Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell Charter Academy of Arts and Science has been awarded a full first year grant for A+ Schools of North Carolina by the North Carolina Arts Council.

The school recently revised its curriculum and focus to become an arts and science school. The A+ School program is designed for a whole school transformation that offers state-mandated curriculum taught through collaboration and multi-discipline integration. Arts are fundamental to teaching and is integrated into all subjects.

“We are so excited to receive 100 percent grant approval for our first-year program with A+ Schools of North Carolina,” said Andrea Lopresti, principal of Iredell Charter Academy of Arts and Science. “Our entire staff will undergo intense training during the summer of 2024, and then we will begin implementation in the fall.”

Students will learn core subjects like math, science, English language arts, and history with visual and performing arts supporting the learning process.

“Our teachers are looking forward to learning new ways to reach students in creative ways,” said Lopresti. “For example, a lesson could include learning physics concepts by referencing Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece, then having students lie on the floor and paint the bottom of their desks. Those kinds of lessons will never be forgotten.”

The A+ Schools program includes intensive whole staff training over a three-year period and beyond. It also includes onsite and online professional development throughout the year, additional support and collaboration with other A+ Schools within the network, and network leadership events.

“When we became an Arts and Science focused school, we knew we had to make the school dramatically different – not just change its name,” said Lopresti. “When students return in the fall, they are going to experience a whole new way of learning and will be exposed to a unique way of teaching. Currently, elementary students attend dance, art, music, Spanish, and STEAM once a week. Middle school students have up to four electives each week, including theater, gardening, drums, digital art, Spanish 1, STEAM, literary magazine, and PE.

About Iredell Charter Academy of Arts and Science

Iredell Charter Academy of Arts and Science is part of the Charter Schools USA Inc. (CSUSA) family of schools, which is dedicated to building strong minds and good hearts. Our school, serving kindergarten through eighth grade, is governed by the North Carolina Charter Educational Foundation, comprised of local community leaders who embody our commitment to educational excellence. Learn more at www.iredellcharter.org.