Local News

Rocky Mount Charter School Students Hold Class in Three Churches

Posted October 21, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The flooding down east is a huge problem for hundreds of parents and students in Rocky Mount. Their charter school is soaked, and administrators are looking for somewhere else to hold classes.

The Rocky Mount Charter School is the largest charter school in North Carolina, but the Tar River came out of its banks and made a real mess at the school.

Flooding caused millions of dollars of damage, but the school says it will not back down.

Black spots on the school's walls are mold left behind by five feet of water.

Until the new campus is built, the 800 students are meeting in three Rocky Mount churches. Things are a bit cramped, and 35 students have chosen to go somewhere else.

However, teachers said the overwhelming majority are staying.

"I have 30 kids, and 30 kids came back to me after the storm. I didn't lose any kids, and we're going to keep them all," said teacher Debbie King.

Because the school is on a modified, year-round calendar, they will have to make up only two school days. They also expect students to do well on the end-of-year ABCs test.

"As we are only out of this building for a short period of time and now occupying three Rocky Mount churches, the children have been working on those end-of-year test skills in addition to the regular curriculum," said John Von Rohr, charter school director.

Parents say they are committed to the school in spite of the inconvenience.

"I'm very happy that they continued it. I'm glad to see that they are not stopping it. The temporary services are great," said parent Steven Williams.

Because the charter school was able to get into the churches so quickly, they only missed a couple of weeks. Officials say attendance will not really be a problem.