favorite movie or show? In this elective, we will be working on projects that revolve around creating artistic pieces straight out of the movies. We will be knitting, painting, doing Pinterest projects, and student choice projects.

Book Club with Class work/Homework Support Perks: Are you one of those students that enjoys not only reading a great book but discussing the many interesting details of plot and characters with like-minded people? Does presenting a book review appeal to you? If you answered yes to one of the above questions, you are also often the sort of student who would like quiet time to work on a particular classroom or homework project. This elective is sure to appeal to the dedicated “book worm” who loves to learn!

Behind the Scenes/Make-up Elective:  Join Ms. Heidi for a behind the scenes elective where students will learn makeup, set building, prop design, and staging.  Students will split their time acting as stage hands/ crew for the drama elective and learning stage and beauty makeup. From dry brush to airbrush techniques, colors that compliment complexion, and highlighting hints, this elective is sure to be a blast!