School closures: Charter looks more promising
Will Plumas Unified School District trustees allow charter schools on their campuses, if it means a high-quality education with more options for students?
Indian Valley School Closure and Consolidation Committee members have been exploring different school models, and the most attractive seems to be combining the traditional, charter and academy programs.
According to the subcommittee in charge of researching and developing the options, running the programs alongside each other could create the best possible education for all students.
“I’ve seen a significant division develop between the charter school and the high school,” teacher Jim Norman said. “I think bringing them together would be a positive step forward, laying groundwork for the future of county schools.”
In a sample draft of a master schedule, there would be 80 sections of core classes, plus another 12 contracted electives — all at an instructional salary slightly less than $340,000.
The model includes teachers and colleagues working together to teach students in a lecture-lab format similar to those found on college and university campuses.
All students would be expected to take English, social studies, math and science each year, and there would be computers in each core class in case some students need a different course in that subject area.
Junior and senior high students would have added options, besides several electives to choose from.
If students are successful and demonstrate responsibility, they may be allowed the freedom to “research, explore and learn” individually or in small groups.
Subcommittee members will continue refining their model and focus some attention on the elementary level next.
One of the many residents at the committee meeting asked if a charter school education would hurt their child’s chances for acceptance at a university.
Sue Weber, of Plumas Charter School and the Indian Valley Academy, said this is a common concern.
Charter school graduates are accepted at the finest colleges and universities, she answered, though students seeking acceptance into the military might have to take a couple junior college classes first, or take the GED.
“I went in on a GED,” said one Army veteran and father of two young boys.
Other concerns brought up during the last weekly meeting included threats of violence from rival students, and the devastating ramifications school closure would have on the community and the economy.
The committee will continue weekly meetings each Tuesday at 4 p.m., in the Greenville High School Library.