A new type of school may soon be holdingclasses in Utica. Others have tried tobring a charter school to Utica, and failed. But a new group says they have the plan to make it possible. It’s a type of schooling that developed about20 years ago, and now exists in every urban area across the state, except for Utica.
Now, the Mohawk Valley CommunityCharter School Initiative says it’s time to bring what it feels is innovativeschooling to this area, keeping the best practices of public school educationand applying them to a small creative setting.
The MVCCS is just about to submit awritten application to the state asking for a charter to start the school. The school initiative held a communityconversation today to educate anyone interested in the charter school.
“This is about teaching kids totake responsibility for their own life from very early on,” says AnnMaher, a co-lead applicant for the school, and a public school educator forover thirty years, says one of the more unique aspects of the school is itsindividualized approach to learning.
“We want very specifically toaddress all aspect of a child’s life: academic, social, emotional, physical,and behavioral,” she says.
The schools typically have longerschool days, and a longer school year. The idea is that the school worksclosely with not just the student, but the family as well. And, Maher saysthey’re looking to incorporate technology into all facets of the school day.
Maher says they’ll find out in June ifthe application is accepted, and the school year would officially start in Augustof 2013. Maher also says they’re lookingto form a cooperative relationship with the Utica City School District, not acompetitive one.
A charter school is considered apublic school governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees. It’s not a school students need to pay for,and is open to anyone to apply, although Maher says many of the successfulcharter schools do develop a wait list.