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NEWS RELEASES 2001-02

NEWS RELEASES 2001-02 :: FEBRUARY 7, 2002

STATE BOARD APPROVES THREE NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS; 100-CAP LIMIT MET

The State Board of Education today granted charters to three new schools, pushing the number of North Carolina charter schools to 100, the legal limit.

Mountain Discovery Charter School in Swain County, Gray Stone Day School in Stanly County, and Community School for Children in Durham County were granted charters today to begin operating in the 2002-03 school year.

Two additional charter applicants did not receive charters today, but are eligible to receive them if any charters become available between now and March 15. Those applicants are New Connections Academy, a much publicized "virtual" school which would be based in Granville County and feature online classes, and Casa Esperanza Montessori Charter School in Wake County which would be a K-6 Montessori-based school focused on Hispanic students and their families.

In their discussion about the charter applicants, Board members confirmed their support for "virtual" learning and their plans to pursue the issue.

The charters granted today are described briefly below:

  • Mountain Discovery Charter School, Swain County. The educational focus will be on a core knowledge curriculum using the New American Schools Expeditionary Learning model. A feature of the school will be field work, in-depth studies and service projects that integrate subject material. The school will eventually serve grades K-8.
  • Gray Stone Day School, Stanly County. This will be a college preparatory located on the campus of Pfeiffer University with an emphasis on rigorous academic studies with access to college courses, facilities and labs. The school will eventually serve grades 9-12.
  • Community School for Children, Durham County. This school will be based upon child development research and modeled after the Duke School for Children. A special focus of the school will be its use of multiple intelligences research to develop individual education plans for students. The school will eventually serve grades K-5.

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, when charter school approvals began, a total of 23 charter schools have closed either because they voluntarily relinquished their charter, or their charter was revoked.

For more information, please contact Otho Tucker, director, Office of Charter Schools, 919.807.3302.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 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 Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.