SILER CITY — Over 570 students in kindergarten through 12th grade at Chatham Charter School in Siler City began a new school year on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
The Chatham Charter faculty is working with staff from the Southern Regional Education Board to receive professional development and implement targeted school improvement measures. The multi-year initiative is aimed at increasing academic achievement and enhancing school culture across Chatham Charter’s K-12 grade span.
Teachers in early elementary grades will build upon a summer recovery program for potentially at-risk students in an effort to better prepare them for the upcoming school year.
An ongoing school-wide area of focus is college preparedness which begins in elementary school by teaching solid skills for success that lead to a young person who will flourish after high school graduation.
The Career and College Promise program is a key element of the high school academic program at Chatham Charter. The state program is in partnership with Central Carolina Community College and gives 11th and 12th graders the ability to earn over 40 college transfer credits. The classes are considered “dual credit” because they also help the students simultaneously meet high school graduation requirements and accumulate college transfer credits.
The majority of seniors at Chatham Charter will complete one of the “pathways” of study, an accomplishment not achieved by the majority of students across the state in the CCP program. The Chatham Charter high school program is modeled after a middle college concept: Instead of allowing upperclassmen to take the CCP courses if they can fit them into the high school schedule, its master schedule has both high school and college-level courses built in. Juniors and seniors will have some classes on the CCCC campuses in yet another of Chatham Charter’s purposeful steps toward preparing them for college life.
In the area of athletics, the athletic program offers over 30 sports teams for middle and high school students. Chatham Charter is a member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. The Knights high school teams are in the Central Tar Heel Conference. Knights middle school athletic teams are part of the Mid-State Conference. Fall season high school sports began on Aug. 1; middle school sports will begin on Aug. 16.
Having achieved the milestone of its 25th year as a public charter school, Chatham Charter has also impressed state education leaders with its high school academic program along the way. In February 2020, officials from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction approached the Chatham Charter leadership about replicating its high school program. Since then, the Board of Directors and school leaders have worked diligently with state education officials to create a replication school in Sanford. Though the schools are separate entities, the partnership will allow them to pool many resources for staff and students. Central Carolina Academy will open in mid-August to serve middle and high school students. Located at 1801 Douglas Drive in Sanford, the school will begin with grades 6-10 and expand over the next two years to serve grades 6-12. The 2022-2023 enrollment will be approximately 285 students, but the student body will grow to over 660 students at full capacity.
Chatham Charter is located at 2200 Hamp Stone Rd., Siler City.
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