In her own words: Former NC Rep. Carolyn Justice tours Douglass Academy

In her own words: Former NC Rep. Carolyn Justice tours Douglass Academy

On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, Former NC Representative Carolyn Justice visited Douglass Academy. Mrs. Justice served five terms in the State’s legislature and was recently presented with the State’s prestigious Order of the Longleaf Pine award. Mrs. Justice is a Wilmington native who currently is a businesswoman in neighboring Pender County. Mrs. Justice visited to learn about the unique public education offered at our school by observing the delivery of our Classical Curriculum through the Direct Instruction teaching method. 

By: Carolyn Justice

I had an enlightening and fun visit to Douglas Academy (Charter school) in Wilmington yesterday. These kids are happy, engaged and excited to learn. I was excited to see first graders diagramming sentences solving math problems, individually, and verbally.

So, how is Douglass Academy doing?

In its first year of End-of-Grade testing (which begins in third grade) and with possible passing scores of “3” through “5”, 100% of Douglass Academy students passed with scores of either 4 or 5. In the recent 2014-2015 school year, Douglass Academy had its entire Kindergarten reading by January, after only four months of instruction.

92% of their students are on free or reduced lunch. So please don’t tell me the reason public schools don’t do as well is because they have a greater proportion of poor children.

Douglas Academy began its third academic year in August. They serve grades K-2, and the school has quadrupled its first-year’s enrollment, now serving around 150 students in grades K-4. Adding a grade level each year, the school will become a K-5 by 2017.

Established in downtown Wilmington to combat the area’s chronically low test scores, Douglass Academy is a replication of Charter Day School in Leland, which is consistently Brunswick County’s highest scoring school on End-of-Grade tests.

Public charter schools are tuition-free and open enrollment. They accept fewer taxpayer dollars in exchange for freedom to offer alternative curriculum and methodologies to state-mandated programs in traditional public schools, while still remaining subject to the same End-of-Grade testing standards.

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