Rotarians learn about Spring Creek Charter Academy on Tuesday

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Linda Miller, principal at Spring Creek Charter Academy and Heather Worsley, instructional coach for Pataula Charter Schools spoke to Bainbridge Rotary on Tuesday about the new Spring Creek Charter Academy that opened this fall in Decatur County. Both women have years of experience working in the public school systems prior to going to the Pataula system. Miller has a total of 30 years in education and comes to this position from Pataula of Edison.

Worsley has been with the Pataula Schools since they opened 10 years ago.

Both women described what they see as a very refreshing opportunity to work with students in very small classes —no more than 23 per classroom, and having the ability to focus on culture and developing life-long opportunities.

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Miller said they follow the state curriculum and testing while focusing on student development for leadership.

Focusing on culture, she described a program where the first 30 minutes of each school day allows them to focus on character traits, achievement and relationships.

Every six weeks we do something different. The first is about Innovative thinking outside the box. The second is concentrated on service and compassion – looking at opportunities and willingness to give without recognition. 3rd session is about diversity and equation, respecting each other’s differences. 4th is about success and failure – leading and following —knowing when to do each one; and the last is learning to be observant, while developing serenity and patience.

Community circles are a celebration of learning where they recognize kids who have completed special programs. By getting up and speaking before others they learn to do public speaking with confidence.

Worsley spoke about the hands-on projects, explaining that expeditionary learning is a vital part of the curriculum. They recently took a trip to Kolomoki Mounds while studying American Indians. The students came back and created a children’s book about the Indian culture. It has been placed in the library where others can read and learn about it.

On Veterans Day the school had a special program where veterans came to school and the kids sat down one on one with a veteran to hear their stories about how the war impacted them. She told of a project addressing different cultures planned for fifth graders to take a trip to Epcot and study all the countries that were active in WWII.

Worsley said this approach gives the student a true excitement about learning and being at school. In March the students will complete a large display demonstrating what they have learned in terms of social studies.

Stating that the main goal is to raise children to be productive citizens for our communities, Worsley invited Rotarians with different hobbies or passions they wish to share to contact the school. Additionally, she said if there are any Rotary projects where the students could help that would be exciting.

The school currently has grades Pre-K to grade 6 serving Miller, Seminole and Decatur Counties. Plans are to add one more class each year. Miller said she believed most classes were almost full.