Local group planning a public charter middle, high school; seeks public comment

Press release

The Franklin School of Innovation

A group of local parents and educators are preparing to take the first formal step toward opening a public charter middle and high school in the Asheville/Buncombe County area. Founder Michelle Vruwink, an education policy consultant and parent, said The Franklin School of Innovation will file a Letter of Intent with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction on January 4, 2013, with a complete application to follow on March 1. If approved, the school will open in August 2014 serving grades 6 – 9, adding a grade each year until it serves grades 6 – 12.

The school will adopt the nationally recognized Expeditionary Learning model, and will feature rigorous academics, inquiry-based learning, community engagement through service learning, fieldwork, and internships, and a strong component of leadership and character development.

“I had been searching for a way to be deeply involved in education efforts on a local level. Last May, after talking with local parents and observing exciting education efforts in charter schools across the country and in North Carolina, I put together a short policy paper outlining the idea for a charter middle and high school. The response was strong, and the resulting steering committee has invested the past six months in an intensive research and planning process.”

Co-founder Danielle Moser, outgoing Chair of the Evergreen Community School, was an early proponent. “When you look at the schools with the strongest academic success in this area — Evergreen, SILSA, and Early College — they are all schools of inquiry. That’s how we’re designing The Franklin School of Innovation – around an inquiry-based educational program.”

The group is hosting three Community Meetings in early January. The goal of the meetings is to provide information about the school, but more importantly, to hear from parents and students before the application is finalized. They have also posted an online petition gathering support for the school’s development. “Signing the petition doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily send your children to the school. It just means you support the development of a public school of choice in our region.”

To learn more about the school, attend one of the Community Meetings:

Sunday, Jan 6, 3 p.m. in the Forum at the Diana Wortham Theatre

Thursday, Jan 10, 6 pm in the Fellowship Hall, Trinity United Methodist Church, 587 Haywood Road

Monday, Jan 14, 6 pm in the Community Room, Earth Fare South, 1856 Hendersonville Road

The petition can be found here:

The Franklin School of Innovation is preparing the next generation of leaders, capable of solving problems and participating effectively and ethically as local and global citizens. Through challenging academics, real-world learning, and community engagement, our students discover their potential, develop persistence, and recognize the value of others. Our graduates are ready for the future they will create.

To learn more about The Franklin School of Innovation, or to schedule an interview with Michelle Vruwink or Danielle Moser, please contact Michelle Vruwink at 490-1661, or by email at michelle@arroyoresearchservices.com.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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