Teachers at the Learning Center charter school know that learning happens beyond the four walls of a classroom. That is why students spend time in the school’s numerous outdoor settings, on field trips, and work with community partners throughout the county and region.
Since the school has always encouraged the belief that education happens everywhere, both inside the classroom and out, the school created an optional flexible system of blended learning available to students. The program was officially approved by the NC Department of Public Instruction this school year.
In the EcoEd program, students spend part of their school week in the classroom learning and socializing with their peers. The other part of the school week is spent either exploring educational experiences as a family or pursuing their individual interests in additional educational settings within the greater community.
The school’s EcoEd Coordinator creates the formalized agreement for the days and times that students must be on campus. Additionally, the coordinator engages in virtual lessons, tutoring sessions, or whole-group activities with students in the blended program.
“Families in the traditional setting that wish to take longer trips may also apply to be in the EcoEd program and then fluidly transition in and out of the classroom during these longer periods of absence,” said Lynn Prado, the coordinator of EcoEd.
She added that the school’s comprehensive assessments that measure a student’s growth in mathematics and reading are used to both chart a student’s academic growth from year to year as well as assure they are where they need to be throughout the school year.
Head of school, Ryan Bender, said “It’s so interesting that we started to formulate this program long before the pandemic and since we already had the model in place, it allowed us to transition to remote learning as an entire school smoothly.”
To learn more about the EcoEd program at the Learning Center charter school, visit www.naturallygrownkids.org or call 835-7240.