Phoenix Academy to expand

Jan. 21, 2013 @ 05:03 PM

An expanding Phoenix Academy will start serving middle school students this fall as leaders begin construction planning.
The State Board of Education has approved the addition of grades 6, 7 and 8 for the public charter school. Academy leaders expect the school’s enrollment to grow to about 1,500 in the next few years after a building opens at a new site and high school grades open.
“We were landlocked at our site and we think we have a good plan for growth,” said Paul Norcross, the school’s co-founder.
Phoenix Academy has purchased 42 acres along Clinard Farms Road and Barrow Road for the new building.
Students in grades K-2 will attend school in the current building in Mendenhall Business Park, while those in grades 3-6 eventually will go to school at the new campus, Norcross said. Construction plans have not been finalized.
With the opening of sixth grade, the school will have more than 700 students by 2014. Phoenix Academy started as a private school in 1997 and converted to a public charter in 2000.
The Academy is the second charter school in the High Point area to announce building plans. Earlier this month, leaders of the new North Carolina Leadership Academy, a college preparatory K-9 charter school, said they will start building on a site on Payne Road in Kernersville for a fall 2013 opening.
Meanwhile, the charter school movement is growing. The N.C.  Department of Public Instruction has received 161 letters of intent to apply to open a public charter school in August 2014.  Nineteen of the applications came from Guilford County.
By comparison, 59 charter applications were received in 2012 and twenty- five were approved to open schools in 2013, according to the N.C. Public Charter Schools Association.
A charter schools fair next week in Winston-Salem is aimed at helping potential school leaders prepare their final documents and to inform others about charter schools. Applications are due March 1.
“Many of the applicants learn of ideas and services that will enhance their schools only after their application is filed,” said  Eddie Goodall, charter schools association executive director.

Charter Schools Fair
Location:  The N.C Public Charter Schools Association will host a fair for parents, educators, and the general public from 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 28-31 in the Winston Marriott/Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem.