The Charter Blog

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Roses in Concrete

When East Oakland High School suddenly closed its doors in 2007, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, along with a few of his former students, hoped for the opportunity to build new and innovative education options for public school students in Oakland. As a public school teacher in Oakland and an Ethnic Studies professor that has worked with teachers, school leaders and district officials around the world for the past 20 years, Jeff understood the value and need for a lab school that would encourage teachers to become innovators in their classrooms. This fall, the education model that they envisioned will come to life in the form of Roses in Concrete Community School – a public charter school and lab school located in East Oakland for K-8 students. 

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Posted in Back to School

Rebecca Halonen and Angela Pinholster, Create Academy

Creativity and ingenuity have helped drive success within the charter movement. Across the country, students are offered unique and innovative choices in education that equip them with the fundamental skills necessary to excel academically. Among the many unique schools opening this fall is the Create Academy charter school in Phoenix, AZ., which will offer arts-integrated, project –based learning to students in kindergarten through second grade, as well as fifth and sixth grades. They will eventually grow to serve kindergarten through 12th grade. Create Academy teaches its students about social justice through arts in order to help students understand how to have a positive impact on persistent social issues.

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Posted in Back to School

Brenda McDonald, PRIDE Prep School of Technology and Science

Brenda McDonaldThis August, Brenda McDonald will partner with the Spokane School District to open PRIDE Prep School of Technology and Science in Spokane, Washington. Brenda grew up in the Spokane Public School system and her dedication to public education proudly follows the footsteps of her father who is finishing his 56th year as an educator.  

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Posted in Back to School

Congressman Scalise Visits New Orleans Charter School

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise visited Edward Hynes Charter School in New Orleans.

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Posted in Back to School

Beth Anderson, Phoenix Charter Academy Network

Phoenix Charter Academy Network is the only charter alternative school network of charter schools in all of Massachusetts serving high-risk young adults, many of whom have dropped out of traditional public high schools, with the goal of getting them to and through college. This fall, Phoenix will open the doors of its three high schools in Chelsea, Lawrence and Springfield to over 500 students. Beth Anderson, Founder and CEO, and her team set the bar high with rigorous academics, but follows up with relentless supports to ensure that Massachusetts students who face unique challenges, such as teen pregnancy and early parenting, low or no English skills and other life changes, have the opportunity to access college.

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Posted in Back to School

Adel Sefrioui, Excel Public Charter School

According to the State of Washington, by 2017 approximately 30,000 jobs in the state will go unfilled by Washington’s own students due to lack of qualified STEM candidates. Last year, only 12 African-American students in the entire state took the AP computer-science exam. Recognizing the abundant job opportunities available in Washington and the lack of minority students pursuing STEM education, Adel Sefrioui saw a need to provide students new and innovative choices in education. This year, Adel will open Excel Public Charter School in Kent, WA. The campus will offer a STEM-focused, college preparatory curriculum to 6th and 7th grade students, with the goal of serving grades 6-12 by 2021.

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Posted in Back to School

Nathan Kalasho, KEYS GRACE ACADEMY Charter School

Not many school leaders in the country can say that their school was created to focus on and preserve the Chaldean, Assyrian and Syriac cultures. Nathan Kalasho may be one of the few, if not the only one altogether. The child of two long-time public school educators who immigrated to the United States in the 70s, Nathan understood from a very early age the importance of education in diverse communities. This fall, he is applying his understanding of unique public education needs in Michigan by opening the KEYS GRACE Academy Charter School in Detroit.

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Posted in Back to School

Arlena Ford, Aspire Richmond Technology Academy

This fall, nearly 300 Bay Area students have started learning at the new tech-focused Aspire Richmond Technology Academy, a public charter school serving kindergarten through fifth grade. This new school, launched by founding Principal Arlena Ford as part of Aspire Public Schools, offers innovative and independent learning through cutting-edge technology. 

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Posted in Back to School

Robyn Viloria Wiens, Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls

Across the country, less than 20 percent of those who received computer science degree are women. The number of minority students with STEM degrees is even lower: eight and nine percent respectively for black and Hispanic students. Robyn Viloria Wiens, Ed.D, is all too aware of this gender and ethnic gap. That’s why this fall, armed with experience from her time a public school educator in Seattle and Boston, her recent stint as Director of Curriculum and Culture at Preclarus Mastery Academy in her hometown of St. Louis, MO, as well as a strong determination for giving minority girls a better future in the STEM fields, she’s leading Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls – the first-ever all-girls STEM school in St. Louis.

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Posted in Back to School

Kathryn Rice, Baton Rouge College Preparatory Charter School

This August, Kathryn Rice will launch the new Baton Rouge College Preparatory Charter School for fifth and sixth grade students. Coming out of the Building Excellent Schools program, Ms. Rice will serve as School Director, bringing many years of experience as an educator to her new role. Working as a public school educator for over a decade in the greater Baton Rouge area, Ms. Rice has experience in traditional public schools as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and principal. Ms. Rice has also worked for three years in turn around schools.

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Posted in Back to School