Crossnore Communities for Children announces the approval of their charter school application by the Charter School Review Board (CSRB) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The approval was granted on Tuesday, October 17 in a hearing where the CSRB and Crossnore Community Charter Board of Directors gathered to make their case and answer questions about the application. The CSRB unanimously approved Crossnore Community Charter’s replication application and commended the group on being well-prepared. Crossnore Community Charter School (CCC) now moves into Ready to Open (RTO) status. “This is how it is done. Not only was [the Crossnore Charter board] able to answer any questions we had to the application, but [they] answered with passion and clarity. I appreciate [their] preparation and wish [them] the best of luck,” said one Review Board member.
“This is an unprecedented day for Crossnore and an important day for our community,” said Brett Loftis, Crossnore’s CEO and Charter School Board member. “This charter will allow us to be a learning lab for trauma resilient schools.” Key elements of Crossnore’s model include a trauma-informed framework, small classroom structure, access to Crossnore’s therapy services, and social-emotional learning opportunities.
Partners with Williams Academy
Crossnore also partners with one of the oldest charter schools in North Carolina, Marjorie Williams Academy, on its campus in Avery County. Crossnore Community Charter School will be a replication of Marjorie Williams Academy. Like Williams Academy, the Winston-Salem charter school will become a model school for academic achievement. Learning will be approached with openness, individuality, and supportive feedback by utilizing Crossnore’s Center for Trauma Resilient Communities trauma-informed framework. “As an educator myself, I’ve seen how trauma can affect a child’s ability to learn and thrive in the school environment,” said Katheryn Northington, board chair for Crossnore Community Charter School. “We know that when schools understand the science of trauma, teachers and administrators can better build relationships with students that lead to long-term resilience and academic progress.”
Charter School Board
In addition to Loftis and Northington, the Crossnore Community Charter School Board members include Esharan Monroe-Johnson, Executive Director of Read Write Spell; Jeremy Burnett, community volunteer and Marjorie Williams Academy board member; Chris Gentry, Director of the Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth County at The Centers for Exceptional Children; and Regina Hall, Executive Director of Boston Thurman United.
“It has been a long haul from writing the 900-page application to this week’s decision,” said Shana Heilbron, Crossnore’s Executive Director of External Relations. “Now we are excited about moving forward with our mission to offer a stable, emotionally supportive educational environment for children, with the goal of empowering each child to achieve his or her real academic and social potential.”
Renovations Set to Begin in February 2024
Renovations to the existing Edwards Building on the Reynolda Road campus will begin in February 2024. This building will house elementary school students. In July 2024, Crossnore will hire a principal and administrative team to launch the formal planning year. The target date for opening the school is August 2025 for grades K through 4. Middle school building renovations will likely begin the following year. There are plans to achieve full capacity in Kindergarten through 8th grade by August 2028.
Crossnore Community Charter School will be an excellent addition to the education options for children in this area. “This is something the community really wants; the support from the school district goes a long way because people know this is not something that is in competition but will work alongside the school system to serve children who need it the most,” said Monroe-Johnson.