Students Get a Jump Start

Teachers and students made a jump start to the new school year at The Learning Center Charter School the week of July 20, 2020.

Rising third and fourth graders at the school took advantage of the Summer Jump Start program that is designed to fill in the learning gaps and help with potential learning loss due to Covid-19.

Students countywide were directed by Governor Cooper to remain home from mid-March through the end of the last school year. The same is true for most all kindergarten through twelfth grade students nationwide.  Although students were participating in remote/virtual learning during that stay-at-home period, the extended pause has experts and educators concerned about the potential impacts on student achievement.

According to the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), a non-profit organization that assesses student academic progress in over 49 countries , 50 states, and 3400 districts, there are projected learning losses that are magnified by the extended  absence from in person instruction that occurs in the classroom. 

NWEA used data of typical summer learning loss and compared the learning loss trajectory for the additional two months of missed in person instruction. They used a national sample of over 5 million students in grades 3-8.

“It’s a statistical fact that students can suffer an academic setback during the summer months and with the extended closure due to Covid-19, we decided to put our Summer Jump Start program in place to lessen that gap,” said Stephanie Hopper, Associate Academic Director at the charter school.

The charter school carefully prepared the campus following DHHS guidelines to assure that students are learning in a safe environment.  Masks and strict safety protocols are in place to protect both students and teachers during the Summer Jump Start.

“Our goal has always been and it remains so during these difficult times to provide our students a high quality, comprehensive, and engaging education,” said Hopper.  “Our Summer Jump Start is ensuring we keep our students on track for a successful new school year.”

TLC on track to become OWL certified school

This summer teachers have continued OWL training that they first began last summer. OWL stands for Open Way Learning which serves as a set of principles that transform education by leveraging the power of open communities. According to openwaylearning.org, OWL is a framework that encourages educators to create, modify, and share best practices to help education keep pace with a rapidly changing economy, society, and environment.

Our school is on track to become an OWL certified school this summer. OWL will allow us to continue engaging in shared vision, collaboration, and the free exchange of ideas ensures that our school will continue to create customized solutions for our students and community.

Learning More About Us & What the New School Year Will Look Like

School starts in less than a month and we appreciate Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce visiting our school, learning more about us, and making this video.

The 2020-21 school year is definitely going to look different for our students but The Learning Center has solid plans in place to offer our families two options for how students can be enrolled, attend school, and receive the awesome E-STEAM, Project Based Learning (PBL), Open Way Learning (OWL) education you expect and rely on.

Visit our website’s FAQ of our Covid-19 2020-21 School Year page to find the latest, up-to-date information about how school will look this fall at The Learning Center Charter School.

The E-STEAM Culture at The Learning Center

Students at The Learning Center Charter School engineer, build, test, design and troubleshoot every day. Why? Because STEM education extends to every student at the school no matter the age.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.  Our school takes it a step further by including entrepreneurship, arts and agriculture – E-STEAM.

Ryan Bender, Head of School, says, “Cultivating an E-STEAM culture is the guiding philosophy for our school and within that we offer an amazing array of learning opportunities for our students – each and every student from kindergarten through eighth grade.”

“For many years, we have worked diligently to make our curriculum and campus a true E-STEAM environment. We teach students that the science, math, and technology skills that are essential for becoming 21st Century citizens are deeply integrated within the activities of entrepreneurship and agriculture, as well as language, music, and visual arts,” adds Bender.

Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences.  As students move into high school and beyond, they will begin to specialize in more specific interests. 

However, it will be the early broad-based education that assures the well-rounded, future-ready leaders and citizens who are the foundation of a healthy, productive, creative and sustainable Community of Learners.

An incredible team of educators brings this approach to our students on a daily basis, providing these young learners with the tools they need to succeed. 

5th Grade Class Receives Military Flag

This past school year, our fifth grade students wrote letters to Air Force pilot, Captain Woody.  The class wrote letters to show appreciation for his service throughout his deployment.  As a token of thanks, Captain Woody mailed the class an official military Flag of the United States of America.  The flag will be displayed in the classroom next school year.

Sports Programs at TLC

The Learning Center is firmly committed to providing opportunities for wellness across the board for our students. We believe that in addition to stretching a students mind, they should stretch their bodies too.

Good nutrition, daily physical education and garden based learning have long served as a core value ensuring physical wellness for our students. Offering extracurricular sports programming provides further opportunities for student health, self-esteem, self-confidence, teamwork and leadership building! 

Wrestling became our first official team sport in 2018 and we are hopeful that we can expand our offerings soon.  We plan to partner with Carolina Mountain Athletics to pursue volleyball and cross-country for the fall and basketball in October for our middle school students. 

Why do we emphasize Garden Based Learning?

Students at TLC aren’t strangers to getting their hands dirty.  Why?  Because gardening engages students by providing a living environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture, and learn.

Gardens are living laboratories where our students learn everything from team work to food production and lessons can be taught across the curriculum.

Gardening encourages students to become active participants in the learning process.

Although our students were not on campus this spring to bring our gardens to life, Ms. Emily was sure to still plant flowers and vegetables to beautiful our campus during the global pandemic.

3rd Graders Studied Famous Statues

This statue was titled, “Stay Safe, Stay Home”

During remote learning this past school year, third grade students were assigned the task of researching some famous statues across the world, like the Statue of Liberty, Christ the Redeemer, and The Motherland Calls. They were asked to create their own statues to represent the Covid-19 Crisis and Quarantine. These students totally knocked it out of the park!

This student described his statute by saying, “I don’t like staying at home all the time and I don’t like wearing a mask. My statue is six feet tall because you are supposed to stay six feet away from people. The laptop is for remote learning because we can’t go to school. The gloves and mask and antibacterial soap are to keep people safe from getting the virus. The solar light is for essential workers and teachers for helping.”
This student explained, “I chose the apple because it’s a symbol for health and I chose the golf tees because it is a symbol for fun and social activities which have been really limited by Covid 19.  I had it floating in the air because everything is so uncertain right now.”  

Free Online Counseling Sessions Available to Community

The global pandemic and resulting health, economic, and job security concerns along with continued and sustained social distancing are difficult for us all.  How can you cope? How can you help your family and friends cope with the uncertainty of it all?

The Learning Center Charter School in conjunction with DotCom Therapy, is offering four free online Jam Sessions for anyone in the community that would like to attend.  Each session is on a Tuesday evening as follows:  June 16 at 6pm, June 30 at 6pm, July 14 at 6pm, and July 28 at 6pm. Topics will include things like parents’ summer survival tips and helping kids self-regulate as well as cope during these times of isolation.

Participants can expect to have an open, supportive conversation about important topics and tips that impact our daily lives.

Participants can simply log on to listen to the information or take a more active role in the dialogue by asking questions.

The counselor that will be leading the sessions is Michaela Landry.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2015 from University of New England.

These Jam Sessions are funded by The Learning Center Charter School and are available to anyone in the community at no cost. Please visit www.naturallygrownkids.org, https://www.facebook.com/TLCGrowZonePage, or call 835-7240 to find the login information to join these free Jam Sessions.

Michaela Landry, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for DotCom Therapy, will lead four free online Jam Sessions for our community on June 16, June 30, July 14, and July 28th.