By Barbara Cohen,
Although it has been a year like no other for Lake Lure Classical Academy, the leadership team and board of directors remain committed to the continual development of its strategic vision.
The school is indeed fortunate to have a strong and actively involved local board of directors and several working committees to support these goals. The overarching thrust behind these goals ensures that school decisions are always mission-driven.
For the families of students, stakeholders, and the communities served by LLCA, these wide-ranging and ambitious goals will continue to strengthen this local foundation of education as a distinctive “School of Choice” for hundreds of families from Rutherford, Polk, and Henderson counties.
The school’s Strategic Goals – summarized below – are in actively progressive stages of deployment, evaluation, and measurement. While this is not a complete list of the school’s goals, they represent the major areas of focus. Additionally, most of these goals are well underway. Because LLCA continually strives to operate with transparency and inclusion, we wanted to share this information with the public:
- GOAL ONE: Increase academic achievement and rigor across all grade levels specifically through the following areas of focus on our Curriculum:
- Core Knowledge Curriculum in Kindergarten through 8th Grade. The basic premise behind Core Knowledge utilizes a curriculum that builds upon the previous year’s learning. It entails the core subjects of language arts, world and American history and geography, fine arts (visual arts and music), mathematics, and natural sciences. It is designed to promote equity in education by building a base of knowledge for all students in the early years of school. The knowledge base is intended to be extensive in scope and provide all students with the opportunity to learn and apply this knowledge to the world around them.
- STEAM Curriculum: STEM represents science, technology, engineering and math. “STEAM” represents STEM plus the arts – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media. STEAM investigates the same concepts, but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process.
- Environmental Education: Taking advantage of the incredible biodiversity and spectacular natural setting that surrounds LLCA, Environmental Education is just one of the remarkable distinctions of the school’s curriculum. Building and expanding upon Environmental Education includes creating outdoor learning spaces for students and teachers, and fostering a sense of understanding by students of their role as environmental citizens through instruction, field trips, and outdoor learning experiences.
- Social and emotional learning (SEL): The school is committed to pro-actively developing healthy and emotionally safe classrooms and workplace for teachers and students. Led by the School Counseling Department, the SEL curriculum aims to apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
- GOAL TWO: Continue to provide a high-quality, personalized instruction plan for every student. Each high school student receives an individualized plan for college and/or career-readiness. Each student in K- 8 is to be assigned to North Carolina’s Multi-Tiered Student Support model. Academically or intellectually gifted students, as well as English language learners, and Exceptional Children receive differentiated instruction to meet individual needs. Post-high school data will be collected and tracked to ensure that students who are graduating are college or career, and life-ready. LLCA will continue to provide extended learning opportunities.
- GOAL THREE: Continue to employ a diverse group of highly qualified teacher leaders and staff. LLCA will only remain strong and grow in its effectiveness by a commitment to having high-caliber teachers and visionary school leaders. The school has implemented the NC Educator Effectiveness System for all teachers and administrators. Educators are being provided continuous professional development opportunities to support their educational and professional goals.
- GOAL FOUR: Expand community partnerships and increase family participation. The school’s origins are rooted in the local community’s original belief and support for a viable place of learning in this region. Therefore, maintaining those partnerships is a central tenant of the school’s brand and its soul. Initiatives include: continuously reinforcing the school’s purpose and sharing the school’s goals with the communities it serves, developing a community involvement and family engagement plan, re-establishment of a viable and effective Parent-Teacher Organization, and a Community & Family Advisory Committee that provides resources, training, and support for community members and families. Maintaining consistent and transparent communication with all stakeholders bolsters all of this.
- GOAL FIVE: Continually increase annual student enrollment and retain a diverse student population. Initiatives include increasing enrollment in Kindergarten and strengthening engagement with rising freshmen entering high school. It also includes expanding the cluster bus stops in strategic regions of surrounding counties and deploying the 2021-2022 strategic marketing plan to target specific geographical regions. Learn more at LLCharter.org