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The North Carolina Board of Education has granted a 10-year charter school agreement for Wilson Preparatory Academy.
Wilson Prep received its initial charter Jan. 9, 2014, and opened as a K-8 public charter school in August 2014. It became a K-12 public school for the 2018-19 school year and will have its first class of seniors graduating this spring.
The school’s founder and executive director, Daryl M. Woodard, received a letter indicating that the state board had made the decision March 7, according to a release from Janet Conner-Knox, a Wilson Prep public relations representative.
“It has truly been a pleasure working with each one of you,” wrote Shaunda Cooper, a consultant with the N.C. Office of Charter Schools. “Keep up the good work and thank you for all you do for our students in the charter network.” Woodard said he was delighted with the new agreement.
“From the time a student enters our school, our mission is to make sure that child gets an education that prepares them for the future,” Woodard said in the release. “And getting the 10-year agreement means our state knows how hard we work. We are very happy about the 10-year agreement.”
In Wilson Prep’s N.C. Report Card for the school years 2016-17 and 2017-18, the school received a B in overall performance. The 2016-17 grades were up from the 2015-16 overall performance grade of C, when the school had a performance grade of 69. In 2014-15, Wilson Prep received a grade of C, with a performance grade score of 60.
“The world can be a tough place,” Woodard said. “Getting our students ready for this very competitive world means giving them no boundaries in how much they can achieve.”
Wilson Prep currently has about 849 students. The school campus has 54,000 square feet of facilities on 77 acres located at 2755 Tilghman Road. The school is currently building a $750,000 athletic complex for baseball, softball, soccer and track.
On Jan. 17, Wilson Prep asked the Wilson City Council to hold a public hearing about the school seeking up to $18 million in bonds so it could acquire the school campus using borrowed money on a tax-exempt basis.
A recent listing at Wilson County Register of Deeds noted a transfer of $13,837,000 from Educational Capital Solutions, LLC to Wilson Preparatory Academy Foundation, LLC.
Asked about the transaction, Woodard said Wilson Preparatory Academy closed its bond transaction on Feb. 28.
Woodard said the bond financing enabled the school to acquire its existing Tilghman Road campus from its landlord, Education Capital Solutions.
The Wilson Preparatory Academy Foundation, a North Carolina limited-liability company, now holds fee title to the property.
“The academy will continue its operations at the current campus,” Woodard said. “The bond transaction allows the academy to spend less money on lease payments and more money on its educational programs. The construction of athletic facilities at the academy is not being funded with bond proceeds.”