Q. What are charter schools?
A. Charter schools extend the privilege of choice to all families. They provide options for parents and students in pursuing their ideal educational experience. Charter schools are open to all children free of charge who are eligible to attend traditional public schools in the state of Michigan. Charter schools are governed by a local Board of Directors and are required to meet and often exceed the standards of its Authorizer and the State Board of Education
Q. How are charter schools governed?
A. Charter schools are governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Academy's Authorizer. Bylaws of the Board of Directors outline its role and responsibilities. Some charter schools employ an education service provider/management company to provide executive leadership and management services. Other charter schools choose to go it alone with the Board and Academy Director.
Q. What are the benefits of sending my child to a charter school?
A. Children attending charter schools benefit from small class sizes, high academic standards, and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Charter schools are organized by a founding group that is passionate about the basic tenets of the curriculum. Enthusiasm for the school is contagious. Board members, staff members, parents, students, and community members are attracted to the charter school because their interests coincide with the charter school's educational program and special themes.
Charter schools have to be responsive to parents' concerns because they operate in a free market. Parents literally make the choice to send their children to the magnet or theme school. Parents also typically transport their children to school, which means that parents have a stronger connection and more active communications with the faculty and staff.
Q. Why should I send my child to a charter school managed by Choice Schools Associates?
A. The fundamental belief of Choice Schools Associates is that every child will be empowered with the academic knowledge and skills, work habits, and character traits to gain access to the American Dream. All children are capable of accelerated learning and achieving excellence in their academic endeavors and are prepared for active citizenship in their communities. Each state certified instructor that CSA employs receives intensive training on the links of differentiated instruction and the importance of holding oneself accountable for the academic success of all students. The goal of achieving and maintaining parental satisfaction requires each employee to take the education and safety of each child personally and continually seek parental input regarding academic needs and successes.
Choice Schools Associates will not enter a management agreement unless the Academy Board will stand firm for safe, secure schools and will make the tough decisions to ensure that every child receives a first class education free of disruption, threat, and fear. CSA also has to know that the Board-CSA relationship will be focused on student achievement, parent satisfaction, and safe, secure location for learning.
CSA Academies-each Academy is one of only a few schools or school districts in America-involve parents in evaluation of teachers. Each spring, parents are asked to complete and return an anonymous survey on teacher performance during the school year. Results are impor tant in evaluation, to identification of professional development topics, and to employment decisions. CSA's teacher evaluation instrument was developed under the guidance of Dr. Don Ball, University of Virginia School of Education, and is the only teacher survey instrument known to meet reliability and validity standards of the research community.
Q. How do I enroll my child in one of CSA's charter schools?
A. Parents or legal guardians are invited to contact the school of choice to learn of their enrollment process and obtain an enrollment application. Students will be accepted and assigned to classes on a first come, first served basis. If a particular grade is full, students will participate in a lottery process at the end of the official enrollment period or will be placed on a waiting list in the order enrollment applications are received.
Q. Who is eligible to enroll at the Academy?
A. Any student eligible to attend public schools in Michigan is eligible to enroll at the Academy. To enroll in kindergarten, your child must be at least five years of age on December 1st of the school year of enrollment. Choice Schools Associates does not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability. Charter schools are public schools and all children are encouraged to attend one of our Academies.
Q. Do you test for kindergarten readiness?
A. No. CSA Boards do not attempt to categorize students at such a young age. Teachers meet students where they are and create individual student learning plans so each student can excel individually and as a whole. CSA kindergartens are academic kindergartens which require students to demonstrate proficiency in academic skills to be promoted to first-grade.
Q. What materials are required for enrollment for the first time?
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