Academic Growth Award


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has awarded The Learning Center Charter School their Academic Growth Award for 2016-2017.  This is it’s first year presenting awards for achieving and exceeding expected academic growth.

Academic growth refers to academic progress made over a period of time.

Academic growth represents an impressive amount of hard work by students and educators and our school is proud of this recognition!

Inclement Weather Policy

The Learning Center! Charter School Inclement Weather Delays and Cancellations Policy

Here are a few reminders regarding weather delays and cancellations. The following should be remembered:

• Inclement Weather includes not only snow and ice, but flooding, rock and mud slides and many other possibilities.

• For the safety of your family take efforts to be aware of weather conditions in our area.

• TLC! is currently using a Parent Notification System in which you will receive a phone call regarding a delayed start or school closing. Please always make sure your phone numbers are up to date to ensure you receive this call.

• Remember that we live in a geographically large area. What is happening or not happening in your backyard may not be the case for other families. For that reason, when you know as an informed parent that inclement situations are a possibility, always check the local radio stations, ( WKRK or weather line on WKRK 835-3200 seems to be the first to alert but sometimes as late as 7:30) and TV stations. If necessary, establish a buddy system with some person that you know is in the know, and have that person give you a call. The radio station also provides a text messaging service you can sign up for that will also notify you.

• WE WILL ALWAYS FOLLOW CHEROKEE COUNTY’S DELAY OR CANCELLATION SCHEDULE. They have the manpower to check the roads. Be assured they will err on the side of caution when they make that decision, for accidents have happened in the past that no one wants to risk again.

• WE WILL SEND OUT INFORMATION TO OUR PARENTS ABOUT MAKE-UP DAYS. We do NOT follow Cherokee County’s make-up schedule.

• If for some reason, none of the above has worked for you and you show up at the school, let the lack of cars and lights be an indicator that something is not as usual. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A STUDENT BE DROPPED IN THE PARKING LOT IN HOPES THAT SOMEONE WILL ARRIVE. There will be no staff member present to supervise students before the official time of school The Learning Center! follows Cherokee county schools delayed start schedule. There is no Early Bird breakfast on these delayed mornings so the schedule will be as follows:

****Please note: Students must arrive and be signed in through the Dining Commons early enough to be IN CLASS and ready to work by the times noted as follows:

9:00 *1 hour delay: no breakfast, students still check in through the Dining Commons.

10:00 *2 hour delay: no breakfast, students still check in through the Dining Commons.

11:00 *3 hour delay: no breakfast, students still check in through the Dining Commons. In the event of a 2 hour delay.

The doors of the Dining Commons will NOT open before 9:30.

Students must sign in through the Dining Commons even though we are not serving breakfast. We will start sending students to homerooms at 9:45. THE GOAL IS FOR STUDENTS TO BE IN THEIR ROOMS READY FOR INSTRUCTION AT 10:00 SHARP. Getting to school on time is very important since your child will have already missed instructional time because of the delay. We ask that you keep this information available for easy reference. We will also send out phone tree reminders for all inclement weather days.

Your child’s safety and the safety of others must be the top priority.


Mary Jo Dyre, Director

You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers — RESCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 8th


Our Director, Mary Jo Dyre, offers Director Under the Tent days as a time where parents can access her without getting an appointment. This is a time where you can ask questions, get involved with volunteer efforts, and begin or continue to better understand the big picture vision of the educational opportunities that we offer on The Learning Center campus. Be sure to stop by the tent on Friday, September 8, 2017 anytime between 7:30am and 4:00pm to ask questions and find out more about all things related to The Learning Center Charter School.


***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.


Internet Safety, Meeting Individual Learning Needs

Through Technology and Hour of Code


Choose ONE date/time that works for you:

  • Monday, November 30, 2015 at 8:00am


  • Monday, November 30, 2015 at 5:00pm


  • Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 1:00pm


All parent training sessions take place in the Gymnatorium. You will sign in directly in the gym.

Training sessions will last approximately two hours. Snacks will be provided.

Please take this opportunity to become partners with the school in your student’s academic accomplishments. I strongly recommend all parents attending this HIGH PRORITY PARENT TRAINING.

                                                                                                       Mary Jo Dyre, Director

Update on Construction and Happenings on Campus

Lowe’s Heroes….and other heroes making things happen at The Learning Center! Charter School ! in conjunction with the SOON TO START BUILDING PROGRAM

Now two and a half years ago we first began to plan with our architect, David Lisle of Lisle Architecture our of Wilmington, NC, the next building phase that would be made possible through a USDA loan. A requirement of the USDA loan application includes some in-kind project. When the board concluded that we needed to do as much as possible to improve the public perception of our campus, the architect came up a low-cost project idea that could be accomplished by volunteer help, with some seed monies from community organizations: the Terraced Planting Space, phase 1 of which has now been completed thanks to volunteer efforts of Lowe’s Heroes, Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Nehemiah’s Neighbors, and some of our awesome parents.

The architect had helped to establish THREE GOALS to accomplish with the Terraced Planting Project:

Goal 1: To create with minimum outlay of cash raised through community seed funds, small gardening grants and private donations a “green space” in the front of the school that gives the public a “first impression” of our school based on a cause and an approach to education that is dear to The Learning Center heart. In other words, when fully developed ( hopefully sometime in the late spring of 2015) modules are not the first thing the public notices about our campus.

Goal 2: To solve a safety problem that has exists each and every day students are meeting parents in cars during pick-up. The vertical planting space forces the use of one of the three exit path rather that students running out directly into traffic. Even though we will not get the final steps put in until another small grant arrives for outdoor space, the safety problem has already been solved.

Goal 3: To provide a secure, fenced area for raising food for School Nutrition Program use while also providing space for ongoing school-wide STEM lesson that will be carried out year after year. We anticipate having a portion of this goal complete in late Spring 2015 and Fall of 2015.

In short, what an accomplishment from volunteers and grant and community seed funds.

PLEASE NOTE: Although not linked to the USDA loan requirements, we have already started beginning steps of a complete renovation of the Dining Commons. We will know soon as to whether we have the grant funds to see this project to completion sooner as opposed to later.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: We are gearing up to the official ground-breaking for the long-awaited Gymnatorium/Makers Space that is to be located behind the Dining Commons. As of today, November 18, 2014, we anticipate ground breaking to occur Monday, November 24 or soon thereafter.

If you ever have questions about our long-range building plan, do not hesitate to ask. I had a booth set up at the Parent’s Fair and the first Director Under the Tent session for just such questions and will continue to provide information throughout the school year at key presentation times.

Join us in being excited about all of the many signs of growth that are happening here on The Learning Center! Charter School campus.

Mary Jo Dyre, Director


In the summer of 2013 when The Learning Center! Charter School began to prepare for the 10th annual Monster Mash Bash, those of us involved, made a commitment to see the next ten years of -Monster Mash history grow into an even greater community -wide entertainment piece.   Simultaneously, the Jackie Ward Foundation made the commitment to support a weekend arts entertainment event that would enrich the Murphy, NC area.  It was immediately concluded that the annual Learning Center Monster Mash provided the ideal foundation on which to accomplish the Jackie Ward Foundation goal. Jackie Ward board members, working with Barbara Hughes and Jon and Tammy Fleisher, drawing on the rich historical research of the Cherokee County Paranormal Society, moved forward to create the Legend Has It Weekend.  On Friday, October 24, 2014, the Legend Has It Weekend will kick-off with a 2 hour Legend Has It Walking Tour of Murphy under the direction of David Vowell working with a talented group of regional actors who will make history and lore come alive.  Saturday, night, October 25, 2014, the Learning Center’s annual Monster Mash Bash event will conclude the Legend Has It Weekend. This year’s Monster Mash theme is Harry Potter, including the area-acclaimed Hogwart’s Revisited MAZE , booths, costume contest, bounce houses, cake raffles, and more. See details of both nights of the Legend Has It Weekend below:

  • Legend Has It Walking Tour of Murphy: Friday, October 24, 2014. Starts at 8:15 SHARP in front of the Daily Grind in downtown Murphy. Ticket Price: $20 includes 2 hour walking tour, end-of-tour refreshments at the Parson’s Pub, and small group “after hour’s tour” of a surprise historical site in the downtown area.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at The Learning Center! Charter School office, online at or the downtown Murphy Curiosity Book Store. Arrive early enough to retrieve your  reserved ticket at the All Call table. We do not guarantee that tickets will be available the night of the event.
  • The Learning Center’s MONSTER MASH BASH: Saturday, October 25, 2014. 6:00 pm-10:00pm.

NOTE THESE CHANGES IN ADMISSION PRICE:  $5 Admission Bracelet: all booths, all night.  $10 Admission Bracelet, all booths, contests, Bounce House and Slide, all night.

 Cake/stuffed animal walks, raffles, silent auction, the Hogwart’s Revisited MAZE and food  vendors are all separate cash events.

2014 Spring Academics and the Arts Emphasis

For those of you who have long been a part of life at The Learning Center! you are very familiar with our annual spring emphasis on the Academics and the Arts. If you are new to the campus or if you just want to know the latest, you may want to check out the information on our website , under Events, then click on Academics and the Arts.  Additionally there is more detailed, related information:

Historically, the Spring Academics and Arts emphasis started as a two-day celebration, then expanded to a week-long event, to several weeks, and next to a semester. It is so exciting to realize that we are pulling off an arts emphasis that happens all year long. Check out our ongoing accomplishments for the 2013-2014 school year:

  • Beginning of fall semester: Introduced Get Exposed to Music Friday and The Beat Goes On, private music lessons. Both programs will be ongoing.
  • K-4 Chorus Program
  • GrowZone Players participate in the annual Street Drama event through Cherokee County Arts Council Art Walk.
  • Annual Veterans’ Day Program, K-4 Chorus
  • Annual Tree Lighting Program, 2nd-4th Chorus
  • Annual Murphy Christmas Parade, GrowZone Players
  • Elective Program, 6th -8th, Art and Design(Carrie Dyer, instructor), Pottery (Julie Johnson, instructor) Knitting and Crochet,( BJ McFalls and Carol Jean Smith, instructors)
  • K-4 Visual Arts Program, Carrie Dyer, instructor
  • New “arts connection” with Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, Woodstock, GA, Gay Grooms, Director. GrowZone Players and Jackie Ward Foundation representatives were recent guests at an Elm Street performance of Treasure Island.  It is through the Elm Street connection and the drive of our own Music Education Program Director, Judy Coleman, that we are beginning a K-4 Drama Education Program, starting late spring with grades 3rd-4th.
  • Annual Talent Show, K-8
  • Jo Kilmer, clogging instructor, is finishing up today the 2014 Artist in Residency stint here on our campus. This residency offering is made possible through a Grassroots Arts Grant promoted through the Cherokee County Arts Council. Kelly and I have enjoyed the number of parents coming into the office asking for more details about the dance classes that Jo offers at the nearby Wellness Center. We have also enjoyed students coming in to tell us that they have bought tap shoes for clogging.
  • Annual Spring Concert, K-4, Judy Coleman, Director
  • Annual Spring Play, THE BIG BAD MUSICAL, Lisa Maliska, Director, Judy Coleman, Music Director, The GrowZone Players,
  • Group of 5th-8th graders attended NORTH CAROLINA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA concert sponsored by Brasstown Concert Association, with special thanks to Roberta Rankin, Jackie Ward Foundation.
  • K-8TH YOUTH ARTISTS, working with Carrie Dyer and Julie Johnson submitted entries in the Valley River Arts Guild 2014 Student Art Exhibit.