In August of 2010, the City of Belle Isle, Inc. opened Orange County’s first K-12 Charter School, Cornerstone Charter Academy, emphasizing a curricular focus on biotechnology and life sciences. Cornerstone provides that focus daily with the use of in-class promethean boards, as well as net books and laptops in the classrooms and three large state-of-the art computer labs to enhance the students’ academic and technological experience. The school has grown to become a true Cornerstone of the City, and it’s successes are a testament to the support of the surrounding community, steadily growing enrollment form 841 in year one, to over 1500 students.
In our second year, we achieved Orange County’s only A+ rating as a K-12 Charter School with a 97% graduation rate. Cornerstone continues to be an A rated school.
In the fall of 2012, the City of Belle Isle joined with the school to purchase the facilities and grounds which Cornerstone had previously rented, allowing expansion of classrooms, the addition of an auditorium, and the installation of collegiate-level science labs for the Project Lead the Way: Gateway to Technology (Grades 6-8) and Biomedical Sciences (Grades 9-12) Programs.
In the summer of 2013, renovations were completed to add additional classroom space, a new K-12 media center, and transform the auditorium into a true performing arts venue for our talented fine arts students. We added a new wooden gym floor and brand new athletic fields with bleachers and score board for football, and soccer. Having our own home fields for the first time was an amazing feeling. Our fans came out in full force to watch our student athletes play. The sights, smells, and sounds of it all, gave us the feeling of a real school and our Duck pride soared!
Cornerstone is a certified Project Lead the Way School. Project Lead the Way is a K-12 curriculum based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) content. At the high school level we currently offer the Biomedical program. This is a sequence of courses which follows a proven hands-on, real-world, problem-solving approach to learning. Students explore the concepts of human medicine and are introduced to topics such as physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. All of our ninth graders take Principles of Biomedical Sciences. Then the program will become optional for students beginning in the tenth grade where they will take classes such as Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions and Biomedical Innovations.
Cornerstone Charter Academy teachers, students, and parents partner together in shared goals, decision-making, and ensuring success for all our students as we prepare them for college and the modern workplace.
Cornerstone High School students participated in various community service projects and have completed over 22,400 volunteer hours through the School Volunteer Program and our own service learning club-the Dedicated Ducks. We offer Middle and High school SGA, National Honor Society for Elementary, Middle and High School, Drama Club, FCA, and Yoga.
Students also participated in sports such as Football, Cheerleading, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Tennis, Golf, Swimming, and Soccer. Cornerstone is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).
We also offer a Little Ducks Sports League for our K-5 students. This league includes basketball, soccer, and cheerleading camps.
Students also participate in school-based and community events and productions, including:
Cornerstone Charter Academy is a K-12 college preparatory educational environment with a curricular emphasis on biotechnology and life sciences that furthers the philosophy of respect and high expectations for all, while enabling students to become confident, self-directed and responsible life-long learners.
We are providing a top-shelf, innovative, public education opportunity of choice in a safe, sound environment that is rich with technology, talented, passionate teachers, involved parents, and a full spectrum of extra-curricular activities-preparing students for college and a fulfilling and meaningful career.
As the City of Belle Isle grows, this impressive Community School will be propelling everyone forward together. Cornerstone has become a force in the educational community. Our journey has been quite a whirlwind, but we have never looked back, only forward. The future of Cornerstone is an exciting one, full of hope and promise. The hope and promise that only bright young minds and bodies can fulfill. We believe in the years to come, Cornerstone Charter Academy will truly be the charter school that everyone wants to attend because of its’ one-of a-kind K-12 PLTW Program, academic rigor, high quality fine arts programs, and athletic excellence. We will embody this excellence within a community school, family-oriented environment. We are proud of where we have come from, where we are now, and excited about where we are going! We are proud to be Cornerstone Ducks!