North Country Charter Academy celebrates two decades in operation
Helping at-risk youth flourish
CONCORD, NH — North Country Charter Academy, one of the first charter schools to open its doors in New Hampshire, is celebrating its 20th anniversary of preparing students for academic success and life after high school.
Since opening in 2004, North Country Charter Academy has graduated 635 students, including students who were at risk of dropping out of traditional high school or had already dropped out.
“Right from the beginning, I think there was a huge amount of excitement and enthusiasm from people in the region. I am very proud of this milestone,” said Superintendent Lisa Lavoie. “Initially, people didn’t really understand what a charter school was and that we were designed, not as a competitor, but to support all of the schools. We focus on getting the kids to the finish line, which is our top priority. We also fill a niche that didn’t exist previously, especially for at-risk students. We really have high standards and very high expectations for our students.”
With campuses in Lancaster and Littleton, North Country Charter Academy serves students in grades 7-12 and between the ages of 14-21; its enrollment is about 80 students per year. Since inception, the public charter school has recovered 120 students who previously dropped out of high school – helping them obtain their diploma and substantially decreasing the number of students who were dropping out of school in the North Country region.
“I would not be where I am in life today if it wasn’t for North Country Charter Academy. NCCA gave me the strength and knowledge to always push for my dreams,” said Cody Reynolds, a 2010 graduate.
Celebrations are being planned at the charter school to recognize the 20th anniversary next month, including an event on November 7 at the Town & Country Inn in Shelbourne. The founding superintendents have been invited, as well as parents, student alumni and board members. A film showcasing the journey of the school since it was established will also be aired.
“Public charter schools provide families with options for learning and help children find academic success. We are proud of North Country Charter Academy’s mission to help at-risk students find a pathway that will fit their educational needs, and for its years of dedicated support to traditional public schools in the North Country. School choice enables parents to advocate and engage in their child’s learning, and schools like NCCA help make those goals a reality,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner.
Statewide, there are currently 33 public charter schools in operation, which serve more than 5,500 students.