Academics Through
Alternative Learning

At our small class private school in Charlotte, Epiphany students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively through discussion-based learning and small group or individualized instruction. 

Epiphany is an alternative learning school that moves away from traditional rote memorization and teacher-focused instruction. Instead, we embrace a student-centered and inquiry-based learning approach with classroom projects and technology to engage students in collaborative real-world investigations. It’s “learning by doing.”


“Offering a school that encourages and cultivates some of this generation’s greatest minds is what Epiphany is all about.”

—Cassie Jones, Head of School

Epiphany School’s Academic Approach

Though students at Epiphany learn differently, the curriculum is just as, if not more, robust than any Charlotte public school. We emphasize a strong academic core and maintain state standards in: 

  • English Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Field Trips
  • Specials (Music Therapy with Piedmont Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Orton Gillingham Tutoring, P.E., Latin, Spanish, Weekly Counseling and Equine Therapy at Triple Play Farms)

Our alternative learning school encourages academic excellence by developing customized learning plans and closely monitoring student progress through MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) testing. This adaptive tool helps teachers and parents make informed decisions to promote a student’s academic achievement.

One way we help students think about and connect with the larger community is through our character education initiative. Our students create door hangers for the Ronald McDonald House, as well as letters and bookmarks for Meals on Wheels Friendship Trays. Through this initiative, we encourage students to be in touch with the feelings, emotions, and hardships of others. 

Our Friends and Feelings™ class is Epiphany’s program for students with ASD1 and other communications differences. Daily instruction at our Charlotte small class school is fun and interactive, using techniques such as role-playing and building projects to facilitate social skill-based teachable moments. 

Our Friends and Feelings™ Program incorporates evidence-based strategies from experts and groups students based on social skills, maturity, and peer interaction needs. Social-emotional learning is also integrated across all core subjects as well as enrichment classes like:

  • Equine therapy at Triple Play Farms
  • Trinity Episcopal School Service Learning Partnership
  • Canine therapy
  • Field trips

One way we’ve built a distinctive academic experience is by intentionally limiting class size. By maintaining a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio and a 1:1 student-to-computer ratio, we can provide small group instruction that accelerates engagement. Our Charlotte small class school allows teachers to develop lessons that call on each student’s strengths while also providing remediation as needed. 

Small classes are instrumental in social-emotional learning as well. With fewer students, teachers can spend more time guiding students through self-regulation techniques like meditation and conflict resolution. 

At Epiphany, we have created a unique learning environment that is sensitive to social, emotional, and physical triggers so that our students can thrive academically. This is apparent in our classrooms, which have been designed to reduce distractions and foster learning. 

The lighting in each of our classrooms is as close to natural light as possible. We keep decorations to a minimum to limit overstimulation and also offer flexible seating. By removing sensory triggers, students and teachers can focus on what matters most—learning. 

Epiphany is a school where students can embrace their uniqueness and learn to truly be themselves. We believe that when students are part of an inclusive community, they can finally identify and harness their strengths. They can change the narrative from “I can’t” to “I will.” 

A welcoming community also engages interest and motivation, helping our students with ASD1 and other communications differences understand the “why?” behind things they are learning. This deepens their understanding of concepts, improves communication and social skills, develops leadership skills, and fosters problem-solving and creativity.

Small Class Private School in Charlotte vs. Other Schooling Options 

Small class schools in Charlotte provide students with a well-rounded and individualized education. Compared to public schools, alternative learning schools typically offer smaller class sizes, unique teaching methods, tailored extracurricular opportunities, and more opportunities for parents to be involved in their child’s day-to-day instruction. 

Many Charlotte parents with children with ASD1 and other communications differences choose small class private schools because these institutions are better prepared to meet the child’s unique needs. Small class private schools provide more appropriate pedagogical approaches for students with autism, ensuring that your son or daughter is succeeding both academically and emotionally. 

Though a homeschool curriculum can provide a similar level of one-on-one attention for students with ASD1, this option isn’t feasible for many families. Homeschooling also provides fewer opportunities for students to interact with peers and learn social skills. 

What Is an Alternative Learning School in Charlotte? 

An alternative learning school is an educational institution that offers a distinctive learning environment to students who aren’t thriving in a Charlotte public school. Alternative learning schools in Charlotte, like Epiphany, cater to children who need more individualized academic instruction and/or social-emotional intervention. 

Though alternative learning schools typically meet state standards for core subjects, they often rely on a very different curriculum than public schools. Teachers at Epiphany, for example, use project-based learning and a social-emotional curriculum to help students understand academic concepts while building social skills. These schools also provide specific extracurricular opportunities that a public school may not.

Benefits of Alternative Learning Schools in Charlotte

There are innumerable benefits of alternative learning schools, especially for students with ASD1. Alternative learning schools in Charlotte offer:

  • A welcoming community where students feel understood, welcomed, and accepted
  • A learning environment that is sensitive to social, emotional, and physical triggers
  • Smaller class sizes and more individualized instruction
  • Unique curricula that are oftentimes project-based or focused on exciting enrichment activities
  • Opportunities for social-emotional learning
  • Teachers and administrators who are knowledgeable of ASD1
  • Resources and community-building opportunities for parents

The Epiphany School of Charlotte provides social and academic success for students with social and communication challenges and other children who move through our world a little differently. We welcome students in grades three through nine with average to above-average intelligence. We encourage you to learn more about our admissions process.  

Alternative Learning FAQS

What are the goals of alternative learning schools? 

Alternative learning schools in Charlotte offer a unique environment to students who may struggle academically or socially in a traditional public school setting. Alternative learning schools provide students with more individualized instruction and often a core curriculum that is enhanced by enrichment opportunities. 

Are alternative learning schools effective? 

Alternative learning schools are very effective for students who aren’t thriving in a traditional setting. While a student with ASD1 or other communications differences may “fall through the cracks” of a public school in Charlotte, schools like Epiphany provide a lower student-to-adult ratio, robust academic programming, and complementary social-emotional learning opportunities that aren’t present in a conventional setting. 

Do alternative learning schools provide a quality education? 

Yes. Alternative learning schools not only maintain state standards for core subjects like math and science but also present information in a way that is more engaging to students. Many alternative learning schools rely on personalized, skill-based instruction that builds retention and confidence more so than traditional schools. 

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