Envision Science Academy is scouting locations for the school

sbarr@newsobserver.comOctober 20, 2013 

— A new charter school is scouting locations for when it opens its doors next fall.

The leaders of Envision Science Academy want the school’s permanent location to be in Wake Forest, but sites that can be easily retrofitted to meet the needs of a school are hard to come by.

That means the school very likely will be in a temporary location – possibly in North Raleigh – for the 2014-2015 school year, while a new school is built.

Monica Cutno, president of the school’s board, said it didn’t seem worthwhile to rush the process of building a new school.

“We didn’t want to sacrifice quality for the convenience,” she said Wednesday at an informational meeting about the school.

State officials gave preliminary approval to Envision in early September, with final approval expected in January. In total, the state approved 26 new charter schools, including three others from Wake County.

Charter schools are public schools that operate independently from the local school system.

In addition to finding a location, Envision leaders are busy sorting through applications for principals, meeting with parents about the school and making decisions about how the school will be structured.

The school aims to enroll 252 students in its first year, in kindergarten through sixth grade. The school would add a seventh grade the following year and an eighth grade the year after that. School officials plan to provide an experiential learning experience with a focus on the subjects known collectively as STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Erin Conigliaro, who attended last week’s meeting, is interested in the school for her daughter, a second-grader, and her son, a fifth-grader. She especially wants to make sure her son’s transition to middle school is a smooth one and that he’s in the right place.

Conigliaro is impressed so far by what the school will have to offer.

“I love their passion,” she said.

Another charter school approved last month, Wake Forest Charter Academy, also still is looking for a location in or around the town, said Hilda Alston Parler, the president of the board.

Wake Forest Charter will operate the school with Michigan-based National Heritage Academies.

Envision will hold additional informational meetings this week. More details are available at envisionscienceacademy.com. Wake Forest Charter also will hold informational meetings, but dates have not yet been set.

Barr: 919-836-4952

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