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    DROP OFF TIMES: Grades K-2 will begin at 7:30am. Grades 3-10 will begin at 7:30am.
     

Thank you for a wonderful year at PCA!

thankyouAs I advance in years it is amazing how fast time actually moves. It seems like just yesterday that I was moving a desk into my office, and now we are rapidly approaching the end of the school year.

As an historian I often use the past to help explain our present as well as to provide a path to our future. With that in mind, there is one historical event that sticks out as wholly appropriate for our school. In 1631 Governor John Winthrop anchored his flagship, Arbella, in Massachusetts Bay. He then gave one of the great speeches in American history, where he described their venture as “A city upon a hill”, and explained to those present that the eyes of the world would be on them. President Ronald Reagan perhaps expressed the sentiment best when he said:

...I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace… the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still...

This paradigm is especially applicable to our school context. In so many ways PCA is the proverbial City Upon a Hill. We are the only charter school in Cleveland County and the eyes of the surrounding community are on us. We have aspired to provide the premier college preparatory education in the area, and toward that end we have worked long and hard over the past two years. We have been largely successful, but there is much more work yet to be done. John Winthrop provides us with a stark warning for failing to uphold our end of the bargain. “[I]f we shall deal falsely… in this work we have undertaken… we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.”

Our teachers have worked diligently to enhance classroom instruction and help facilitate critical thinking by taking students (and parents) on numerous content-specific field trips. According to Historian Bruce Cole of the National Endowment of the Humanities, “Historical places educate and inspire.” The experiential, hands-on learning activities provided much greater depth and powerful enrichment to the lessons students learned in the classroom. In many instances the students were able to experience the places where history took place, and engage in science activities that cannot be completed in a school environment. Some of the field trips this school year have been to:

  • Sky Top Apple Orchard.
  • Catawba Science Center.
  • Discovery Place Kids.
  • South Carolina Childrens’ Museum.
  • The Carolina Renaissance Festival.
  • Camp Flintlock.
  • Biltmore House.
  • Latta Plantation.
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway / UNC-Charlotte.
  • National World War II Museum
  • Chalmette’s Plantation (Battle of New Orleans)
  • Louisiana Bayou
  • Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial.
  • Jeannette’s Pier.
  • Blackbeard Experience.
  • Jockey’s Ridge.
  • Bodie Lighthouse.

Throughout the current school year there have also been numerous events that have exemplified the PCA motto, “Dare to Soar.” The events have been a combination of academic, extracurricular, and parent / community involvement. All of these events have helped shaped the culture of PCA and forge an identity worthy of praise.

  • The 2014-2015 school year has seen the development of PCA’s Drama Club and the first school-wide productions.
  • PEAK has continued to hold the annual, and incredibly fun, Fall Festival and Spring Flings.
  • PCAEF has continued to hold fundraisers for the school that have helped to greatly augment the budget and fund unique school projects.
  • PCAEF and PEAK held the incredibly successful first annual Parade of Tables.
  • The PCA Robotics Team began practice in preparation for competition during 2015-2016.
  • The PCA 3-D Archery Team competed in a national competition in Kentucky.
  • PEAK facilitated two incredibly successful book fairs that demonstrated our parents’ commitment to reading and learning.

In March PCA completed the 3rd annual lottery. The response from the community in terms of attending PCA has been nothing short of outstanding. The interest in the school has been so strong that we applied to the State Board of Education to expand our student population beyond what is normally allowed. The State Board of Education agreed with us, so in the fall of 2015 PCA will be home to 466 students.

In April the school received some great news that we had been anticipating for some time. The USDA approved our loan application and we are in the process of beginning construction on our permanent school campus. We expect to be in the building by the start of school in August 2017. This is an extremely exciting time for our school, it is not everyday that you get to build a new facility.

Lastly, a school is not just a building. A school is the people inside the building; students, teachers, staff, and parents. At PCA we have been extremely fortunate to have the best of all those worlds. As Ronald Reagan said, this is a school teeming with people of all kinds living and learning in harmony and peace.

Robert Brown
Headmaster