By Tom Keever, LLCA Executive Director

Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) began the New Year with an auspicious start. While our school has been growing steadily since it first opened its doors in 2010 and multiple grades alreadyhave waiting lists, 2019 marks the first year our free, public charter school will conduct a random lottery for admissions. Our Lottery Application Window for the 2018–2019 academic year will open on Wednesday, January 3, 2019 and run through 3:00 PM, Tuesday, March 26th. The Lottery will begin at 4:00 PM on the 26th and parents will receive notification within 15 minutes via email.

We are using Lotterease, an independent, third-party company to manage the process. Lotterease is an excellent company that can manage a fully randomized lottery system and generate verifiable results. Their lottery software generates a list of selected students and creates waiting lists based on the cutoff criteria for each grade. Applicants on the waitlistwill be ranked according to their lottery selections. Parents will be able to check their waitlist position anytime on the portal.

Current LLCA students have secure spots through graduation and do not need to reapply to the lottery each year.Siblings of current students will be given priority. Lake Lure Classical Academy is still enrolling for the current 2018-2019 school year through February 15 for grades with available space. Lake Lure Classical Academy accepts all applications and does not discriminate based on sex, race, color, religion, handicaps or disabilities.

The Gymnatorium’s completion date has been impacted by two fall hurricanes that delayed the delivery of building materials, along with a record-breaking winter storm. The completion of our new 18,086-square-foot steel Gymnatorium is now scheduled for May 1, 2019. A community Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting will be scheduled soon after the completion date. While this delay is not ideal, it still allows us plenty of time to host our Class of 2019 Graduation on June 6th and several other events. Also on schedule is our Eighth Grade Promotion on June 4th, and our Kindergarten Graduation on June 3rd.

LLCA also recently expanded its curriculum by celebrating the school’s new 5.2 photovoltaic solar array panel with a formal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in November. The Ribbon Cutting was attended by many dignitaries, punctuating the importance of this accomplishment. Thanks to 2016 Raptor graduate Tanner Riley and former science teacher Ryan Lubbers for getting the ball rolling several years ago. Both gentlemen were on hand for the event and shared the project’s long history to fruition. Tanner’s thoughtful Senior Project was the driving force in making this great educational resource happen. Mr. Lubbers, who now works with the school through his position with Muddy Sneakers, secured the initial grant from FaceBook. Mr. Riley took it on as his senior project — and with Mr. Lubbers’ mentorship — made it a reality. Mr. Riley is now working in the renewable industry sector. He exemplifies a Raptor graduate who has made, and will continue making, a positive difference in the world.

The Solar Array Panel project was made possible by three, $10,000 grants: one from NC GreenPower, one from the State Employees Credit Union, and one from FaceBook — plus smaller donations by staff and community members. This pole-mounted system and related curriculum will serve as a tremendous source of hands-on, environmentally aware and high-tech learning for LLCA students and help offset $700 of the school’s annual electricity usage.

I am very pleased to announce LLCA’s new Summer Sports Camp Program. There will be four action-packed camps for rising third to ninth graders: girls volleyball (June 17–21), boys basketball (June 24–28), girls basketball (July 15–19) and coed soccer (July 15–19). All the camps will be taught by LLCA coaches and varsity team players. Each student participating in a sports camp will receive a T-shirt. For families registering more than one child, each additional child will only pay half price for the camp. Needs-based scholarships will also be available. Busing transportation will be provided before and after each camp. Buses will pick up students at the Spindale House, Greenhill Baptist Church, Edneyville Community Center, and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Exact times of bus stops will be provided when you register your child for the camp. To sign up your child, please email Coach Tripp Searcy: tsearcy@llca.school.

Enrolling in LLCA

LLCA is a tuition-free, public charter school that educates children from kindergarten through high school graduation. Providing a safe, supportive learning environment is paramount, and teacher-led instruction includes exploration and hands-on learning. LLCA also offers a wide-range of courses, including STEM, an environmental tract, music, art and drama, recreational clubs and nine sports teams. Students may also graduate with a two-year degree from Isothermal Community College without leaving the school’s campus. Apply online (llca.teamcfa. school/enrollment/apply-now/) for LLCA’s upcoming lottery for the 2019-2020 academic year. Guided tours and enrollment for the spring semester are available now.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2019!

Tom Keever