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NEWS RELEASES 2000-01

NEWS RELEASES 2000-01 :: FEBRUARY 1, 2001

THREE NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS RECEIVE FINAL BOARD APPROVAL;

27 Charter Schools Recommended for Renewal

The State Board of Education today approved three new charter schools and began discussion to renew the charters of 27 schools. This action brings the total number of charter schools in North Carolina to 97. The Board plans to act on three additional new charter schools next month after receiving more information from the Charter Schools Advisory Committee.

The State Board deviated from the Advisory Committee's recommendations in its approvals today. One of the schools approved today, Gaston College Preparatory, had been recommended for approval this month. The other two schools were in the top 10 applications reviewed by the Advisory Committee, but were not in the six the Committee had recommended for action this month. Board members selected the three approved today in part because they would be the first charter schools approved in their respective counties. Some Board members expressed an interest in geographic diversity, given that all of the Advisory Committee's top 10 applications were of a high quality.

The charters up for renewal were among the group originally approved to begin operating in 1997.

The three new charter schools receiving final Board approval to begin operation in 2001-02 are:

  • Gaston College Preparatory (Northampton County). The educational focus will be college preparatory.

  • The New Dimensions School (Burke County). The educational focus will be child-centered learning based on children's interests.

  • A Child's Garden School Inc. (Franklin County). The educational focus will be on child-centered instruction, using personal education plans.

Of the 29 charter schools receiving Board approval to operate in 1997, 27 were recommended for renewal by the Charter School Advisory Committee. Two charter schools have had their charters revoked (LIFT Academy, Forsyth Co., and Right Step Academy, Pitt Co.).

Following are the charter schools recommended for renewal and their renewal period. Schools were recommended to receive a five-year renewal if they met all five of the critical criteria that are used for assessment. Schools that were recommended for a three-year renewal met at least four (but not five) of the criteria and must submit an Action Plan for the area(s) of deficiency. Charter schools also can be recommended for review in nine months and non-renewal.

Lakeside School, Alamance Co., 5-year Children's Village, Lenior Co., 5-year Grandfather Academy, Avery Co., 5-yearCommunity Charter, Mecklenburg Co., 3 year Francine Delany, Buncombe Co., 5-year MAST School, Moore Co., 5-year Engelmann School, Catawba Co., 3-year Rocky Mount Charter, Nash Co., 5-year Chatham Charter, Chatham Co., 5-year Orange Charter, Orange Co., 5-year The Learning Center, Cherokee Co., 5-yearVillage Charter, Orange Co., 5-year Maureen Joy Charter, Durham Co., 3-year Arapahoe Charter, Pamlico Co., 5-year Healthy Start Academy, Durham Co., 3-year CIS Academy, Robeson Co., 3-year Quality Education Academy, Forsyth Co, 3-year Exploris Middle, Wake Co., 5-year Downtown Middle, Forsyth Co, 5-year John H. Baker Jr. High, Wake Co, 5-year Carter G. Woodson, Forsyth Co., 5-year Magellan Charter, Wake Co., 5-year Highland Charter, Gaston Co, 5-year Highland Charter, Gaston Co, 5-year Sterling Montessori, Wake Co, 3-year Summit Charter, Jackson Co., 5-year Bridges Charter, Wilkes Co., 5-year Sallie B. Howard, Wilson Co., 5-year


The charter school law, enacted in 1996, is intended to foster creative approaches to education by relieving these schools from many state regulations and requirements. Charter schools are public schools, offered to parents as one choice for their children's education. Statewide, charter schools serve many student populations and focus on a variety of approaches to education.

Charters are granted by the State Board of Education and are in effect for five years. Since 1997, 113 charters have received approval. Nineteen schools are no longer operating either because they did not accept the charter (2), they voluntarily relinquished their charter (12), or they had their charter revoked (5).

For more information, please contact Grova Bridgers, Office of Charter Schools, 919.807.3490.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.