Charter School Developer Taking the Right Steps

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November 4, 2011 Getting your charter initially authorized as a school developer or going through re-authorization to keep your school in existence can be a bit trying on the nerves of folks running or hoping to run a charter, the staff at the school and most importantly the families looking for a new educational option for their children. This is representative of how charters are held to a higher accountability process compared to traditional public schools. So how do you go about doing all that you can to be in charge of your own destiny and ensure that your quality school continues in its existence? I have an example of a school developer that appears to be taking the right steps in doing all that they can to get initially authorized.

Sierra Foothill Charter School is a developer member of the Association and is scheduled to have a vote on their proposed school from the Mariposa County Unified School District Board of Trustees in December. They have representation on their charter board from educational experts and leaders from both Cathy's Valley and from UC Merced.

There has been tremendous support from the local community with a significant show of support at the most recent board meeting. Included with their charter petition were some 40 letters of support from educational leaders, community leaders to local legislators. The charter petition included 101 signatures with 75 families with 131 students who have expressed interest in attending the charter.

The charter school is hoping to utilize the now closed Cathy's Valley Elementary School site and the school developers have submitted their Proposition 39 application on time to the district for use of the property. Hundreds of flyers have been stuffed into envelopes, and local residents have donated time and money to help spread the word and have sought legal and professional advice. All of these efforts have taken a tremendous amount of time and planning but could positively impact not only their children's future, but the future of their community as a whole.

You can read more about the school effort in the Merced Sun Star.

John Madrid
Regional Director, Central Valley