Seven charter school applicants are keeping their fingers crossed for state approval and funding so they can open their school doors in fall 2011. They include:
Home Front Academy, K-8, Salt Lake City District, transition home-school students to public schools;
Baer Canyon Charter High School, 10-12, Davis School District, sports and medicine;
Good Foundations Academy, K-6, Davis School District, affiliated with Christ Community Church;
Cornerstone Preparatory Academy, n/a, Granite School District, math and science;
Utah Connections Academy, K-12, Salt Lake District, online;
Aristotle Academy, K-8, Alpine School District; expert, high-level teachers;
Aspire Online Charter School, K-12, inner-city areas throughout the Wasatch Front.
While charter schools were approved liberally in earlier years, applicants are now held to strict standards. A unique theme gives the school a competitive edge.
Home Front Academy is the answer to parents who have been home schooling but want their children to have more social interaction. Many parents are too busy to home-school their children, said Home Front attorney Linda Chatwin.
So will the school have a homey atmosphere with couches and curtains?
"We haven't gotten that far yet," Chatwin laughed.
Baer Canyon High, set to be built onto The Sportsplex in Kaysville, is for teens who want to focus on health occupations, such as physical therapy. Unlike most charter schools, Baer would have sports teams. The school might use scrubs as uniforms.
Aspire Online Charter School would have centers where the students could go each day for online learning. The program would accommodate students who can't afford a computer or online access at home or who may not have a parent at home during the day to supervise their school work.
Good Foundations is the vision of many parents affiliated with Christ Community Church, a non-denominational Christian church in Syracuse. "We want to offer a good high-standard values-based education to the community," said Tom Koehler, Foundations board chairman.
The church is offering land for the school, which can also be used as a community center. A building next to the school would be used for release time Bible study.
The majority of teachers at Aristotle Academy would have master's degrees and five to seven years of experience. They would work year-round to offer summer remediation and enrichment activities.
The Academy plans to lease the old Harrington School building, previously owned by Alpine School District, in American Fork. "We want to focus on staff, not facilities," said the school's chief administrative officer Jeanne Whitmore.
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