Summer LEAP in Full Swing

Students at The Learning Center Charter School have been participating in the school’s summer program called LEAP. LEAP stands for Learning Education Activity Program.

The summer program at the school was created as a result of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and how two school years were affected by it. The 2019-2020 school year abruptly forced students nationwide into online learning. The 2020-2021 school year saw a mix of remote, online learning and limited in-person learning.  Plus the addition of social distancing and masks when in-person learning was an option created obstacles as well.

“For absolutely no fault of their own, the last few years of school have been incredibly challenging for students to meet expected academic growth,” said Ryan Bender, head of school for The Learning Center. He added, “Our summer LEAP program was designed as a way to meet students where they are and really help fill gaps and move them forward.”

The LEAP program at the school is running different sessions depending on grade level. Each session lasts four weeks. Students spend time daily learning reading, writing, and working on math fundamentals. Each day includes time outdoors as well as “making” activities including music and visual arts.      

Free Facebook Live Jam Session July 20 6pm

Be sure to join our free Facebook Live Jam Session in conjunction with DotCom Therapy​ on Tuesday, July 20 at 6pm right here on our Facebook page. We are hosting four of these Jam Sessions this summer and this is the third installment of the series. This free session is all about promoting social emotional learning. We look forward to seeing you there!

Hands-On Learning

Last school year, our Kindergarten students learned about birds. This included learning facts, reading books about birds, counting and measuring bird things as part of math lessons, and more. However, Ms. Louise was sure to engage the students further with plenty of hands-on activities.

One of the fun hands-on projects these students did was make their own birdfeeders. Students had learned about what birds eat and the importance of high density nutrients to sustain all the things that busy birds do. This was evident when listening to the conversations students had during the making of the bird feeders as they excitedly noted the importance of “more peanut butter” in order to attach “more birdseed!”

Spring 2021 Annual Plant Sale a Success

Each Spring, TLC holds it’s annual plant sale. All plants are supplied by local grower Sunshine Mountain Farms. Perennials, annuals, hanging baskets and shrubs are all sold with proceeds used to benefit students directly through the purchase of school supplies for the following school year. Thanks for making this year’s sale a success.

Film Set on Campus as DotCom Therapy Films Commercial

On April 29th and 30th, 2021, a corner of a classroom on the campus of The Learning Center Charter School was turned into a film set as the school hosted DotCom Therapy for a video commercial shoot.

DotCom Therapy partners with schools, health systems, health plans, communities and families to provide speech, behavioral, and occupational therapy.  The school has used their services for two years to provide in-school speech and occupational therapy as well as mental health counseling services.

“As a school we are not able to hire full time speech and occupational therapists and finding DotCom Therapy has allowed us to offer highly trained, board-certified therapists to our students both effectively and consistently,” said Head of School, Ryan Bender.

Bender added that the school partnered with DotCom Therapy last summer to provide four mental health jam sessions that were available to the community at large. The sessions were conducted via Zoom and free to anyone to attend. Topics included ways of coping with the stress of the pandemic as well as ideas of what to do with children stuck at home during the time.

“Our partnership with DotCom Therapy has benefitted our students immensely and we were happy to host them onsite as they shot a commercial that they will ultimately use on their website and social media,” said Bender.

Why the Emphasis on E-STEAM?

Students are seen building bird houses as part of our school’s E-STEAM approach to daily education.

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.

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 ninth 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.

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. 

Charter High School Expansion Bringing Top Notch Educators Home

As you know, our school is expanding to become a full kindergarten through twelfth grade school in the next four years. The upcoming 2021-22 school year will see the addition of ninth grade with tenth, eleventh, and twelfth being added each subsequent school year.

The school has recently added the impressive team of Steve and Debby Kurti to serve as educators and innovators for students both on campus and within our community as well as provide professional development and support to the school as a whole.

Steve grew up in Franklin, NC. He has a PhD in physics, is the owner of several federal patents, and loves to help teens and young adults discover their curiosity, develop skills, and find the value in learning new things.

Debby pursued graduate work in educational technology leadership at Pepperdine University.  For almost 25 years, she has taught everything from kindergarten to graduate school, as well as facilitated hundreds of professional development experiences for teachers. Debby has developed powerful learning strategies backed up by the best research and educational theory.

In 2013, Steve and Debby started a small education company dedicated to “developing REAL Innovators on Purpose”.  Every year since then, they have run an Innovation Tech Camp in Murphy at The Learning Center (except during the 2020/2021 COVID season).  They created summer tech camp programs, teen mentoring programs, and home school creative tech and science classes during the fall/spring semesters.  Their business has kept them mostly in their small town in southern California, but every summer they have taken their tech camps on the road across America (western NC, TN, GA, FL, Washington DC, WI, northern CA, and WA).

Steve is excited to see how applying new educational and technology ideas can prepare the school’s high school students for solid careers both pre- and post-college.  He will be working closely with teachers to create tech laboratories, practical tech experiences, and connections to local and regional businesses for students to explore. 

Debby will bring a strong focus on excellence in teaching and learning.  She will work closely with the already naturally-gifted TLC teachers to do “on purpose” what they have already been doing intuitively. Debby will bring her passion to help every classroom teacher become a catalyst for creativity and innovation. 

2nd Grade Science – Whales

Second grade students were learning about whales and conducted an experiment about how blubber keeps them warm. The students put one hand in a double Ziplock bag that had Crisco between them and another two bags with nothing between them. Students learned that whales have blubber which is an adaptation they need in order to survive living in colder places and diving down to extreme depths in the ocean.

Field Day 2021

For over 20 years, Field Day has been the hallmark event signaling the end of the school year at The Learning Center Charter School.

This school year certainly looked different but the smile on student faces as they played ball, fished, had potato sack races, and more sure felt like that same end-of-year fun that Field Day always has been.

2nd Grade – STEM Storybook Tents

Second grade students made tents during “Storybook STEM” the last week of school. They were having a camping themed day and in addition to other fun camping related activities, that meant that students designed and built tents! Students read nature, camping, and outdoor adventure books as part of the fun activities as well.