1st Grade Science – All Living Things Video from Ms. Emily

Ms. Emily teaches science to our young students. Here she is teaching about living things.

As a family member or friend of a student at our school, you may wonder how education is being delivered remotely on the days that your student is not on campus. Our teachers are using many methods including videos. This is just one example! Here, Ms. Emily does a short ten minute lesson for first graders on living things as part of science.

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.

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.”

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.