A joint venture between the Union Baptist Church and the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Global Scholars Academy was designed to connect at-risk Durham area youth to a wide array of intellectual and social capital resources, both “high touch” and virtual. In doing so, our goals are to identify student needs and attributes, broaden and deepen their education, diversify their personal networks, and expand their access to potentially life-changing domestic and international experiences.
Global Scholars Academy launched as an independent school on August 19, 2009, with 75 students in grades K-2 who were selected via lottery. We have since expanded to a K-8 charter school by adding a new cohort of 25 kindergarten-age youth each year through 2015. Thanks to Union Baptist Church’s $10 million commitment in 2006 to build the 49,000 square-foot facility, GSA enjoys a state-of-the-art early learning center, thirteen classrooms equipped with the latest education technology, a media center, a gymnasium with a circular walking/jogging track, a fitness center, a health and wellness center, an industrial sized kitchen and dining area, a dance studio, an animation studio/photojournalism lab, and secure outdoor recreation areas with age appropriate equipment – and are able to serve as a new community mediating institution in Durham’s most economically distressed community.
We strive to follow a dynamic 21st century franchise model of public education, one that builds bridges to the economic mainstream for vulnerable students. By using an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to education, we encourage our students to forge connections between academic fields and their personal lives out in world at large.
Our mission is to create a public education system that is culturally responsive, that supports academic success, and which serves as a gateway to unlocking every child's unique gifts. Our curriculum fosters curiosity in our students and aspires to give them a sense of personal, financial and academic responsibility that they can carry with them throughout their lives. Regardless of a student’s socio-economic circumstance, we believe that a high-quality education should give students the ability to know and unlock their power for personal achievement.
Meet Our Team
Our faculty and staff consist of certified teachers, licensed social workers and family counselors, among other dedicated professionals. GSA is designed to connect vulnerable youth and their families to the necessary set of resources, from psychological services and family support to academic tutors and community mentors. Our goal is to accelerate remediation and academic advancement, enrich the learning experience of NC Common Core Standards and promote personal health, financial literacy and global awareness through our interdisciplinary curriculum.
Faculty & Staff
GSA teachers and staff receive ongoing training on: evidence-based best practices for engaging students, thoughtful use of benchmark assessments, behavioral support, and progress monitoring among others.
Teachers’ sustained engagement in and disciplined execution of strategies that improve student readiness for learning are the hallmarks of GSA’s education philosophy. The entire staff is equipped to act on GSA’s brand promise to parents: students are guaranteed protection, affection, correction, and connections; and these core values are integrated in a school-wide model of collective ambition to succeed academically and in other walks of life.
GSA is the only laboratory school in North Carolina focused on developing teachers that can meet the unique needs of vulnerable youth and encouraging holistic student achievement through personal health, academic, and entrepreneurial education.