WORCESTER, Mass. – Not only was Monday the first day of the school year for the Worcester Cultural Academy charter school, but it was also the school’s first ever day in operation.

The charter school was approved by the state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education earlier this year. School leadership says there are more than 130 students enrolled between kindergarten and fourth grade.

Head of School Lisa Detora said the academy's ultimate mission is to prepare the students to be cultural leaders, which will be done through real-world applications, making it the first E.L. education school in the city. She said getting a new school ready has been a lot of work in recent weeks, but everyone's ready for a year of learning.

"So for the first semester, the students are going to be traveling throughout central Massachusetts, visiting the cultural institutions, learning from the experts, conducting real-life field research,” Detora said. “We're really excited to see the projects that they come up with for real authentic audiences.

“The role of Old Sturbridge Village, Old Sturbridge Village is one of our cultural partners, so our students will be traveling to the village, as well as the village traveling to us, to learn about farm animals, to learn about ecosystems."

The school has plans to grow in the coming years, eventually expanding to include students through grade eight.