By Barbara Cohen
Located on Island Creek Road and surrounded by walking trails, is a small, public charter school open to all elementary, middle and high school students residing in our community. Long before the school became a reality, a group of local residents envisioned a school to serve children in the Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge area. These residents knew that in order for the community to grow and serve the needs of its residents, it needed a public school.
Finally in 2010, Lake Lure Classical Academy was established and opened its doors to begin a journey of educating the children. From humble beginnings of temporary trailers sitting off of Memorial Highway, to its current location on Island Creek Road, LLCA has its heart and soul in the community.
On August 14, LLCA began its fourteenth year as a public, charter school. Today, the school serves over 450 students from several surrounding counties, but most of its students are still local from Rutherford County and the Hickory Nut Gorge area. LLCA continues to strive to become a local school that can serve the needs of students in grades K-12. Though this can be seen as a challenge since most public schools serve specific grade spans such as elementary students, or middle school students, or high school students. LLCA serves all students kindergarten through 12th grade.
When families enroll their children in LLCA, they will feel the family atmosphere that is an integral part of the school. It is one school where families can have multiple children in different grade spans all under one roof. As a school that was once just a dream of a small group of local Lake Lure residents, to an expanding and thriving school dedicated to serving the community, LLCA will continue to partner with local businesses, churches, organizations, and residents to educate each student.
Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge area are steeped in history. From the historical Lake Lure Inn and Spa to Morse Park, and to the heights of Chimney Rock State Park all have contributed to what the Lake Lure community is today. LLCA is committed to teaching its students the history of this community. High school students learn about the Hickory Nut Gorge Ecosystem and the history of the Town of Lake Lure through elective courses. All elementary students take part in annual educational field trips to Chimney Rock to learn about native habitats and other interesting facts about animals and plants. Middle school students learn about the workings of the Lake Lure Dam, and also spend their energy playing at Morse Park. This year, our ninth grade students will experience the joy of rowing on the lake as part of a new partnership with the Lake Lure Rowing Club.
The importance of learning from the past is something that adults share with children. History is remembered so that we learn from it, and we can improve upon our future. We want to remember the reasons why Lake Lure needed a school to serve its residents and future generations. LLCA is in existence because the community believed in its mission, and has continued their support. LLCA received a ten-year charter renewal from the NC Department of Public Instruction, and is also fully accredited by the nationally recognized Cognia AdvancEd organization.
The staff and teachers of LLCA, would like to invite you to visit the school to learn more about our educational approach, our mission, and our history. To schedule a school visit, please contact us at (828) 625-9292.