The creation of Summit Charter School grew out of a series of meetings at the Church of the Good Shepherd beginning in January 1996. The focus of these meetings was education in our community and what could be done to improve the quality of education. These meetings led to the formation of Education Tomorrow, a smaller group that was organized to deal more specifically with educational concerns in Cashiers, Highlands and the surrounding area.

In the spring, Education Tomorrow became aware that the state legislature was giving serious consideration to charter school legislation. The group immediately began to investigate the charter school movement, not just in North Carolina, but also throughout the country. More than twenty states had passed charter school legislation since 1991 when Minnesota launched the movement. California and Arizona had more than 100 charter schools each.

The North Carolina legislature passed charter school legislation in June 1996. At that point, Education Tomorrow became serious about this being an outstanding opportunity to establish an alternative school of excellence in the Cashiers/Highlands area.

In the late summer of 1996, the Education Tomorrow group was introduced to a broad school plan developed by Dr. Ernest Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, entitled “The Basic School.” After having read the literature, Education Tomorrow became increasingly interested in the concept and, as a result, made contact with the Basic School Network, a group of schools committed to the Basic School concept. One of the Network schools, David Cox Road Elementary School, is a magnet school in Charlotte. In November, two members of the Education Tomorrow group visited Cox Road School and returned even more enthusiastic about the Basic School plan, having seen it in action.

This content courtesy of the Summit Charter School. Learn more at the Summit Charter School website.