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Leadership - Clarissa Fleming, Principal

An enthusiastic educational leader with a passionate commitment for student development, Clarissa Fleming became the principal of Hope Charter Leadership Academy July 2012. Prior to accepting this position she was an assistant principal at Needham B. Broughton High School, in the Wake County Public School System. Inclusive of her administrative career, she has served as an elementary and middle school classroom teacher in both the charter and public school systems. She holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Elizabeth City State University, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master of School Administration and Leadership, both from North Carolina State University.

Clarissa is originally from Dinwiddie, Virginia, and comes from a family of educators as both her father and mother have over 37 years of service as retired educators. Clarissa has one daughter, Brooke, and a husband, Rhoderick who is also an educator at Wake Technical Community College. Clarissa is active in her community and a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and the Raleigh Durham Alumni Association of Elizabeth City State University.

Clarissa strongly believes that successful schools set high expectations for all stakeholders and believe that everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they are doing their part to assist in achieving desired goals. When all stakeholders are working toward a common purpose, the chance for success increases dramatically. Relationships are important and collaboration amongst children, their families, the school and the community will provide the ultimate return of growth and achievement both academically and socially.

Board of Directors 

Positive and supportive leadership is the cornerstone of our success as a school.  Without the Board of Directors support and time volunteering to our school, we would not be able to have the great instructional program that we have today.  It is with their positive influence that Hope Elementary has become the amazing instructional environment for children to attend school and has provided our staff with the means to make continued strides toward a strong and effective educational program.  The Board of Directors is the governing body of the school.   The Board is responsible for all school policies and procedures that affect the instructional and operational functions at the school.

Anna Neal Blanchard
General Manager, Stewards Fund
Tucker Mann
Retired, Progress Energy
Walt Sherlin, Board Chair
Retired Educator

 Barbara Engram
Retired Educator

Sharon McInnis
DPI Accountant, Parent
Lee Snipes
Raymond James
Joel Kamya
Progress Energy, Retired
Tiffany Taylor 
Parent Representative 
Chariss Jones
Parent Representative 
Leonard King
Retired Educator
Robin Vincent
Educator, William Peace University
Tom Mann
Retired, General Electric
Jerry Letchworth
Retired, Progress Energy
Pam Jamison
Retired, Ravenscroft  
 Chip Anderson 
Morgan Stanley


About Us

Hope Charter Elementary is a Kindergarten through 5th grade school located in the historic Oakwood neighborhood and housed in the Barbee School Building that was erected in 1924, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Hope Elementary is proud to be embarking on becoming a Stephen Covey "The Leader In Me" school.  As a Leader In Me School, students will discover and practice a set of leadership and life skills from Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  The Leader In Me schools receive national recognition for their emphasis on developing leadership in young children.  

Incorporating The Leader In Me practices within our school's environment and curriculum will help our students become prepared to succeed in the 21st Century, with critical skills and characteristics such as: motivation, problem-solving skills, trustworthiness, a strong work ethic, goal setting, effective interpersonal skills, academic achievement, a sense of teamwork, and valuing diversity in a global market.  


Mission & Vision Statement

Our Mission is "Empowering Leaders today to change tomorrow." 

Our Vision as a school community is to inspire enthusiasm for education and to empower all of our scholars to learn, lead, and succeed.  No child's potential is too small; no family's odds are too great.


Leadership Pledge

We the students of Hope Elementary, show leadership by following seven simple rules. 

We are PROACTIVE and BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND.  We are becoming leaders, one student at a time!


We THINK WIN-WIN to solve our problems and then... SYNERGIZING helps us to be a better friend. 

We SHARPEN OUR SAW by exercising and eating right.  We help each other and go to bed early at night. 

We do our best when no one can see, we're the smartest boys and girls, because there's a LEADER IN ME! 

Community Outreach

Hope Elementary Charter School reaches out to the community and we've created partnerships with many companies and organizations in the Raleigh area that share our focus on education, child welfare, and community responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hope Charter Leadership Academy

Is Hope Charter Leadership Academy a private school? Are vouchers used in the admissions process?
Just like all other charter schools in the United States, Hope Charter is NOT a private school. Vouchers are not involved in the admissions process.

Who can attend Hope Charter Leadership Academy?
The school is open to all children in the local Raleigh, Durham, or Johnston County areas. No children will be given preferred status in the application process. If demand exceeds the number of available slots, a lottery may take effect.

How much does it cost to attend Hope Charter Leadership Academy? Are there any special tests that my child needs to take to gain admission?
Just like all public schools, there is no tuition and there are no tests to qualify for Hope Charter School. All that is required is the child's willingness to learn and the parents' willingness to play an active part in the child's education.

How and when can we apply for Hope Charter Leadership Academy?
Hope Charter accepts applications beginning in January of each year. Families will be notified of enrollment in May. If applications exceed planned enrollment, a lottery may take effect. Please see "Admissions" under the Resources tab of the school website. 

Do students dress in uniforms? 
Students at Hope Charter dress in uniforms. Appropriate uniform attire includes navy or khaki bottoms or dresses, and light (carolina) blue, navy blue, or white collared tops, with neutral colored shoes. During the 2014-2015  school year, excellent behavior, attendance, and completion of homework allowed students the opportunity to "dress out" on Fridays.  

What makes you a "Leadership Academy"?
Beginning the 2014-2015 school year, Hope Charter has become a Leader In Me School.  We are very proud to take on this initiative and implement the Leader In Me philosophy in our school.  The Leader In Me is based on the work of Dr. Stephen Covey's book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"  The goal of the Leader in Me program is for students to understand that they all have the essential qualities to become a leaders.  The Leader In Me also helps to create a common language within our school and the community by teaching all of our stakeholders the Seven Habits.  

Does your school provide before and after school child care?
Yes! Hope Charter provides before school care and after school care.  Students may arrive at school as early as 7:15 a.m.  Students participate in reading and enrichment activities during the before school care timeframe and are dismissed to their classrooms at 8:00 am. Hope Elementary has partnered with the John M. Alexander Family YMCA to provide an academic based after school program for our students.  This "Y Learning Program" is held in our school building and is provided to our students free of charge. The Y Learning Program starts immediately after the school day ends and lasts until 6:00 p.m.  Students may be picked up anytime prior to 6:00 p.m.  

What type of parental involvement is required?
Children and their parents will jointly apply to attend the school. As part of the application, parents must sign a commitment to contribute their time at the school. Parental involvement is for the benefit of the child even more than it is for the school. That is why we require parental involvement and that is why we will do everything we can to see that each parent participates.

What happens if parents cannot fulfill their commitment to the school, due to work or economic issues?
We will do everything we can to help a parent who really makes an effort to be involved, but for whatever reason falls short of the required time. Parents may, for example, be able to meet their commitment by doing work for the school at their home, or it may be possible for otherfamily members to donate their time on the parents' behalf. Economics should not be a factor in parents' participation. Parents will never be required to make any kind of monetary contribution to the school.

How is Hope Charter Leadership Academy funded?
It is funded in the same way that other public schools are funded — by a per-pupil sum that is comprised of local, state and federal dollars allocated for education. We are currently pursuing corporate and private funding in addition to grants to find the capital resources necessary to improve our building and academic resources.

Why did you choose to use the historic Barbee Building for this purpose?
Our school building was originally built to serve as a neighborhood school with the purpose of creating a sense of community among the neighborhoods surrounding the Halifax Community. The Mordecai neighborhood of Raleigh lost an important community keystone. Retaining the pinnacles of our community is not only socially responsible but it's in our best interest. From an educational standpoint, the school's proximity to downtown Raleigh, NC and the unique educational opportunities in the arts, sciences, and technology that no other school in the city or surrounding counties can boast. It has historic significance and is a beautiful "storybook" school that is within walking distance of many of our city's children.

Is the school on a year round or modified calendar? If so, why was this chosen?
Hope Elementary does operate on a modified calendar. The progressive quarter calendar contains the same number of school days in the school year as traditional school calendars, but the school days are distributed more evenly throughout the year. Each quarter is followed by a break of approximately 2 weeks. At the end of the school year (in summer), the vacation break is approximately 6-8 weeks.  You can retrieve a copy of the school calendar by clicking on Resources.   Studies have shown that students perform better on a modified style calendar because they don't forget information over the summer, class time in the fall is not devoted to playing catch-up, and teachers don't get burned out. The six-eight week break in the summer allows for plenty of time for a summer vacation with the family. Also, vacations during the regular school year are more possible and less crowded at popular vacation spots. 

What type of curriculum do you use at Hope Charter Leadership Academy?
Hope Elementary follows the North Carolina adopted Common Core State Standards in K-5 mathematics and english language arts.  The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what is needed to help students succeed.  The standards are designed to be relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.  Our literacy instruction is done with the Daily 5 instructional method.  Our math curriculum is titled Everyday Math. This research-based, research -proven approach promotes creative thinking, building confidence and making math fun for your child. 

What are the certifications of your instructional staff?
The academic rigor at Hope Charter comprises of fully highly qualified certified teachers and teacher assistants at all grade levels that will provide support and enrichment to all students in an effort to enhance and extend the curriculum for all children.  Parents should expect to see students engaged in building their analytical thinking skills and applying what they have learned rather than simply memorizing information.  21st century skills will be integrated, and the rigor requires student perseverance and cooperation.  Parents have the option to request documentation of highly qualified certification of our instructional staff at any time. 

How will the diverse children at Hope Charter Leadership Academy be served so that all children's needs are met? In other words, how will Hope Elementary help those who may have learning disabilities, lower achievements, and behavior issues?
We feel that most problems children have in their current learning environments will be significantly reduced or alleviated altogether by the combination of a progressive quarter calendar, encouraged parental involvement, and an interdisciplinary approach to learning. By incorporating this type of learning, students are able to make direct relationships with better than if required to think in the abstract. Children with learning disabilities particularly benefit from a more hands-on approach for this same reason.