Arts-Themed Charter School Planned For WCS Site

A local charter school announced plans this week to take over the Wellington Christian School campus.

The plan was unveiled a month after WCS administrators told parents they were closing the school at the end of this school year because of looming financial constraints.

Eagle Arts Academy Charter School for the Arts, a Delray Beach-based academic-infused arts nonprofit charter school, has agreed to lease the facility and will operate its school on the property.

“This area will finally have a performing arts school, and we will provide a challenging educational curriculum supplemented significantly by the arts,” said school founder Gregory James Blount, an independent producer and talent scout.

Blount is an Eagle Scout, the highest rank received from the Boy Scouts of America, thus the name of the school.

Blount and his executive team have been meeting for weeks with officials at Wellington Presbyterian Church, which currently owns the existing school facility, to reach an agreement.

Under the agreement, the church will be allowed to operate on the property for the next three years.

During its first year, Eagle Arts Academy has been approved to open with nearly 900 students from kindergarten through sixth grade and is now accepting applications.

The kindergarten through eighth charter school has been approved for nearly 1,500 students by the end of a three-year period.

Dr. Liz Knowles, formerly of the Pine Crest School, has been selected as head of school. Knowles, a curriculum and reading specialist and an award-winning educator and author, developed Eagle Arts’ “Artademics” curriculum with Blount.

An educator for 40 years, Knowles has experience in cognitive skills development and the International Baccalaureate program.

The school, scheduled to open in August, will focus on a mixture of performing and production arts, and offer a cognitive skill development program for all ages, Blount said.

The school will be retrofitted with a green screen studio, digital media editing facility, TV studio, plus an acting, dance and vocal studio, with additional improvements expected over the next 18 months.

Technology will be infused into all areas of the curriculum to enhance academics, develop creativity and extend learning through video, animation and more.

“We want to make sure these kids are ready for the world. They will learn how important the arts are to education and to the world,” Blount said. “Studies show that kids who are involved in the arts usually do better in school in all sorts of ways, including academically and socially.”

Blount has already worked to secure industry professionals from both sides of the entertainment industry to conduct specialty workshops for Eagle Arts students.

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