New Oklahoma town becomes home to state's first rural charter school

FOX23 is looking into big news from Oklahoma's newest town.

CARLTON LANDING, Okla. — Quick facts:

  • Carlton Landing is Oklahoma's newest town.
  • The Carlton Landing Academy became the state's first rural charter school.
  • Many look forward to the town's growth.

The majority of Oklahoma towns were founded nearly a hundred years ago, but for the first time in decades, a new town has been founded in Pittsburg County, and it's already seen a lot of growth.

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This year, Carlton Landing off Lake Eufaula became home to the state's first rural charter school.

Founded three years ago, Carlton Landing is Oklahoma's newest city.

Town founders say they first came up with the idea in 2007. The next year, they say they brought in a town planner who designed Seaside and Rosemary Beach in Florida.

They said they wanted a new "urbanist, walkable" master plan town concept for the lake community.

Carlton Landing Academy, which has been open for five years, is now sponsored by Oklahoma's Canadian School District as the state's first rural charter school with a traditional school house feel.

The 48 students are broken up into multi-age classrooms, grades pre-K through 12, and the numbers are growing fast.

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Officials say the student count is double what it was last year, and they expect at least 80 students next year.

Work is underway to increase the two school house buildings to eight buildings.

Founders say it is a unique schooling experience. Many students walk to school, walk home for lunch, learn from a hands-on edible garden and parents have a strong voice in their children's education.

The lakeside community targets both secondary home owners and full time residents.

There are 140 homes now, and 35 more are under construction. New businesses are also growing. The town center is set to have a destination wedding chapel, a conference and retreat facility, several other housing options and retail and restaurants.

Many say they can't wait to see how the town flourishes.

They expect it to bring more than $2 billion in private investment to Pittsburg County.