Q: Where is the school located?

A: We are at 1023 Dellwood Road in Waynesville, right across from Lake Junaluska.

Q: What are the school hours?

A: Our school hours are 8:00AM-3:30PM. Students must be in their seats and ready to learn at 8:00AM. Afternoon car line begins at 3:00PM.

Q: How are you different from the local traditional schools?

A: As a free public school, Shining Rock is required to meet the same measures of student progress as traditional North Carolina public schools. The school uses its unique educational approach to develop lifelong learners who are college-ready. Shining Rock’s knowledge-centric curriculum is drawn from the Core Knowledge Sequence and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Unlike traditional schools, students experience robust science and social studies content concurrent to reading, writing, and mathematics. As a school dedicated to the development of the “whole student”, Shining Rock students K-8 take Art, Music, Outdoor Education, and Physical Education throughout the course of a given school year.

Q: What is “Experiential Learning” and why is this important at Shining Rock?

A: At Shining Rock, we believe that learning does not end at the classroom door.  Inquiry-based experiential education provides real world content and allows students to learn from experts in various fields.  As a learning community all students engage in place-based learning opportunities throughout the school year. These Field Work experiences are directly tied to state standards. First hand experiences with places and experts bring a depth of meaning to each child’s education.  Grades 1-8 undertake overnight Field Work experiences, uniting community and inquiry in a manner not found in the traditional public school experience.

Q: Do you have a program for Exceptional Children?

A: Yes, we provide the same high-quality education for all of our students, regardless of any disability or learning difference. We have a robust team of highly-qualified EC teaching staff and we implement an inclusive classroom model, and make every effort to keep students in a traditional classroom setting.

Q: Where can I find out about uniforms?

A: The Shining Rock school uniform policy can be found here.

Q: Will you provide lunch for purchase?

A: Yes. Lunches are available for purchase 5 days a week. Monday-Thursday we offer kid-friendly, healthy lunches from Absolutely Yummy Catering and on Fridays we offer pizza from Angelo’s Pizza. Please order lunches by Friday at 10AM for the following week. You can order lunches online by clicking here.

Q: How do I get in touch with you?
A: Please call the school’s main office at 828-476-5150 for more information.

Q: Are you accepting applications for enrollment?
A: The Student Open Enrollment period for the 2019-2020 school year will begin January 3, 2019 and will remain open until March 15, 2019. We have closed enrollment for this school year.

Q: Does a Charter School charge tuition?
A: No. Charter schools are public schools and do not charge tuition.

Q: What is a Charter School?
A: Charter Schools are public schools that receive public funds. They are subject to the same regulations and statutes that apply to other public schools, and in some cases have stricter oversight than traditional schools, (they undergo a 5 year licensure audit process for example), but generally charters have more flexibility regarding curriculum and daily operations than traditional public schools. Shining Rock is governed by a local board, which holds monthly public meetings.

Q: Do you have to live in Haywood county to attend Shining Rock?
A: No. We accept any student who lives in North Carolina.

Q: How did the idea for a charter school come about for Haywood County?
A: In 2011, a group of interested parents began researching the possibility of opening a charter school in Haywood County, one of the 43 rural counties in North Carolina that does not have a charter school. The founding board partnered with TeamCFA, a non-profit foundation, that affiliates with existing or emerging charter schools to provide instructional supplies and ongoing teacher professional development.

Q: What grades does the school offer?
A: Shining Rock currently offers instruction in grades K-8.

Q: How are Charter Schools funded?
A: Charter schools receive state and county education dollars based on the number of students who attend. Charters do not receive capital funds like traditional schools do, which means they do not receive money for buses or facilities or other large purchases. As a result, charters must be fiscally responsible at all times, operating as a small business that can react quickly to needs and changes as they arise. A 2014 study from the University of Arkansas shows that North Carolina charter schools outperform traditional public schools and operate on about 83 cents on the dollar compared to their traditional counterparts.