Photo by Matt Stensland
A group of Stagecoach parents is hoping to create a charter school to accommodate the increasing number of families. The nearest school district available for children living in this newer Stagecoach development is the South Routt School District.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The steering committee for a Stagecoach charter school is ready to share a mission and a vision with interested parents at a meeting to drum up support for the proposed facility Saturday.
The school, discussed for several years as a potential alternative to sending students to schools in Oak Creek or Steamboat Springs, is not nearly ready to break ground, but leaders are ready to enlist the help of parents to serve on committees and begin the process of drafting a charter.
"We're looking for support from the community. This is a community charter school," said steering committee member Jane Colby. "We're looking for expressions of interest and people willing to step in and do a little bit of work."
The school would serve as a neighborhood center, said steering committee member Ken Burgess.
"We think it provides a heck of an important nucleus to the Stagecoach community to keep the children there and to have a place for parents to keep their kids when they're out working," he said.
So far, 30 to 40 families have expressed interest in the project, Burgess said.
Jim Griffin, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, said the Stagecoach proposal is similar to the North Routt Community Charter School because both schools were not created around one academic principle or curriculum - like a Montessori school - but around geographic constraints.
"When you have a school that's going to serve a geographical area, you are by definition going to attract people with a variety of interests and beliefs about what an ideal school for their children would be," he said.
Because of that, the steering committee has not created a curriculum or ideology for the school. The school would be public, free of charge and likely associated with South Routt School District. The rest of the details, including what grades the school would serve, will be determined through community input.
Griffin said the charter itself will be 100 pages long and a daunting task that covers liability, legal issues and insurance. That document likely will take months to prepare after the basics of the school are decided.
Burgess said they are not setting any concrete timetable for when the school will be chartered or built.
"That depends on the level of interest and how it grows," he said. "It will evolve as people become interested in it."
Colorado public school districts receive funding from the state on a per-pupil basis. Charter schools receive the same funding, funneled through the local school district.
Parents in Colorado can send students to any school they choose, as long as there is space available.
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