NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Members of the North Carolina State Board of Education approved 25 new charter schools, two of which are proposed for New Hanover County.
Until last year, North Carolina had a 100-school cap on charter schools, but the N.C. General Assembly lifted that cap, paving the way for Thursday’s decision to allow 25 more schools across the state.
Two charter schools approved—Douglass Academy and Island Montessori Charter School—are proposed to open in New Hanover County.
Douglass Academy would have a 100 percent African American target population.
The school’s approved application calls for a kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school that would serve 425 students in the Greenfield and Houston-Moore communities of Wilmington.
Plans call for the school to open its doors in the fall of 2013, with inaugural kindergarten, first-and second-grade classes. School officials would continue to add a new kindergarten class each year, moving the children up a grade until all six grades are filled.
Douglass Academy will operate under the authority and direction of the Charter Day School Board of Trustees. The Charter Day School Board of Trustees also oversees and holds the charter for The Roger Bacon Academy in Leland and Columbus Charter School in Whiteville.
Barbara Jones, who currently serves as director of new school development and community relations for The Roger Bacon Academy, will serve as headmistress of Douglass Academy.
“It was very gratifying to hear the state board of education unanimously voted to approve our application for Douglass Academy,” Jones said.
The school’s charter is still subject to final approval by the state board next spring. Jones said the final approval is contingent on satisfactory plans for the school’s facility. Several options for the school facility are being pursued in the area of Greenfield and 13th streets in Wilmington.
Officials with The Island Montessori Charter School plan to open the kindergarten through fifth-grade school with 144 students. Plans call for adding one grade level per year until the school serves 240 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade.
According to the application filed with the charter school advisory council, the mission of the school is “to enable children of diverse backgrounds to learn and grow at their own place by offering a developmentally appropriate and challenging academic Montessori environment that models grace and courtesy and fosters a peaceful community of lifelong learners.”