Summit Charter School is located in the beautiful mountains of Cashiers, NC. Summit offers a quality and unique K-8 educational experience that connects students to the many wonderful environmental and community resources that surround the school. Our philosophy and mission inspire the importance of educating the “whole child”, while instilling the values of character and community involvement throughout the educational program. As a North Carolina public charter school, Summit offers a choice program that will prepare students beyond the Common Core and N.C. Essential Standards.
Curriculum instruction in math and science has become a growing concern, as student achievement is woefully behind in performance levels around the globe. Summit Charter School feels strongly that the critical thinking and analytical skills gained from a sound foundation in math and science lead to savvy citizens. Tactics found in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are strategic in honing these necessary skills, and when implemented effectively, excite students about science and math.
Summit Charter School’s strategic response to this global curricular concern is Project STEAM, a comprehensive approach to improving the school’s STEM education program while developing a strong network of institutional support and collaboration.
Since its origin as a charter school in 1997, Summit Charter School has incorporated the environmental surroundings and rich cultural heritage of its community into its academic program, thus developing the roots to a STEM program. Now seventeen years later, the Summit program has embraced 21st century learning tactics, utilizing technology, engineering and design skills, math applications, while continuing its placed-based field studies in environmental education. From the addition of iPads in the middle school, to Lego robotics, to math lab instruction, to the environmental field studies in biodiversity, geology, meteorology, and ecology, our STEM programs have enlightened many students and developed a culture of environmental stewardship.
Summit taps in to the many fantastic environmental learning opportunities and the rich cultural heritages of Appalachia right here in our backyard. Experiential and place-based learning tactics promoted by our Quest, Heritage Clubs, and S.E.E.C. programs connect students at every grade level to an amazing learning experience. Imagine studying geology while hiking the Chattooga River, or forces and motion while scaling Looking Glass Mountain, American History and heritage through the cultural voices of the Cherokee Indians, conduct soil erosion lessons on Whiteside Mountain, or an archeological dig at the historical Zachary- Tolbert House. Learning takes on tremendous value when experienced first hand through local field studies and place-based excursions in our community.
Quest is a thematic field studies program that captivates the essence of experiential education. Lessons of science, social studies, math, literature, and creative writing are taught in the field through hands-on activities and support learning as a true adventure.
Summit students in grades 3-5 head to Heritage Clubs, our local enrichment classes based on three annual themes of study: Cashiers Beginning, Cherokee Nation, Scots-Irish Settlements. Activities include trail education, cooking, leather works, dancing, coats of arms, Cherokee language lessons, and Highland Games.
Students in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades learn the importance of community resources in their KFS program. Baking dog biscuits for the Humane Society, reading to area pre-school students, and enjoying sculpting classes from local artists are just a few of the community brought to our younger students.
Summit’s Experiential Education Clubs for middle school students that ties together the elements of the Summit Mission.
Each day in my words and my deeds, I will do my best to live these seven virtues: Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Self-Discipline, Perseverance, and Giving.