Who we are
The faculty, staff, and board of Evergreen Community Charter School are committed to the pursuit of excellence in the holistic education of mind, body, and spirit. This commitment includes preparing students for successful lifelong learning, social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and service. We are also committed to valuing the voice of every member of our community. After 20 years of operation, our commitment continues. Evergreen's success is evidenced by our enrollment, parent participation, implementation of the EL Education school design model, academic performance of students, 8th grade graduation panel presentations, range of special services and enrichments, service learning, partnerships, and financial stability.
For every year of operation, we have opened the school year with full enrollment and a wait list. Wait lists typically range from approximately 70 to 180 per grade in primary grades and from 10 to 35 per grade in middle grades.
Our original charter included a vision of extensive parent participation and support. This vision has been realized and parent involvement continues to be robust. We have established a process for identifying parents' areas of interest and then organizing committees or individuals to support classroom and school-wide needs. Last year, parents logged approximately 8,600 hours of volunteer work. Parents serve on our Board of Directors and board committees to address school-wide goals.
We have attained the highest level of recognition for our implementation of the EL Education school design model. We have had the honor of serving as a mentor school since the 2013 to 2014 school year. Mentor schools are selected for their deep implementation of EL Education core practices and student success. As a mentor school, we have served as a model to other educators and schools, documented and contributed examples of our exceptional teaching practices and student work to the EL Education national library of resources, and have hosted hundreds of visitors. In 2015, Evergreen became a credentialed EL Education school.
Improvement in student achievement is demonstrated by a variety of measures, including state test scores, student portfolios, and performance assessments. In the past three years, overall proficiency rates of reading end-of-grade (EOG) tests have consistently been at 80 to 81 percent; math EOG proficiency has increased from 63 to 70 percent; science EOG proficiency has increased from 69 to 90 percent; and math I end-of-course proficiency increased from 85 to 93 percent. Student portfolios in all grades reflect deep learning of academic content and skills. Our students also exhibit the Habits of Evergreen Scholars: habits of relationship, performance, and self.
In pursuit of our mission and continual improvement, Evergreen’s curriculum is broad, holistic, and differentiated to meet the needs of all students and intentionally designed to cultivate key 21st century skills including creative problem solving, critical thinking, global awareness, communication, information literacy, collaboration, and leadership.
We believe that students benefit from heterogeneous learning environments where they are encouraged to learn from and collaborate with students of different abilities, backgrounds, and interests. We also believe that students benefit from opportunities to work in smaller, more flexible groups with specialized instruction that addresses particular abilities or interests. Accordingly, our Exceptional Children and Academic Support initiatives provide instruction through differentiation in the classroom or small group pull-out prescribed by the student's Individualized Education Plan or Academic Support Plan. Similarly, our unique program for Academically or Intellectually Gifted students follows the Levels of Service Approach to enhance educational opportunities. This approach prescribes services for most students through differentiation in the classroom with some students receiving direct instruction from the AIG teacher through reading or math groups.
We believe that school is a place to develop physical, social, and emotional skills in addition to intellectual abilities. For this reason, all Evergreen students participate in a broad range of arts, adventure, character education, and service learning activities in the classroom, outdoors, and community. Our enrichment classes include Technology, Environmental Education, Library, Art, Physical Education, Adventure, and Music. Character education happens alongside academic education, in crew initiatives, and through class meetings and discourse. Service learning happens in all grade levels. For example, kindergarteners pack food at MANNA Food Bank while practicing their counting and sorting skills, 2nd graders share stories and song with elders at local assisted living facilities as they learn about our community, and 5th graders clean our local stream while studying the health of our waters. Students enjoy a balance of healthy play and structured, experiential learning. They are taught and expected to practice responsible, independent exploration and cooperative, teacher-directed activities.
Our 10-acre property is located in a residential neighborhood in the Haw Creek Valley. The main building has elementary and middle school wings with classrooms, labs, a library, and offices.
A second building houses our gym, kitchenette, stage for music class and performances, and art room. A climbing wall spans one wall in the gym. The grounds include a soccer and recreation field, gardens, outdoor basketball court, high ropes course, mountain bike track, three playgrounds, and two woodland play areas. A wooded trail circles the perimeter of the property and provides space for solitude, nature study, and exercise.
A third building houses additional space for academic, social, and emotional support.
Leadership and School Improvement
Our administrative team consists of an Executive Director, two Associate Directors, and a Coordinator of Exceptional Children. Evergreen is governed by a 14- to 19-member Board of Directors consisting of teachers, parents, community members, and the Executive Director. The board has standing committees that include Finance, Development, Nominating and Evaluating, Facilities, Legislative, Equity Leadership, and the School Improvement Team (SIT).
Board committees are comprised of board members, staff, parents, and community members. They steward the work outlined in our Operating Plan, which is constructed to achieve our strategic priorities. The SIT oversees the work of Professional Learning and Leading Communities (PLLCs), which are teams of teachers working to address the school improvement goals.
Our board has demonstrated exceptional stewardship of federal, state, and local funds as well as funds raised through grants and fundraising events. The board continues to ensure adequate budgeting and financial controls are in place. Evergreen is financially stable with assets that exceed our liabilities, including equity in a 10-acre campus and three school buildings, as well as a 1.1 million-dollar cash contingency fund.
Finance and Accountability
The Evergreen Budget is approximately 4 million dollars. The vast majority of funding comes from the State of North Carolina, either directly or through the local school districts where our students would be enrolled if they were not Evergreen students. Thus, 84 percent of our funding is based on our average daily membership, which is determined by the enrollment during the first four weeks of each school year; three percent of our funding comes from federal grants; and thirteen percent of our funding comes through non-governmental grants and fundraising efforts.
As a North Carolina charter school, Evergreen is accountable to the Department of Public Instruction through the Office of Charter Schools. We are accountable for: state and federal financial monitoring; annual audit by independent CPA; state and federal policies for student progress; compulsory education laws regarding health, safety, and civil rights; and the state-led charter renewal process.
Evergreen cultivates community partnerships with academic institutions, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals that further our educational mission through service and community connection. These partnerships enhance the educational opportunities for our students.