Learning Center Preps for Future, Pre-K Blossoms


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As The Learning Center! Charter School prepares to open its doors for the new school year, students will see lots of changes. With the goal of creating “future-ready” students, the school has made a commitment to providing a “21st Century Classroom” experience that will affect everything from the physical campus to the curriculum. In addition to an ambitious facility improvement plan made possible through a recently procured USDA loan, The Learning Center! is initiating this “21st Century Classroom” philosophy in every aspect of its curriculum, and electives from its Montessori Preschool program to eighth grade.

“We are retooling our private Montessori Pre-K program,” said Mary Jo Dyre, Director of The Learning Center. “We are including even our youngest learners in the STEM-based 21st Century Education program that is being introduced school-wide in the K-8 Charter program this year.”

The Learning Center! is piloting this STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) that will complete what will be defined as an “E-STEAM” approach to education. “E” stands for entrepreneurship and the “A” is representative of a strong arts/language arts emphasis.

Some highlights of the re-tooled private Montessori Pre-K program, now in its 30th year, include a second semester “Transition-to-Kindergarten” program for all age-appropriate Montessori pre-schoolers, and a year-round program with a schedule reflective of the full-service day-care schedule yet it maintains the high-quality Montessori educational program. Plans to include the Pre-K program in all aspects of the “21st Century Classroom” experience are well underway. In addition, the school is announcing a new, reduced registration and supply fee of $100. The Montessori preschool is private and tuition is charged. Prices and hours are parallel to local childcare centers in the county. The Kindergarten through eighth grade program is tuition-free as The Learning Center! is a public charter school.

This summer, the school broke ground on the beginnings of an ambitious facility improvement plan as it moved into it’s newly renovated administration office. “It is our goal,” said Mary Jo Dyre, director of The Learning Center!, “that all facility improvements  provide the ideal setting for students to be involved in the hands-on, problem solving approach that is characteristic of a quality E-STEAM education.” Construction plans include a stage for the drama program, Odyssey of the Mind program workspace and a multi-purpose gym.

The school offers a learning environment rich in academics balanced with the arts, music, an award winning nutrition program, daily P.E., and unique electives. A multitude of new opportunities (in-classroom, extracurricular and electives) for all students is being introduced this year. You can find out about these offerings and school plans at a parent meeting that is open to the public on August 15 starting at 5:30pm. If you miss the meeting, you can call the school for information and schedule a tour at 828.835.7240.

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