A classical school almost in your backyard

By Barbara Cohen

Did you know that there is a small K-12 public, charter school located here in the Hickory Nut Gorge community? Nestled near Lake Lure and surrounded by 34 beautiful acres, Lake Lure Classical Academy provides an outstanding educational experience for students in grades kindergarten through high school.

For newcomers to the Hickory Nut Gorge area, or for parents and grandparents looking for an alternative to the traditional public schools in the area, Lake Lure Classical Academy is a school of choice. As a K-12 charter school there is no tuition to attend. Students can take advantage of being able to play multiple sports, participate in theater or musical productions, join honor societies or student-led clubs, and learn life skills through classes such as sewing, active living, and outdoor survival skills.

Each year, Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) holds an open enrollment process January through March. Each year there are a limited number of available seats for each grade level. To ensure transparency and fairness to all students who want to attend, LLCA facilitates its annual application and school lottery process through Lotterease, an independent, automated lottery system used to manage applications and waiting lists. Since the enrollment time-frame is limited, parents and family members must complete an online application during the open enrollment.

As a tuition-free charter school, LLCA is open to all North Carolina students. The school is located within a short 30-minute drive from Rutherfordton, Columbus, Gerton, and Hendersonville. LLCA offers free bus transportation to area cluster stops for all its students needing bus transportation in Rutherford, Polk, and Henderson counties.

LLCA incorporates an engaging Core Knowledge curriculum in grades K-8 that interweaves the study of language arts with history and geography and science. Our rigorous math program incorporates critical thinking and higher order thinking skills. The classical model provides students with art classes, music classes, and theater classes.  In addition, LLCA is ensuring that every student takes part in outdoor educational classes where science, life skills, and sustainability are combined through exploration and experimentation on our 34-acre campus.

The high school program offers a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum leading to a high school diploma, and students may also choose to participate in the College and Career Promise enabling them to take classes through Isothermal Community College (ICC). Students may also earn an Associate of Arts or Science Degree as high school graduates. LLCA partnership with ICC allows students to earn certificates in courses such as computer science, welding, and machining. The high school program also has a robust performing arts program, unique electives, in-school clubs, and a competitive athletics program.

These are a sampling of what Lake Lure Classical Academy offers:

  • A safe, supportive learning environment
  • A classical approach to learning
  • Rigorous knowledge-based curriculum aligned to North Carolina state standards
  • A focused approach to developing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Teacher-led instruction that includes exploration and hands-on learning
  • One school for all grade levels
  • A focus on outdoor education and environmental education
  • Dual-enrollment for high school students
  • Competitive sports program for 5th grade through 12th grade
  • Artistic theater productions and musicals
  • Experiential learning through monthly field trips
  • After-school clubs and In-school clubs
  • Honor societies and service learning projects
  • Family oriented
  • Nationally Accredited K-12 school

Key Dates:

Open Enrollment Begins Monday, January 9, 2023 and closes Monday, March 13, 2023. The lottery will be drawn on Thursday, March 23, 2023.

Any child who is qualified under the laws of North Carolina for admission to a public school is qualified for admission to a charter school. County boundaries or school attendance areas do not affect charter school enrollment, so no matter which county you live in your child can attend Lake Lure Classical Academy.  LLCA does not limit admission on the basis of intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, language, disability, race, creed, gender, national origin, religion, or ancestry.

To learn more about Lake Lure Classical Academy, or schedule a tour of our campus, please call 828-625-9292 or visit our website at LLCharter.org

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