UNCW Opens First K-8 Lab School in the State at D.C. Virgo

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

UNCW has officially opened the first K-8 lab school in North Carolina with classes beginning today. The first year-round K-8 public school in Wilmington, the new D.C. Virgo’s curriculum focuses on inquiry-based learning, community engagement and the importance of literacy.

“We could not be more excited about the opening of D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy,” said Watson College of Education Dean Van Dempsey. “The team that has pulled all of this together has done outstanding work, guided always by doing what is in the best interests of the children. D.C. Virgo’s students are going to have great experiences, surrounded by talented educators and a community invested in their success.”

The school will offer a family-engaged learning environment designed to support the academic, social and emotional growth of students, as well as a wrap-around service model including access to opportunities and resources at UNCW. The school will also have a clinical social worker on staff supervising clinical social work interns. Virgo parents and students can expect open communication, meaningful feedback, high standards and the real-world application of learning. 

More than 250 students have enrolled in the unique school, with many previous D.C. Virgo students returning.

“The community has an important history that precedes what we are doing and has guided our work,” said Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Outreach Donyell Roseboro. “This history is critical to the success of the school. Our goal is to be a dependable partner, maintaining our focus and remaining connected and embedded within the community.”

The partnership with UNCW will allow the expansion and sustainability of programs and services already in place at the school, while connecting students to additional opportunities in areas of civic engagement, visual/performing arts and STEM. UNCW students will also have field opportunities to work alongside Virgo faculty through coordinated courses. Advancing academic programming and fostering collaborative campus partnerships are key priorities of the university’s Strategic Plan.

-- Christina Schechtman