Friday, September 13, 2019

Parent Information, Post #1

-Hello LCS Families-

I trust that you and your family are having a good start to the year.  

Part of my job (as I see it), is to stay informed regarding education trends, current research on children and young adults, healthy choices, college preparation news and the like.  In the course of my reading, I often come across useful facts and interesting stories/articles - some of which may benefit our parents/guardians.  I plan to start using this space to share some of what I am reading (in addition to periodic updates on LCS) - and hopefully some of this will be beneficial.

Safety - 
You may be interested to know that all staff members recently were trained in Darkness to Light.  According to Darkness to Light, 1 in 10 children will be abused by the time they reach the age of 18.  It is our job to create an environment where our staff are trained and aware of this issue, so we can create and maintain the safest environment possible.  This training was provided to us by the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center - thank you to CAC for their partnership and their work to keep all children safe!

Also on the safety front:

  • In the ten-year period between 2008 and 2017, North Carolina lost more than 425 children and youth age 17 and younger to firearm-related injuries. In a given year in North Carolina, there are four to five times as many firearm-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations (combined) for children and youth as there are deaths.
  • In North Carolina, over 40% of residents own a firearm yet only about half of NC gun owners keep their gun secured.
  • In North Carolina, firearms are used in almost half of youth suicides and more than half of youth homicides.
-Excerpt from recent NC Child Fatality Task Force email

Health -
Recent vaping news in this EdNC article.

(Micro)plastics in Your Drinking Water - According to a recent study, you could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week! This study found that people consume an average of 5 grams of plastic each week. The plastic contamination comes from “microplastics” – particles smaller than 5 millimeters – which are making their way into our food, drinking water and even air. These tiny particles can originate from a variety of sources, including artificial clothing fibers, microbeads found in some toothpastes, shellfish, etc. If you’re drinking bottled water, you could be doubling your intake of microplastics. To read more, visit the CNN Health page.
-CNN Health

College Preparation - 
Interesting article on standardized testing, and how it relates to college admissions.  
- Education Dive

Athletics/Student Life -
If you are a parent of a student-athlete or a spectator at MS or HS sporting events, this article may interest you.   
-NCHSAA

Thanks for reading!

Mr. Bryant
Lincoln Charter


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Empowering Eagles 2019

-Dear LCS Families-

This year Lincoln Charter is continuing our K-12 mentor program -  Empowering Eagles (EE).  This is a significant undertaking, but we feel that this program serves to strengthen our community in many ways. The goal of the Empowering Eagles program is to engage our student centered culture through emphasis on students' overall well-being while building community momentum regarding the School Board mission statement/community expectations.  Research shows that effective adult - student relationships help to develop many of the positive outcomes that Lincoln Charter already works hard to accomplish - ensuring student academic achievement success, developing life skills, promoting attendance, increasing student engagement, etc.  We have learned a lot from last year, and we are looking forward to another successful year.

Our school counseling department has trained teachers and staff on creating positive mentoring relationships, and we have taken appropriate measures to match students and staff in mentor/mentee groups.  All students and full time staff are participating in EE.  EE groups will meet roughly twice a month for about 20 minutes - this structure will depend somewhat on your child's grade and their corresponding schedule.  Mentors will work with counselor-generated topics/discussions/activities for each EE session - activities will be centered on our community expectations of honesty, respect, empathy, responsibility, service and preparedness.  All families should hear from their student's assigned mentor soon.

Families should also expect on-going communication about Empowering Eagles that will primarily come from our counseling department, mainly via Charter Chatter.  Look at this week's CC for monthly themes and other EE information.

Thank you for your support, and please let us know if you have any questions.

Mr. Bryant, Administration and Counseling Department

Friday, August 9, 2019

Welcome to our new hires!

-Lincoln Charter Community-

I trust that you and your family had a fantastic summer - and that you are ready for another great year at Lincoln Charter.

I hope that you will join me in welcoming the following new staff members to the LCS family. Our staff has spent months interviewing and identifying these individuals, and we are very confident that they will positively contribute to our community. As part of our interview process, we intentionally incorporate the Lincoln Charter mission statement into our interviews - so we are confident that these folks will emulate the mission of LCS.

It is important to note that our School Board has approved these hires as part of their July meeting. Welcome to LCS!

Lincolnton Campus
Grace Botkins is joining us as a Kindergarten teacher. Grace has her B.A. in Elementary Education from Gardner-Webb University. She enjoys coaching cheerleading, directing the children's praise team at church, crafting, reading, collecting nutcrackers, doing photography, and traveling with her husband.

Lauren Joy is now our middle school Art teacher. Lauren holds a BFA in Art and B.S. in Education from Western Carolina University. She likes crafting, hiking, and traveling.

Heather Guffey is joining the middle school as the 7th grade science teacher. Heather has a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, and she loves Southern life: family, faith, friends, food, and her dog Bandit.

Hannah Ritchie is our new 1st grade teacher. Hannah earned her B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from The University of Alabama. She enjoys playing board games, team sports, or any type of games! Ms. Ritchie’s selected quote is “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” - Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince

Franklin Wepner joins us as the middle school Health & P.E. teacher. He holds a B.A. in Health, Physical Education and Coaching K-12, and enjoys playing sports and being with his dogs.

Alenia Scism is our new 3rd grade teacher. Alenia has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Limestone College, and an M.A. in Elementary Education from Gardner Webb University. She enjoys traveling, reading, and hiking. Ms. Scism’s quote is “In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.” - Charlie Brown

Carolina Haverty joins the elementary school staff as a Teaching Assistant in 2nd Grade. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in Elementary Education from Salem College. Carolina enjoys reading, yoga, traveling, and learning new languages. Ms. Haverty quotes “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” - Jane Goodall

Abby Bullock is joining us as our Speech-Language Pathologist. Abby holds a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology. She likes to read, garden, and spend time with her dog.

Dr. Roberta Callaway is our new 11th and 12th grade English teacher. Roberta has a B.S. in Human Services Counseling from Old Dominion University, an M.S. in Secondary Education/English from Old Dominion University, an M.S. in Reading from Old Dominion University, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner-Webb University. Roberta values health and fitness and enjoys home renovation, and gardening.

Xavier Neal is also joining the English department as the 9th and 10th grade English teacher. He has a B.A. in English from UNC Charlotte, and he likes to play chess, read, swim, and spend time with his family. We are glad to have him on the high school staff.

Angela Dolan is now a member of the middle school staff as the 8th grade ELA teacher. Angela has a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida, and a Graduate Certificate from UNC Charlotte. Angela enjoys musical theatre, dance, hockey, traveling, and anything creative.

Casey Brewster is our new middle school social studies teacher. She holds a B.A. in Social Studies and Education from Emory & Henry College. Ms. Brewster is coming to LCS from Catawba County Schools and she enjoys family time, camping, podcasts, and the Atlanta Braves.

Denver Campus

Michael Lungarini is now our High School Administrator. He holds a B.A in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. In his free time, Michael enjoys playing sports and being competitive, traveling with family and friends, outdoor activities, and listening to music. Mr. Lungarini’s selected quote is “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence......” - Confucius

Kenzie Sutton joins the high school team as the 9th grade English teacher. Kenzie earned her B.A. in English with a minor in Secondary Education from UNC Charlotte. Kenzie enjoys reading, writing, playing with her dogs, and spending time in the mountains. Ms. Sutton’s quote is “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” - Malala Yousafzai

Danielle Edwards joins our elementary team as a Teaching Assistant in 3rd grade. Danielle has her B.S in Elementary Education from Wingate University. She likes to garden and travel.

Amy Orlando is our new Teaching Assistant in 2nd grade. Amy earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Niagara University, a B.A. in Special Education from Niagara University, and her M.S. in Literacy from Nazareth College of Rochester. Amy likes to travel and spend time with her friends and family.

Susan Kevas is new to Lincoln Charter and will serve as an elementary Teaching Assistant. Her prior experience in education was serving special needs students in Lincoln County. Ms. Kevas enjoys being a mom and activities at her church. Her selected quote is “Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way.”- George Evans

Janie Crapse is joining the Lincoln Charter team as a 1st grade Teaching Assistant. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Liberty University and comes to LCS from Lincoln County Schools. She enjoys movies, RV camping, cruises, and her family.

Jessica Cheek is the new K-2 EC teacher in Denver elementary. She holds a B.S. in Special Education from App State and Associate Degrees in School Age Education & Early Childhood Education from McDowell Technical Community College. Ms. Cheek comes to LCS from New Dimensions Charter School.

I hope that you and your family have a great school year.


Go Eagles!


Jonathan Bryant

Chief Administrator

Lincoln Charter

Monday, May 6, 2019

Board Election/Parent Survey

-LCS Families-

Every year, Lincoln Charter asks for input from our families in several ways.  

First, we ask that you vote in this year's School Board election, these parent-elected School Board representatives serve our community in many ways.  You can access this year's ballot here - School Board Ballot.  Voting closes on 5/17.

We also need your input on our annual parent survey.  Our admin team and staff review these results each year.  This helps us to evaluate our service to our community.  Please take the time to complete this survey - your response will help us grow and improve!  You can access this survey here - Parent Survey.

Thank you for your feedback! 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Lincolnton Building Update

-Dear LCS Community-

We are excited to share some of the planning details for future building and expansion of the Lincolnton campus!  

For over a year, the School Board and the Foundation Board have been preparing to expand the Lincolnton campus.  Several of the components of this plan, all at varying stages of completion, include: (a) securing additional land that will support the future development of Lincoln Charter and the Lincolnton campus, (b) identifying and working with an architect to develop building plans that allow for proper construction of permanent buildings, (c) working with associated surveyors, permitting, traffic impact and related entities to prepare for building, (d) evaluating the current and projected financial status and capability of Lincoln Charter - involving the LCS Finance Department, the Foundation for Education, the Finance Committee, etc., and (e) working to secure financing that will allow for all of this work to be completed.  All of these tasks are time-intensive and very detailed, however the School Board and LCS administration are committed to an intentional, purposeful process.

From the financing perspective, the Finance Committee, LCS Finance Department and School Board have opted to pursue a loan through the USDA Community Facilities program.  These entities evaluated several other financing structures and options, and determined that USDA financing is the best option (and represents the greatest value) - while meeting or exceeding all requirements.  This loan is currently being evaluated by the USDA and we should be notified of their decision within the next few months.  Once approval is achieved, Lincoln Charter will begin the process of identifying and securing a contractor - so that construction can begin.  

As you may know, our models forecast the Lincolnton campus growing by approximately 50 students over the next 5 years.  At this point the campus will reach capacity.  The Denver campus has been at capacity for several years.  Total student population, when at capacity, will be approximately 1,200 students at each campus.  Our Lincolnton growth will occur in 8th grade for 2019-2020, in 9th grade for 2020-2021, and so on.  This will necessitate that the current MS/HS is expanded, per the original Phase 1/Phase 2 plan for the MS/HS building.  Phase 1 is the current structure that houses all MS and HS students and Phase 2 is an additional classroom wing that will adjoin the existing building, stretching out toward the existing HS student parking lot.  The other immediate need is to construct a permanent home for K-5 students.  Our architect is simultaneously working on plans for both of these components.  They are also considering the campus plan once all students are housed in permanent buildings (i.e., plans for the current K-5 buildings and the associated space/footprints).  These plans are still in the development phase and, as such, are not final at this time.  

Once LCS has received final notice of financing and building plans, we will host an information night to share additional information with our community.  At this point we do not have a definite timeline for financing approval, groundbreaking and construction.  In the 20 year history of Lincoln Charter we have always made the most fiscally responsible and student centered decisions possible - and this process aligns with this model. The Lincoln Charter School Board, Administration and Finance Department are committed to an efficient building process; one that will allow for quality construction, the long-term viability of Lincoln Charter, and the best in results for our students and community.  

If you have any questions about this process prior to our community info session please feel free to contact Mr. Bryant (jonathan.bryant@lincolncharter.org) or the LCS School Board (schoolboard@lincolncharter.org). Thank you for your support!


Lincoln Charter School Board and Mr. Bryant

Friday, March 29, 2019

Updates

-Hello LCS Community-

This is a quick note to remind parents that we are beginning another round of Coffee & Conversations with our community.  Details are in Charter Chatter.  As a reminder, these sessions are an opportunity to interact with LCS administration for questions/comments/kudos/constructive criticism.  All are welcome.

Also, we are beginning some tree work on the Lincolnton campus in the next week or so.  This work should not impact carpool or any other campus activities, but I do ask you to be aware of the tree crew as you are on campus.  This work is to perform some routine tree maintenance (several of the trees that we are working on are close to the end of their life expectancy).  We plan to plant some native trees that have a longer life span.

Thank you for your support, have a great weekend!

Mr. Bryant

Sunday, March 3, 2019

School Board Nominations

-Hello all-

It is that time of year again....

LCS School Board Nominations and ElectionIt is time to begin planning for our next year at Lincoln Charter, which means school board nominations and election.  The selection process for new board members will soon begin and we need you! Please consider serving as a leader on the school board.  Each year we strive to present a slate of people who possess various talents and skills that compliment each other to create a dynamic board of directors.  We need people with insight and ideas to ensure steady progress into the future by keeping with Lincoln Charter’s vision and mission. This is a continuous process that requires evaluation and implementation of strategies by its leaders, faculty and administrators.  Please consider those willing to give of their time and talents to keep LCS a sought after place for children to receive an outstanding education. School Board elections will be held in May via electronic format. Below are some guidelines for your consideration for nominating prospective members for our Board of Directors.  The LCS website gives an in-depth description of Board operational goals, legal status, powers and responsibilities, authority, liability and other qualifications of board members.
Attributes of an Excellent Board Member
Unselfish Agenda:  Someone with a flexible mind-set, who is respectful of others while demonstrating mature, responsible, and logical reasoning skills, creates an atmosphere that facilitates progress for all children.  A board member represents all 2000+ students. He/she does not represent an individual student, class, school division, campus or special interest. Each board member must adhere to a strict conflict of interest policy.
Team Player:  Board members must work well with others toward achieving a common goal. Understanding that LCS is multiple campuses, but one school with one spirit is critical. Concurrently, board members need to understand that each campus has somewhat different needs and that decisions must be made on the basis of what is best for the school as a whole.
Leadership:  A board member should be a community leader, and/or someone who volunteers their time to benefit their local church, neighborhood, charity or non-profit organization.
Time Commitment:  Members are charged with a serious responsibility.  They are not merely a hierarchical group who meets once per month to vote on a line-item agenda.  Board members are expected to be at all monthly meetings which last from 1-2 hours and meet every 4th Monday of the month.
Volunteer:  Members are expected to contribute several hours per month outside of the regularly scheduled meeting toward the benefit of LCS.  This includes committee leadership or other school wide volunteer opportunities. Our directors should be the most dedicated and participating members of the LCS family, leading by example.
Donor:  Board members are the leaders who steer Lincoln Charter towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure Lincoln Charter has adequate resources to advance our mission.  Excellent School Board members will financially donate to the school (as they are able), he/she will understand the LCS fundraising plan, they will help to show appreciation for donors, he/she may work to identify potential donors and they will be a strong advocate for Lincoln Charter.
Please consider a nomination for a Lincoln Charter Board member, or serving on a committee.  It is a rewarding experience! The LCS School Board nominating committee is now accepting nominations for the two parent elected positions on the 2019-2020 School Board. If you would like to nominate someone or if you would like to self nominate, please email schoolboardnominations@lincolncharter.org.
Please contact the school board via email with any questions you may have at schoolboard@lincolncharter.org.