As Seen in the Cherokee Scout School Round Up Edition

Murphy – The Learning Center Charter School, a tuition-free public charter school, continues to break ground with high-quality offerings in 21st century education. On-going facility improvements are designed for rich academic opportunities on this “future-ready” campus.

The Learning Center Charter School offers an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math) learning environment.  Students are exposed across the curriculum to 3-D Printers, robotics and coding. 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.

The Learning Center’s Montessori Blend Kindergarten program has proven to be a strong approach to instruction for even the youngest learners. “We’ve had consistent success with the feeder Montessori Program that is located on our school campus,” said school director, Mary Jo Dyre.

The school’s programs include Compacted Math classes for accelerated math students, daily PE for all grades, a highly developed drama program, and frequent garden-based learning opportunities across campus and in the school’s Outdoor Learning Center. The upper grade’s CREW Program, in its third year of operation, promotes character development, goal setting and responsible behaviors.

More extras including National Junior Honor Society, Odyssey of the Mind teams, ARTrageous and artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program and AIG After School Program provide students with the opportunities to become all they can be.

Designated as a “USDA Healthier U.S. School” (Silver Level), The Learning Center Charter School places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. The school also has a free breakfast and lunch program available for ALL students.

The charter school 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 Innovation Tech Camp and intervention programs are also offered.

Why Our Students “Venture Out”

Fourth through eighth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School travel each spring as part of the school’s robust “Venture Out” program.  Last school year, fourth and fifth graders traveled to Pigeon Forge while sixth through eighth graders spent three days in Atlanta.

These annual excursions are part of the school’s Venture Out cross-curricular travel-study program that weaves literature, science, social studies, history and art with travel and real life experiences. The Venture Out program includes travel across our mountain region throughout the school year and has included New York City, coastal North Carolina, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans in the past.

This year, fourth and fifth graders experienced attractions in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg including Wonderworks, Titanic Museum, and Ripley’s Aquarium as well as Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Sixth, seventh and eighth graders ventured to Atlanta where they explored the Georgia Aquarium, Buford Highway Farmers Market, Callenwolde Fine Arts Center, and the Fernbank Museum. They also enjoyed an Atlanta Hawks basketball game, the Martin Luther King Historic Site, and the Centers for Disease Control Museum.

School Director, Mary Jo Dyre, considers travel an investment in education. “It allows kids the opportunity to see first-hand the things they have learned and to put into practice the skills they have acquired. They gain a global perspective and a strong independence that no other teaching method can impart,” says Dyre.  “Without travel, students only see the world on a screen or in a book but our school ensures that they get to experience it for themselves.”

Expeditionary Learning Coordinator, Julie Johnson, says, “Venture Out trips expose our students to a wide range of experiences across a variety of subjects, and create lasting memories they will carry into their future studies.”

Muddy Sneakers Expeditions Part II

You might remember that back in March, Fifth Grade students went on their first Muddy Sneakers Expedition.  In May, they  had a fantastic time at their final excursion. They went to Fires Creek and studied Aquatic Ecosystems.

They had a blast as it was the perfect time of year to study ecosystems. They  saw every stage of a salamanders life cycle, a couple types of snakes, and found out how to check water pollution by investigating bug life in the water and so much more.

According to teacher, Ms. Jay, “Students absolutely loved this experience!”

Earth Day River Walks

In celebration of Earth Day back in April, Tony Ward of Hiawasee River Watershed Coalition (HRWC) guided the studets on a walk of Murphy’s Riverwalk and explained the difference in native and non-native species. Students also explored why it is important for plants to grow on riverbanks to prevent erosion as the kids learned that dirt is the number one polluter in our rivers. Students learned about many local trees and shrubs and how they all had different methods of spreading their seeds.

5th Grade Students Enjoy Muddy Sneakers® Expedition

Making nests, drinking white pine tea and building solar ovens was recently the order of the day for fifth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School.  That’s because field educators from Muddy Sneakers® took the class on a two day expedition into the outdoors.

The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude.  Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.

Muddy Sneakers Field Instructors, Dana Bradley and Jace Besold, visited the charter school for two days in March. They took students to the Hanging Dog recreation area to learn about energy.  They will be back again to teach the 5th graders about both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Fifth grade science teacher at the school, Jay Ward, said, “The students loved the trip not just because it was fun, but because they were divided into small groups and were really able to focus on what the instructors were teaching. I loved seeing the kids so involved with the activities and enjoying the outdoors. They really did get muddy sneakers!”

Learning in the Great Outdoors – 6th-8th Charter School Students Go Camping

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This September, Learning Center charter school 6th-8th grade students embarked on a two night, three day camping trip to explore Cherokee history and the great outdoors. While camping in the Deep Creek area, students explored their surroundings in a variety of different ways.

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Students enjoyed a horseback ride through a wooded trail and were able to learn about local flora and fauna. They were taught the basics of horseback safety while exploring the incredible biodiversity of our mountains.

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While at camp, students hiked, waded in the river, found signs of insect and animal life, inspected plants of all kinds, and tried their hand at fishing. In camp, students were taught leave-no-trace ethics and pitched in to set up camp and maintain a safe, clean, and happy community.

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The group ventured out of camp to enjoy a hayride and ride the Smoky Mountain Railroad Steam Train.

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Annual 6th-8th Grade Fall Camping Trip Scheduled

While students can learn many things on our campus, we know the world waiting outside offers even more opportunity for rich, engaging, educational experience. Each Fall, students in 6th through 8th grades have the opportunity to go camping as a group. They enjoy the outdoors, learn a little bit about nature, cook on a campfire and share experiences and stories with their classmates in a new setting. This year’s trip promises to be a great one! Make sure your student is signed up before September 15th!

CAMPING Fall 2017

 

They should have come home with the above form. If not, you can print this one or pick one up in the front office. Your student won’t want to miss it!

 

 

 

 

Pathfinder Crew Paints Rocks as Part of Earth Day Activities

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The Pathfinder Crew painted rocks as part of the Murphy Rocks movement and then hid them with care along the River Walk.  This was in conjunction with learning about native trees and water quality as part of their Earth Day activities with the Hiawassee River Watershed Coalition.

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