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.
3. Your child will have the most skillful teachers teaching them. Research has shown that a child’s success in school is directly related to the skill of the teacher in the classroom. To ensure that at a charter school the teachers are the most skilled, teachers are trained every school day. At most charter schools, teachers will meet for each school day morning to learn from master educators in the teaching and remediation of reading and language and mathematics and specialists in the fields of clinical psychology, physical and occupational therapy, and other specialties. Additionally, teachers will frequently teach in teams giving each the opportunity to observe and evaluate peers in practice so that they can imitate, augment, and strengthen their own skills.
4. Your child will gain solid technological skills. A portion of each student’s customized curriculum will be delivered by computer. To ensure access, students will have a computer (laptop, tablet, or desktop) at their desk all day, every day. More importantly, the educational model encourages students to experiment with a wide range of computer applications and incorporate the product of this experimentation in their academic study. For those children managing a learning disability, there are applications that provide support in areas that these students are vulnerable. For information about homeschooling programs, check out this post.
5. Children struggling with a learning difference such as ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or an Executive Functioning Disorder will receive the support they need from an understanding faculty and a supportive administration. The idea for setting up a Charter School started with the desire to provide a highly specialized service to the parents of children struggling with these learning differences and a wonderful education for the children themselves. At many charter schools, founding teams have been personally affected by a learning difference or is the parent of a child who is struggling or has struggled in the traditional classroom. At a charter school, the teachers and board understand the struggle because they have lived through it. It is a charter school’s mission to build a more responsive option for these children at a cost to parents that they can afford (free).
6. Your child’s self-confidence will grow. To help your child develop the necessary confidence and skill sets a rapidly changing world will demand of them as adults, educational design teams have incorporated teaching and assessment models that will allow each student to understand who they are as opposed to who they are not. The methods of assessment will view failure as an opportunity to try again (think Edison and the long-burning light bulb, 6000 filaments attempted before success) rather than as a declaration of the ability of the child or a grade on a report card. The teaching methods will have your child working collaboratively rather than in competition with classroom peers. In fact, if children would attend a martial arts course, they could better cope with bullies as well.
7. Your child will gain solid 21st-century skills. One certainly must be facile with the written word and clever with numbers (the focus of traditional education) to be successful. Still, those thinking about truly important skills necessary for success in the 21st century hold that several additional skills will be equally important in our globalizing society. Leaders will need flawless self-presentation skills. They will need to be skilled with finances. Successful individuals will need well-honed people and networking skills. Above all, 21st-century citizens will need to be creative problem solvers, flexible thinkers, competent historians and self-directed learners. A student at a charter school will be extraordinarily well practiced in all of these skills at the time they graduate from the upper school.