As seen in the Cherokee Scout Campus Round-Up Edition

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, 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 for North Carolina residents.

The school is on track to be an accredited O.W.L. (Open Way Learning) School later this summer. OWL is a framework that encourages educators to create and share best practices to help keep pace with a rapidly changing economy, society, and environment. OWL encourages educators to prioritize shared vision, distributed leadership, collaboration, freely exchanged knowledge, and innovation in creating customized solutions for learning communities. OWL serves an umbrella over the E-STEAM and PBL (Project Based Learning) foundation of the school. Additionally, fundamental principles of the school such as garden based learning, good nutrition and wellness, and a rich arts program that includes a well developed drama department fit under the OWL umbrella.

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 Head of School, Ryan Bender.

More extras including Compacted Math classes for accelerated math students, daily PE for all grades, National Junior Honor Society, wrestling team, ARTrageous and artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program, Academically and Intellectually Gifted Program, and the after school program provide students with the opportunities to become all they can be. The school also boasts an upper grade CREW Program, in its fifth year of operation, which promotes character development, goal setting, and responsible behaviors.

Additionally, the school instituted an ECO Ed option several years ago offering a home school flex program. The ECO Ed program works with community partners to create adjustable, flexible schedules for families who want to spend more time together and still be connected with a school for instructional support. Having the ECO Ed option already in place made the sudden transition to remote learning in the spring of 2020 as a result of the global pandemic a smooth transition for both teachers and students as a whole.  Having a system already in place resulted in rich and engaging lessons during the stay-at-home orders and kept students plugged into their teachers, classmates and education.

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.

To learn more about and to enroll your child at The Learning Center Charter School, visit www.naturallygrownkids.org or call (828)835-7240.

6th-8th Grade CREW “Sorting” Ceremony

Sixth through eighth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School are divided into four multi-grade CREW groups at the beginning of each school year.  This year the process mimicked the sorting ceremony from the popular Harry Potter book series.

The CREW selection process was like the Harry Potter sorting ceremony where each student wore the hat and it was revealed to them which CREW had been selected for them.

Each CREW meets weekly throughout the school year and are designed to build relationships and a sense of community.  CREW allows students to have a safe place with peers to share both triumphs and defeats.  CREW encourages peer facilitations wherein students take active leadership roles and teachers serve as moderators rather than leaders of the groups.

Ms. Jessie said, “Our CREW concept is based on the idea that we are all in the same boat.  We work together like a crew of a ship.”

After the sorting ceremony, each CREW participated in get-to-know-you icebreaker games.  As the school year progresses, each group will work on goal setting, community service and social development.