Sunday, September 25, 2011

Glade Park Charter School Visit

Last Thursday I visited Glade Park Charter School for the first time. The school opened just two years ago, as a district-operated school, but then faced closure due to budget cuts. Community members and parents quickly wrote a charter school application and received approval from the Mesa County 51 Board of Education to operate as a charter school beginning this school year.

Glade Park sits atop the Colorado National Monument. The drive up to Glade Park is spectacular, to say the least. Glade Park has a community store and the charter school. The school's building is a modular unit with two classrooms.

The charter school has two teachers and a part-time administrator. The school uses a Project Based Learning model educate their 22 students in grades K-5.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Get Involved in School Board Elections

The odd numbered years is when Colorado residents have the opportunity to vote for their school district's board members. Throughout the state many candidates are running for school board. Now is the time to talk to them about their position on school choice and charter school issues. There are more than 170 charter schools operating in Colorado, which means many of these candidates have at least one charter school in their district.

For more information on how to get involved, check out the Colorado Charter Advocacy Network.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Friday is Constitution Day

September 16th is Constitution Day. This is the day when the federal government says every public school in the nation should teach about the U.S. Constitution. Several sites are offering suggestions for how to teach the Constitution.

Friday, September 9, 2011

State Board Begins Process to Adopt Charter School Rules

Next Wednesday, Sept. 14th at 10:30 the State Board of Education will hear a report on the state evaluation of online schools and the final report from the HB 10-1412 advisory committee on charter school authorizer and charter school standards. The presentation begins the process for the State Board to act on the 1412 recommendations.

The meeting is audio streamed and available here.

In October the board will consider the first draft of rules and HB 1412 mandates they must be adopted by January 15, 2012.

There will be a meeting at the Department of Education on Monday, Sept. 26th, 9:00 a.m. for anyone with comments or questions about the proposed rules.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Union Colony Asks for Another Charter

Union Colony Preparatory School in Greeley is asking for a new charter in a neighboring school district, the Thompson School District. After years of operating a secondary school in Greeley, the school wants to expand and open a new campus.

Pat Gilliam is a founder of Union Colony, which began when several teachers formed and asked the district to form a charter school. The school operated very closely with the district for quite some time and only gained more autonomy in the last few years. Previously the district referred to them as an "internal" charter school, but that changed during the school's last renewal.

Now a developer has committee five acres to a new school in the Loveland area (within the Thompson School District boundaries). The proposed school is for K-12 grades. This second campus would operate with a cooperative agreement with the first Union Colony school so that the two schools can share business services and other functions.