GREENSBORO — Two new charter schools gained approval Thursday to open in Guilford County in 2020.
Revolution Academy is slated for the Greensboro area and Robert J. Brown Leadership Academy (HP) for High Point. Both must successfully complete a planning year before being given their charter and allowed to enroll students. If they complete the process, they would join 11 other charter schools already operating in Guilford County.
Charter schools in North Carolina are tuition-free and publicly financed. Generally, they are founded and created by nonprofit organizations with their own board of directors who receive a charter from the state to operate. They get flexibility on some typical major requirements for public schools and in return are subject to some extra accountability from the state about meeting certain goals.
The State Board of Education voted Thursday to approve the two Guilford schools along with eight others throughout North Carolina. All were recommended by the N.C. Charter School Advisory Board. The state school board sent back to the charter board two schools it had recommended be approved for further review.
Revolution Academy is headed by Mary Catherine Sauer. She is a former school board candidate and the founder of two other local charter schools: Cornerstone Charter Academy: CFA and Piedmont Classical High School.
Revolution Academy expects to open with 398 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. It plans to eventually enroll students through eighth grade.
The school bills itself as traditional and “back to basics,” with all students learning cursive handwriting and wearing uniforms.
Other highlighted features include “an optional early release kindergarten day, recess twice a day in k-5, a move-up math program, Latin and logic in middle school, formal grammar in all grades, and an enrichment special where students will study topics such as keyboarding, financial literacy, and etiquette.”
The school’s application lists The Church of 68 at 300 N.C. 68 in Greensboro as a planned temporary location for its first school year. Organizers said in the application that they are looking for another location in the Greensboro area to house a permanent, newly constructed school.
Robert J. Brown Leadership Academy (HP) is looking to take a “whole student” approach. According to its application, that means balancing reading, math, science and technology with leadership development and learning effective decision-making skills.
Students will learn, “how to make responsible decisions and life choices, how to be accountable for their own lives, and how to be civic minded community leaders,” organizers wrote in the application.
The school plans to locate at 1400 Brentwood St. in High Point, in “the old Brentwood School.” It expects to start as a kindergarten through second-grade school with 300 students and eventually enroll older elementary and middle school students.
James E. McNeil is the president of The Children’s Legacy, the nonprofit group that applied for the charter. It plans to contract with RJB Education Equity Foundation to manage the school. RJB also operates Phoenix Academy, another charter school in High Point.