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The General Assembly of the state of North Carolina in an effort “to increase educational opportunity by authorizing the creation and funding of charter schools,” ratified House Bill 955 on June 21, 1996. The bill authorized a system of charter schools to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently of existing schools. Charter schools were established as a method to accomplish the following:  improve student learning, encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods, provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system, and hold the schools established accountable for meeting measurable student achievement results.

Members of the FREE Board (Financial Reform for Excellence in Education) applied for the establishment of a charter school. The charter was approved on May 21, 1998 and River Mill Charter School opened its doors in a restored mill on banks of the Haw River in Saxapahaw. Opening day enrollment on August 18, 1998 was 202 students. In order for the school’s name to reflect the strong emphasis on academics, RMCS was renamed River Mill Academy in 2001. As enrollment increased, River Mill Academy began to look for a new location and in the fall of 2003, moved to our current location in Graham. In 2004, River Mill Academy obtained ownership of its own charter.

Our current enrollment is just under 800 students in grades kindergarten through 12.  

Core Values
As a college preparatory school, our goal is to assist parents in their mission to develop exemplary young citizens with superior academic preparation, equipped with analytical thinking skills, a passion for learning, and a virtuous character, all built upon a solid foundation of knowledge. Our curriculum is challenging and demanding in an age and grade appropriate manner and our standards are high. Within our small, safe, and friendly learning community, we expect high standards of conduct appropriate for a serious academic environment where honesty, respect, and civility are the rule not the exception. The mission statement for River Mill Academy is: to allow serious students the opportunity to become confident, well-rounded individuals, prepared for a successful future while providing a safe and positive environment.

Founded in 1998, River Mill Academy is a North Carolina public charter school, serving approximately 700 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. River Mill Academy offers a challenging college and university preparatory academic program. In addition, River Mill Academy participates in interscholastic athletics in several sports.

The elementary school has approximately 48 students per grade level and average class sizes of 24. Special features of the elementary school include physical education, art, music, and Spanish with special teachers, regular field trips, and outstanding high school students serving as teacher cadets.

The middle school has approximately 48 students per grade level and average class sizes of 20 – 24. Special features of the middle school include electives in subjects such as music, band, art, horticulture, career planning, Spanish, and physical education.

The high school has approximately 40 students per grade level with average class sizes of 15 – 24. Special features of the high school include a highly rigorous college preparatory graduation track based on the UNC minimum requirement guidelines, which includes a range of Honors and College Board Advanced Placement courses, North Carolina Virtual Public High School, numerous elective courses, and a 100-hour community service graduation requirement.

We invite you to view the state report card data by clicking on the following link:  http://www.ncpublicschools.org/src/.