PAMLICO COUNTY - It's been a long time coming, but the big day is finally just around the corner for Arapahoe Charter School to open its doors as a K-9 grade school. It previously only had classes through the eighth grade. Of the 41 eighth graders from the previous year, only 23 are returning. Another three students are transfers, making for 26 freshmen in all. Principal Tom McCarthy says despite the low numbers, it's a start.
"All I can promise you is that we do have ninth grade. I understand that some people want that kind of continuous flow," McCarthy said.
Classes for ninth graders will consist of only math and English. Science and history classes will be taken online. There is also a space for lunch and freshman seminar classes, giving a more young-adult setting for the students.
"We've been K-8 for so long, it's gonna be real important to make sure that we do kind of carve that out as you're moving into high school. There are different expectations," McCarthy said.
The school has eliminated recess and replaced it with classes that focus more on life skills.
"It's our goal to make sure every student who leaves Arapahoe is going to be ready for work at a community college or university," McCarthy said.
It's down to the wire -- the school still has furniture, equipment and wiring to check off the to-do list before classes start on Monday.
"I assure you, it's going to be a sleepless and long weekend, but we will be ready Monday morning," McCarthy said.
A special open house will be held this week.