A new type of school may soon be holding classes in Utica. Others have tried to bring a charter school to Utica, and failed. But a new group says they have the plan to make it possible. It's a type of schooling that developed about 20 years ago, and now exists in every urban area across the state, except for Utica.
Now, the Mohawk Valley Community Charter School Initiative says it's time to bring what it feels is innovative schooling to this area, keeping the best practices of public school education and applying them to a small creative setting.
The MVCCS is just about to submit a written application to the state asking for a charter to start the school. The school initiative held a community conversation today to educate anyone interested in the charter school.
"This is about teaching kids to take responsibility for their own life from very early on," says Ann Maher, a co-lead applicant for the school, and a public school educator for over thirty years, says one of the more unique aspects of the school is its individualized approach to learning.
"We want very specifically to address all aspect of a child's life: academic, social, emotional, physical, and behavioral," she says.
The schools typically have longer school days, and a longer school year. The idea is that the school works closely with not just the student, but the family as well. And, Maher says they're looking to incorporate technology into all facets of the school day.
Maher says they'll find out in June if the application is accepted, and the school year would officially start in August of 2013. Maher also says they're looking to form a cooperative relationship with the Utica City School District, not a competitive one.
A charter school is considered a public school governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees. It's not a school students need to pay for, and is open to anyone to apply, although Maher says many of the successful charter schools do develop a wait list.