What, Exactly, Is A Charter School?

What is a charter school? The definition is “a public school operated independently of the local school board”. It sounds simple and straightforward, but the reality is that charter schools are an extremely complex and controversial topic. Charter schools were first introduced in the early 1990’s in response to a nationwide call for sweeping public education reform. Most states passed legislation where they would allow the formation of some publicly funded “experimental” schools to give parents an alternative to the traditional public schools that were under so much fire at the time.

What does “experimental” mean? First of all, charter schools are not part of a school district. They are independently run businesses that follow a private school business model, except instead of charging tuition, they get public funds. In a traditional system, the school districts set the curriculum for the schools in their domain, receive money from the state, and distribute it among the schools. In the case of charter schools, the individual schools set their own curriculum and receive money directly from the state.

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Does My Child Need Special Education?

Are you thinking this is a real no-brainer? When your child is old enough to attend school, you simply enroll him. Professional educators are better equipped to teach and make educational decisions for all children, including those with disabilities.

Wrong! Would you allow a teacher or school administrator to decide what your child is capable or incapable of learning?

Based upon their personal opinion of your child’s abilities, would you then let these folks decide what your child will and will not be taught or who their school friends will be? Would you also allow them to choose whether your child will go on to college, or a technical school or even receive a regular high school diploma?

Of course not!  Suppose school administrators were to tell you, “It is our opinion that reading and writing might be too difficult for your child to master. We’re going to focus instead on teaching those skills that will enable your child to eventually work at a job we feel is more appropriate, like for instance, janitorial work or slinging hash in some fast food place.” You would be justifiably outraged.

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The Development Of Charter Schools

Charter schools are tuition-free, publicly funded schools that have greater autonomy and are more independent than traditional public schools. In turn, they are held more accountable for meeting some other charter-related provisions and student achievement.

In general, charter schools are new schools that did not exist before their charters were granted. Traditional private or public schools can also change to the status of a charter school. The expression “charter school” is practically always used in relation to largely autonomous but government-funded schools in America.

In America, each state has laws that are dictating a wide range of activities and regulations relating to charter schools such as school funding and staff and student recruitment. Regulations may vary by state but there are a few generalizations. Charter schools, for example, are typically not constrained by requirements that count for common public schools like specific union and bureaucratic rules.

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Epic Charter Schools

The mission of Epic Charter Schools is to fulfill the individual potential of all students by setting up a personalized educational plan for each individual student that is focused on family and school partnership in order to achieve the best possible student performance. Every individual employed at Epic Charter Schools is working hard every day to reach these goals.

Epic is committed to providing both students and their families with an engaging learning environment to meet the unique needs and wishes of each individual student. The foundations on which Epic Charter Schools is built are the core values of respect, honesty, tolerance, self-discipline, fairness, integrity, work ethics, responsibility, trust, and citizenship.

Epic Charter Schools provides free public preK-12 education and is funded by the School Board for Virtual Charter Schools. The schools offer educational solutions for parents and students who seek non-traditional academic settings where personalized self-paced internet-based instruction is provided.

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Charter Schools USA

Benefits of a Charter School Education

1. Your child will be more excited about school because the school will actually be about your child. At most charter schools, teachers believe that the whole world is interconnected and that it is their job to help students see the web of disparate ideas that combine to create the very stuff of today and tomorrow. Your child’s teachers will create a customized curriculum that enables your child to acquire math, science, language and research skills while engaged in the study of topics that are uniquely interesting to your child be it skateboarding, basketball, sewing, or veterinary medicine.

2. Your child will receive a lot of individualized attention. At each division (lower school, middle school, or upper school), the number of students will be limited to keep your child’s school small and personal. Divisions will be further divided into small classes that work as a collaborative learning team. The team’s teacher will be solely responsible for the educational guidance of that class for as many as three years. This structure allows advisors to know your child and your child’s progress, interests, learning styles, strengths, and vulnerabilities very, very well and ensures that your child gets the help necessary to succeed.

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Does Skipping Breakfast Affect Kids Weight?

Research shows that kids who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than those who eat breakfast regularly. Why? Eating breakfast may help to reduce snacking and avoid overeating later in the day.

Not all breakfasts are created equal

Your kids will get more mileage from an English muffin with scrambled eggs, fruit and a cup of fat-free milk than they will from a bowl of sweetened cereal and a large glass of juice. A smart breakfast choice includes whole grains, lean protein, and some fruit or veggies.

One of my favorite breakfasts

Growing up my kids loved “The Girl-Scout Egg” have you heard of it? It’s fast and easy and a great start to a day.

Lightly butter (real butter) a piece of whole grain bread (not whole wheat, there is a big difference) both sides, place on a skillet on medium heat and grill slightly (about 1 minute), turn over then with a small round cookie cutter or something that will cut about a 2″ circle cut out the center of the bread (you can do this prior to cooking if you choose), then crack an egg into the middle of the open hole, cook to your child’s liking if they like the egg over medium you should turn the toast over to cook the other side.

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First 5 years of life impact a child’s life

The research is clear – what happens in the first five years of life dramatically impacts what happens in the rest of a child’s life. Both longitudinal studies and brain research substantiate that strong foundations in the earliest years set the stage for children to be successful in school and later in life.

However, approximately 18,000 children in Douglas and Sarpy counties under the age of five live in families of low income. Research suggests these children are at risk of starting school significantly behind their peers who come from families with more resources.

Education for single moms

Single mothers often face some of the greatest challenges in raising their children. especially teenage mothers, especially when they dropped out of a high school. We support teen moms and help them get a high school equivalency diploma through online prep courses.

Therefore, we teamed up with the Single Moms Club organized by the GED prep website Bestgedclasses.org to help single moms graduate with a degree and become self-supporting after a while. The website offers free GED practice tests and prep and the moms we guide will use the website’s online classes while Bestgedclasses pays for the GED testing fee as well, a generous offer.

Recognizing both the research and the need, Early Childhood Services (ECS) serves as a comprehensive, integrated system of early care and education that provides children from families of low income the opportunities to establish a strong foundation for learning.

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Is A Charter School The Right School For Your Child?

In one of my earlier posts “What, Exactly, Is a Charter School?”, I stated that charter schools are an extremely complex and controversial topic, then went on to explain why they are complex. In this post, we will explore why they are controversial, and how to decide if a charter school is right for your child.

Before we get into the controversy, here is a summary of what we have discussed so far:

* Charter schools are independent from a school district and are run like a private business.
* Charter schools all have a special curriculum and/or teaching techniques that differentiate them from a regular public school. Every charter school is unique.
* Charter school formats are experimental, so some schools provide excellent education, and some do not.
* Charter schools are not necessarily local to you, and your child may have to commute.
* Charter schools choose students based on a lottery, not admission criteria, so some children will have an easier time getting into a charter than a magnet (or vice versa).

There are four aspects of charters that garner controversy. The first is that charter schools are allowed to be for profit. The second is that the people who found charter schools are not required to have to have an educational background. The third is that charter school teachers are rarely part of a union. And, last but not least, in some states charter school teachers do not have to be credentialed.

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Alternative Education: The Home School Program

Years ago, parents would react and commented on alternative education or otherwise known as homeschooling.  Parents’ concern then was homeschool children lacked socialization.  However, some corrected this notion and testified how their home-schooled children were doing just fine, thank you!  In fact, their children were doing better academically than some children enrolled in customary schools.

As a rule, children who are involved in alternative education are generally confident, independent and responsible.  These are just some of the excellent benefits of homeschooling.  Many of the most renowned personalities of previous centuries were involved in alternative education.  Some of these enlightened individuals included Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Edison.  In fact, prior to the 19th century Industrial Revolution, alternative education was the standard form of education.

Homeschool students are gradually increasing in numbers.  In most countries, the numbers are rising rapidly.  In today’s educational environment, parents opt for alternative education for their children mainly because what they see in the typical school setting is not what they deem of value when it comes to their children’s future.  As a result, education at home provides specific direction for children and parents alike since the child’s education is then directed and controlled to reflect both the parent and child’s expectations.

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Martial Arts Could Help Your Child Cope With Bullies

For children to help prevent and cope with bullying, learning and participating in martial arts can be incredibly beneficial. Martial arts, such as taekwondo, karate, kickboxing, and Muay Thai offer a variety of skills that can contribute to children’s overall well-being. Mentally and physically, participation in martial arts can improve children’s coping methods and help them not only to deal with bullies but may also help stop them from being bullies themselves.

First and foremost, martial arts instill respect. Kids learn deference to their instructors and to the masters of the practice in class. In addition, kids learn to be respectful to teachers, their parents, and other elders. They also learn to respect other students and to treat them the way they would want to be treated. Children who practice MMA learn to respect themselves, as well.

Secondly, participating in martial arts builds confidence and helps improve self-esteem for many children. Many martial arts schools utilize the belt system for progressing to the highest level of the practice, such as the black belt. On the way to the top, however, are several steps and other colors of belts.

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