RALEIGH, N.C. — Class is in session, but this time it's for the parents, not the kids.
Parents are invited to learn about what school choice options there are for their kindergarten through 12th grade students during National School Choice Week.
The nationwide event began in 2011 and is held every year by the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. The week is dedicated to helping parents find the best educational route for their child in order to help them thrive.
In North Carolina, there are a variety of education options, including traditional public school, magnet school, charter school, private school, online school and home-schooling.
While traditional public schools account for over 1.4 million students in North Carolina, charter schools are becoming increasingly more popular. The 2022-2023 school year marks the 25th anniversary of the first charter school’s opening in the state.
Since 2019, charter school enrollment has increased by nearly 20%.
Uwharrie Charter Academy in Asheboro opened in 2013, and the school adopted a project-based learning approach, which requires students to apply what they’re learning to real-life situations.
“We really put an emphasis on that, as well as environmental literacy. [It] is something that is really important to our entire school,” Curtis Moore, a teacher at Uwharrie Charter Academy, said.
Moore teaches music and the advanced choir class at the charter academy’s high school. He says the majority of their class is focused on application.
“We also talk about things like vocal technique and how to blend and how to work within a group. We are constantly working on that music and working on how we can make a performance that our community and our peers and everybody can enjoy,” Moore said.
Moore attended a magnet school and public school before earning a degree in music education. He says each student has their own unique needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning.
“It can be overwhelming to a lot of students to find their niche and find their pocket,” Moore said.
The purpose of school choice is to provide parents with resources in order to decide on a place where their child can thrive and succeed.
North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools and the North Carolina Coalition for Charter schools is holding a student awareness rally for school choice on Jan 26. Organizers say the event starts at noon at the Fairview in Raleigh.
It will feature student performances, guest speakers and detailed information on school choice as they see it.
Additional events are being held throughout the state through Jan. 28.