Thriving Together

Established in 1999, Southern Wake Academy (SWA) is one of the most sought after tuition-free, public charter schools in Wake County. Our small class sizes, independent-learning methods, and dedicated teachers and administrators foster a personalized approach where students, who may have struggled in the one-program-fits-all public school system, can now thrive in a learning environment where they receive the academic, cultural, athletic and social skills needed to succeed.

SWA Accomplishments

  • Received a Bronze Award from US News and World Report’s Best High Schools for the 2011-2012 school year, placing SWA in the top 25 percent of high schools in the nation.

  • Named an Honor School of Excellence – the highest academic award given by the NC Department of Public Instruction to public schools.

Not All Public Schools are Created Equal

Charter public schools receive approximately 30 percent of the state’s tuition dollars that standard public schools obtain. This smaller allotment must cover everything, including all salaries, mortgage payments (public schools do not pay for their buildings or land), supplies, equipment, counseling, tutoring, and extracurricular activities. Also, SWA serves a high percentage of at-risk, socially challenged, and exceptional children who must meet North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study accountability measures. These uniform state-wide guidelines determine competencies for each grade level and high school course with rigorous academic standards. SWA’s highly skilled and enthusiastic teachers achieve outstanding results in teaching our students.

In addition, our program for middle and high school students includes quarterly portfolio conferences that promote personal-evaluation, self- advocacy, goal-setting, and public- speaking skills. Students gain real- life experiences and discover career preferences through community service; job-shadow encounters; and an extensive internship program for seniors.

Recent Improvements

Give Today to our Annual Fund.

The SWA Annual Fund is the unrestricted financial home of all fundraising efforts and donations for Southern Wake Academy. Our voluntary gifts come from SWA families, teachers, administrators, staff, board of directors, alumnae, members of the community, and Friends of SWA. In addition to securing donations from our closest constituents, the Office of Development is responsible for cultivating relationships with outside funders, including investors from our community, foundations, and corporations to seed specific projects, and pay for entire programs that will have an immediate and direct impact on our students and their teachers.


SWA isn’t like a ‘traditional’ school.  If you need help, all my teachers will give me personalized time.  It shows they care and are willing to make sure I finish my school work.

Colton Clifton, 8th Grade