Orange County’s Newest Charter School To Open This Fall

HILLSBOROUGH- A new charter school is coming to Orange County. The Expedition School is slated to open in Hillsborough in August.

According to the school’s website, the curriculum will focus on project-based learning as well as science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM education. The Expedition School will be located at the Eno River Mill on Dimmock’s Mill Road in Hillsborough.

The school will operate on a year-round schedule. Multi-age classrooms will serve 230 children from Kindergarten through 6th grade initially, with expansion to 8th grade planned within three years.

Charter schools are publically funded, but operate outside the purview of local school boards. The North Carolina Board of Education approved 26 new charter schools this week as part of a statewide expansion, bringing the total to 157.

The Expedition School will be the third charter in Orange County, and the first to open since the state lifted its cap on charters in 2011.

Admission to charter schools is granted through a lottery. The Expedition School is currently accepting applications through the end of the month and the lottery will take place in February.

If you’d like to find out more about The Expedition School, officials will host an information session Sunday at 2 o’clock at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

National Heritage Academies Pulls Out Of Lee Scholars Charter School Agreement

CHAPEL HILL – The Howard and Lillian Lee Scholars charter school has come to another bump in the road as the management company behind it has pulled out of the agreement.

The Chapel Hill News reports that National Heritage Academies has removed itself from the proposed school that has seen multiple delays with problems finding a building to house its classrooms.

Lee Scholars was originally expected to open in August 2012 after receiving approval from the state to fast-track its opening. A 48,000 square-foot building was scheduled to be constructed on a seven-acre parcel of land in Carrboro called Claremont South; that property is being developed by Omar Zinn of Parker Louis, LLC. It was recently rezoned from residential-only after an approval by the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.

During the first BoA meeting of March, Zinn asked the Aldermen to delay the date of a public hearing about the property. That more than likely will delay the construction of the building that is already losing time to be available for an August opening.

NHA has opened more than 70 schools across America, mostly in its home state of Michigan.

The local NAACP was apposed to the application of the school stating that it could appear segregated due to its focus on low-income populations.

The status of the school’s opening is unknown at this time.