Movement Charter School will open second location in east Charlotte

The charter school will take over the vacant Harris Teeter located at the old site of Eastland Mall. (Dedrick Russell/WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –

Movement Charter School located in west Charlotte on Freedom Drive has announced it will open up a second location in east Charlotte in 2020.

The school has only been open for a year and now it is expanding.

The charter school will take over the vacant Harris Teeter located at the old site of Eastland Mall.

Leaders say another location in east Charlotte makes sense.

"The eastside is an amazing community," Executive Director of Education Tim Hurley said. "It is one of the most diverse communities in our city. One of the fastest growing – all you have to do is look at the cranes and the apartments that are being built on the east – there are a ton of kids looking for great options."

Hurley says Movement School has had success in its inaugural year.

Students made double-digit gains in Reading and Math.

The first year was so successful many parents are on a waiting list to get their child into the school.

Leaders say they pump a lot of money into providing resources for students.

"Every room has a full-time assistant teacher," Hurley said. "And we find that helps them give them unique instruction they need. Above that, we have two full-time teachers for every two grades who actually work with kids who are behind to help them catch up."

The interesting thing about Movement School’s second location is the school will be a neighbor to the new Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) that will open up at the beginning of the school year.

We asked charter school leaders if opening up a new charter school in the same parking lot as CMS’s new school is by design to attract students or by coincidence.

"I can say that was by coincidence," Hurley said. "Movement School and CMS are on the same team. We want to see every single child in the city get a great education."

Neighbors say they believe offering parents a choice when it comes to their children’s education is a good thing. The Movement School leaders are looking forward to share notes with CMS.

"We are super excited to be neighbors with CMS schools," Movement Foundation Director Garrett McNeill said. "We want to figure out what they are doing well and we hope that we can work well together with them."

Movement School was founded by former Panthers player Casey Crawford.

He believes opening a second location will reach more students and tap into their potential.

His foundation will pay for the renovations to the old Harris Teeter store. No word how much that will cost but to renovate the school on Freedom Drive cost between $12-$14 million dollars.

Leaders say they will be adamant about how the East location will look.

"We really pour a lot of time and effort and energy into the design of the space," McNeill said. "Because we think students on the East side just as well as the West side deserve not just a good school but the best school."

Charter schools are becoming more popular.

There are about 30 charter schools in Mecklenburg County. Some have received good marks from the state because of strong test scores – others have received failing grades.

Movement School hasn’t received a grade from the state yet. The school just opened last year.

Registration for the new location will start next year. It will start as a K2 school then it will add a grade each year so it will eventually be a K8 school.

"Our hope is we can provide another great opportunity for education within the community," McNeill said. "So that we are producing some of the best scholars and some of the best citizens."

If you would like to see how Charter schools compare with CMS schools click here.

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