New Hampshire Charter School Update
The state will see four new charter schools open next year, two high schools and two grade schools. These recently authorized groups are working hard to bring exciting new options to the children of New Hampshire. New charters will include:
The Founders Academy Charter School (Londonderry) - The Founders Academy mission is aimed at creating next generation leaders with a curriculum focusing on; leadership, history, ethics, debate, business/finance and classical literature. Founders plans to serve students in grades 6-12 and will likely open in January, 2014.
Granite State Arts Academy - (Derry/Salem) - Granite State will infuse all aspects of the arts into its studies including dance, music, theater and the visual arts. Granite State Arts Academy will serve students in grades 9-12 and is expected to open in September, 2014.
Gate City Charter School for the Arts (Nashua) - Gate City will utilize an arts integrated program which will serve students in grades K-8. Gate City is expected to open in September, 2014.
Mountain Village Charter School (Plymouth) - Mountain Village will implement an exciting model by blending a nature-based and Montessori approach. Mountain Village will serve students in grades K-8 and open in September, 2014.
According to the Union Leader and the NH Charter Association, three of the state's public charter schools have received, The Commissioner's Circle of Excellence. It should be noted that MC2 is only in its second year, way to go!
"Three NH Public Charter schools are among the 38 schools awarded The Commissioner's Circle of Excellence by NH DOE Commissioner Virginia Barry. Congratulations to Making Community Connections Public Charter School, The Academy for Science and Design Public Charter School, and The Cocheco Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School for being recognized for their dedication to their schools and students."
In only its second year, Polaris Charter School has grown from 60-90 students and continues to inspire them to reach for the stars. Check out this Polaris video, created with the help of a parent. Go Polaris!
The federal startup grant entered its fourth year this August when the state received about $2.7 million to open new public charter schools. The total award was $11.6 million. The bulk of which (90%), will be used to fund the creation of new charter schools from 2010-2015.
The federal grant strengthens public charter schools and the state by infusing hundreds of thousands of dollars into local communities. Federal funding provides the support necessary to cover startup costs such as teacher training, board development, curriculum development, instructional materials, computer equipment, furniture and the other materials required to open a public school. Newly authorized charter school groups are working diligently to meet the requirements of the grant and access federal funding.
The Department of Education recently hosted its monthly meeting for charter school directors and newly authorized schools. The meetings are designed to provide ongoing support and guidance for public charter schools in the state. Members of the DOE charter school office were present answering a variety of questions on issues ranging from student enrollment, charter implementation and grant management.
During the meeting Commissioner Barry answered a number of questions from board members and directors representing different schools. The Commissioner's willingness to engage and her commitment were impressive. Commissioner Barry did not leave the meeting before she had answered every question and directed the Department to provide additional guidance to charters on changes to statewide assessments.
The State Board of Education will be meeting next month to discuss an assortment of issues including public charter schools. We plan to attend the event and summarize for readers any important developments.
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The New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools is a NH registered non-profit whose members are committed to helping inspire the creation of innovative public schools in New Hampshire. We offer assistance to all New Hampshire charter schools and groups wanting to learn more about these innovative programs. Our services are free, we do not charge or accept payment for our assistance.
New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools