Huntersville Education Village
Aspire Carolinas Foundation’s current project is to create an education village for children with Asperger’s/autism spectrum disorders and/or learning differences located in Northern Mecklenburg County where many resources can be shared among the schools on the campus. Parents of children with special needs in Northern Mecklenburg county currently face a long school commute into Charlotte if they want to access one of the city’s independent special needs schools. By founding schools close to home, families and their children will reduce their commuting time for school and be able to create stronger ties to others in their home community.
The rapidly growing population of our area has also increased the need for additional independent schools. Charlotte, located in Mecklenburg County, has 1,000,000 residents making it North Carolina’s most populated county. Between 2005 and 2015, the metropolitan region’s population growth rate averaged 2.6 percent. As Charlotte continues to be a thriving economic center of the state we anticipate continued growth to our area.
We estimate* there are currently 910 children with autism and 6,195 with learning differences in the Northern Mecklenburg area that would be within reach to attend our regional school. For those children struggling in public schools or currently being homeschooled our new school will provide an environment that is built specifically to meet their educational needs.
At Aspire Carolinas Foundation, we feel strongly about preparing these students for post-secondary career options that may or may not include a college degree. We envision a village that also hosts a High School trade school that allows students to explore career options and apprenticeships that would match them to full-time careers with area businesses and corporations. Through this trade school students would have options that are currently not available but highly desired by families, corporations and community partners.
*Autism population rate of 1.4% and Learning Differences rate of 10% population. Student population rate extrapolated from current enrollment at Northern Mecklenburg CMS schools.