While charter schools don’t always have all the bells and whistles that well funded neighborhood schools have, they have some distinct advantages that are sometimes overlooked. New Summit will be no exception, all of these things are advantages we will have.
- Charter schools pick their own curriculum. While still accountable for the overall performance of the school, charters can pick what they teach, and how they teach it. Which means they are not bound by curriculum decisions made years ago by committees who, may have decided based on which publisher bought them the best lunches. It also means you can pick a school based on what they plan to teach.
- Charter school employees are ‘at will’. That means if staff is not getting the job done, they can be politely asked to leave. As opposed to being shuffled to another grade, another school, or made an ‘administrator’ to make up for lack of performance. Certainly not every teacher who is assigned to another grade is because of lack of performance, and the same with administrators. The point is that in some organizations, that IS how they sometimes handle performance problems, but usually NOT in charter schools.
- Charter schools don’t just draw from the local neighborhood. Which means if you have to move across town, your kids don’t have to change schools. And if you can’t afford the homes in the district the school is in, you can still attend, leveling the playing field between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.
- Charter schools can have a different culture. Because they are schools of choice, parents and students who do not like the culture of the school are free to choose a different school. Charters tend to have somewhat stricter behaviour expectations, dress code (uniforms usually) and other things that are part of the culture, that parents either choose for their students, or need to choose another school that has what THEY want.
- Charter schools always have to start somewhere, which means everyone working at and attending a new charter school gets a chance to be part of creating something really special. Everyone gets to be new together. It is a bonding experience that happens so uniquely in a brand new school. Our kids, who are about to turn 30, are still close friends with kids – and parents – who were part of the bonding experience. Part of that bonding experience also comes from knowing that the parents of the other students have really thought about their kids education, just like you have.