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A unique elementary experience - preserving a child’s innate love of learning while nurturing their creativity, curiosity, & imagination!


  • Hands on learning

  • Connection with the natural world 

  • Music, Art, Physical Education & Outdoor Ed

  • Monthly field trips 

  • Caring, thoughtful & experienced teachers 

  • Rigorous academic instruction and Social & Emotional Learning

Box Turtle club FernLeaf After School

Through real world problem solving & hands-on learning, Project Based Learning helps students gain a deeper understanding of academic content while building self confidence, gaining critical thinking skills, and developing the ability to communicate & collaborate effectively. It’s the way we all learn OUTSIDE of school!

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Monthly field trips and regular hands-on learning opportunities strengthen the school community and give students access to rich & meaningful experiences that support their education & enrich their lives.

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FernLeaf students develop an awareness and appreciation for the environment and their role in protecting it through Outdoor and Environmental Education classes, Science classes, school gardens, a composting program, and regular fieldwork opportunities emphasizing the natural world. They are also encouraged to follow their natural curiosity & wonder with their surroundings through ample time for exploration outdoors.

Social & Emotional Learning at FernLeaf

Personal growth and development is supported through daily class meetings, regular mindfulness practices, Counselor-led classes, and an ongoing school-wide focus on social and emotional learning.  FernLeaf students learn and develop skills to help them build healthy and supportive relationships, navigate life’s challenges, and build compassion and empathy for others.


At FernLeaf our focus is nurturing our students to grow into thoughtful & compassionate members of society and our school culture reflects that. 



Elementary students rotate through Music, Art, PE, Spanish & Outdoor Education every week.

FernLeaf's Creek Campus

Using a variety of curricular resources and high levels of differentiated instruction, FernLeaf teachers follow the NC Standard Course of Study to meet the needs of all students.

FernLeaf Elementary Students



Through an emphasis on high quality academics, community, rich learning environments, and personal growth & development, FernLeaf’s comprehensive K-12 program prepares students for college, work, and life beyond school.

"My son entered school last year as a quiet observer who enjoyed sitting alone on the sidelines. This year he chooses to lead his class in singing songs, in mindfulness activities, and as a general helper. He greets all staff by name and has a ton of friends. He also has needed some extra academic supports with literacy skills. FernLeaf has gone ABOVE and BEYOND in getting him the help he needs - through work with interventionists and his regular teachers. FernLeaf really seems to prioritize small group work so that students get individualized supports."

Check out a virtual tour of our Creek Campus.

FernLeaf Community Charter School Elementary School

Elementary Years at FernLeaf

Grades K - 4 are the years to "light a fire."

By preserving children’s innate love of learning and nurturing creativity, curiosity, and imagination, FernLeaf’s early years in grades K-4 provide the foundation for a successful school experience across all grade levels.


The early years at FernLeaf are particularly important in a student’s educational journey. Evidence suggests that the average annual learning gains for children in grades K-2 are dramatically greater than those for subsequent years of school. FernLeaf’s emphasis on a rich and rigorous academic learning environment, social-emotional learning, and time in nature ensures your student will succeed during this exciting and important time!


FernLeaf’s early elementary years are used to build a foundational love of learning and curiosity in our students so that as they mature they are not only academically successful but also thoughtful, compassionate and engaged members of their community. Our experienced, creative and compassionate teachers bring this long-range view of your child’s development to everything they do. 


Elementary students at FernLeaf spend a lot of time outside and in nature.  While there is plenty of research to back it up, we know from decades of experience that spending time in nature while at school restores children’s attention, relieves stress, helps children develop more self discipline, increases physical fitness, promotes social connectedness and creativity, and makes students more engaged and interested, all which promote an overall deeper sense of learning. 

In addition to their focus on academic skills and excellence, the teachers and staff at FernLeaf  also incorporate social-emotional learning into everything they do inside, and outside, the classroom. They guide students and help them to develop empathy, reflective listening and clear communication strategies, and important problem-solving skills that serve them both academically and in interpersonal relationships. This emphasis on social-emotional learning in the elementary years leads to students who are able to communicate effectively, and establishes a kind, collaborative and dynamic experience that supports them through their middle and high school years and beyond.


Lastly, FernLeaf teachers use project-based learning, a myriad of field trips and hands-on activities to create an incredibly rich learning environment for students. This type of learning, combined with our emphasis on knowledge and skill building, social-emotional learning and time in nature, encourages students to be creative and curious with a passionate love of learning that lasts a lifetime.

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