Make Your Own Volcano!

volcanoBy Mandy Dillashaw, First Grade Teacher

Looking for something fun to do with your child over winter break? How about making a volcano! This exciting science experiment is easy to make and fun to do.

The volcano could be made out of clay (it will need to dry before you use it), a mound of dirt from outside, or any type of cup or container. If you use a cup or container, you could build up the clay around it to make it look more like a volcano! If you use a mound of dirt or clay for your volcano, place a plastic cup in the middle; old film containers also work great.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making an eruption! Continue reading “Make Your Own Volcano!”

Looking Toward the Future with The Hour of Code

By Jennifer Stoltz, Technology Integration Specialist


As parents, we are charged with the daunting task of teaching our children everything we know. But sometimes the world changes faster than we can keep up. We suddenly realize the skills we polished and honed growing up may not meet the needs of our 21st-century offspring. That can be both humbling and intimidating.

That’s why Charlotte Prep is once again joining in one of the largest learning events in history, The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code.

Continue reading “Looking Toward the Future with The Hour of Code”

PREPing for the Flu!

faculty - Long_Kelly+AE1004By Kelly Long, RN, School Nurse

Each year millions of people are diagnosed with Influenza and Charlotte Prep is no exception. I begin seeing diagnosed cases of the flu around October or November. And once it’s here, it doesn’t want to leave! Consider our population. Our very young students have difficulty understanding personal boundaries—and there it spreads. Our older students love to share screens and take selfies—and there it spreads. Then they come home to you—and there it spreads. Continue reading “PREPing for the Flu!”

Trust the Process

By Sharon Vanella, Head of Early School

As we near the break for Thanksgiving, I have been reflecting a great deal on the process that the children are undertaking as they grow during this exciting and wondrous age span from 2-6. The children are settled into their classrooms, which are vibrant with purpose and discovery. Everything the children are doing is a part of a continuum that ultimately leads to adulthood. This crucial time is an ideal span for a child to be in a Montessori environment, which allows him to explore with his whole being, using all his senses. Maria Montessori carefully observed and recorded children’s development, and created a sequence of materials and lessons which engage the child and allow her to practice, step by step, every detailed skill that she’ll need on her path through life: practical, social, and academic.

Continue reading “Trust the Process”

Admissions Open House on November 19

By Vicky Wilkison, Director of Admissions

If your family is considering an independent school for the future, now is the time to be visiting schools and preparing to apply. At Charlotte Prep, we look forward to partnering with new families and helping them to navigate the Admissions process. Being a close-knit, small community, we love getting to know our applicant families well and helping them determine if Charlotte Prep is the right fit.

A great first step is to attend an Open House. Our next event is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, at 9:30 a.m. Here you will have an opportunity to meet our faculty and staff, visit with parents and students, and tour the campus. Our Student Ambassadors love to share their Charlotte Prep stories and will be happy to answer your questions and give you a sneak peek at how we nurture young leaders who are well-prepared to succeed in high school. Continue reading “Admissions Open House on November 19”

What Is Appropriate Parental Involvement With Homework?

homeworkBy Nicole Girvan, Head of Lower School

Study after study has shown that when parents get involved, kids do better in school. According to the National Education Association, kids with parents who are actively involved in their education earn higher grades, do better on standardized tests, and are more likely to be enrolled in advanced placement programs. Students whose parents are more involved also attend school more regularly, successfully pass more classes, have better social skills, and have a higher overall graduation rate. This is a remarkable set of benefits arising from one small thing: parents who get involved with their child’s education. Continue reading “What Is Appropriate Parental Involvement With Homework?”

Confidence in Action

By Evan Kurtz, Head of Middle School

A recent  article from the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), which followers of Charlotte Prep on Twitter (@CharlottePrep) may have already read, was titled, “Students in K-8 Model More Academically Confident Than Middle School Peers.” Those of you with more experience at Prep may simply nod your head in agreement, thinking to yourself, “I know. I’ve seen it in action.” For newcomers to the school and model, allow me to elaborate. And while I may be a newcomer myself, in my short time here I have witnessed all parts of what the article addresses, and then some.

Continue reading “Confidence in Action”