Sunday, March 12, 2017

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Washington State Charter Schools Update (Plus a New Private One)

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Washington State Charter Schools Update (Plus a New Private One):

Washington State Charter Schools Update (Plus a New Private One)

Where are we with charter schools in Washington State?

- the latest lawsuit against the current charter law was turned down by the King County Superior Court (who also left the door open for it to be revisited).  The plaintiffs have not yet announced whether they will continue on at this time or wait for a time of "ripeness."

- There are currently eight charter schools operating in Washington State, two in Seattle.

- There are currently three charter schools scheduled to open in 2017. 

Via the Charter Commission:
Willow Public School in Walla Walla (the first that the Commission has opened in Eastern Washington)
 Summit's Atlas 6-12 School in West Seattle (Summit has two high schools; Sierra in Seattle and Olympus in Tacoma.)
Green Dot's 6-12 School, somewhere in Seattle, tbd. (GD has a middle school in Tacoma.)

Submitted Notices of Intent to apply for new charter schools submitted to the Charter Commission (applications due March 31).
Impact: Seattle -  I note that the filer is Jen Wickens, a former TFAer, who works for Summit.  Impact seems to be a school group created for low-income students of color.

Christine Wright heads this group and was a former teacher at a KIPP charter school for a year, then in SPS for a year and then Issaquah for two years.  Previous to that she taught at Lakeside.

Launching K-5 public charter micro schools in the Seattle area via Cascade Micro Schools.

Incubating our first public charter elementary school to open Fall 2018. The school's mission is to prepare students of diverse backgrounds to lead communities as empowered creators who invent the world in which they want to live.
New Horizons Academy.  The filer is Dr. Wanda Billingsly and it appears this K-5 school will operate in the south Puget Sound Region.  Dr. Billingsly is currently the CEO/Executive Director at First Place School ( a private school which had been the first charter school opened in the state but left the charter world). 

(Partial) New Horizons Academy strives to address the opportunity gap for marginalized student populations (under-performing and under-identified gifted).  

Washington College Prep.  A 6-12 school to open in Everett.  This would be the first charter to open in northern Puget Sound.  It has a fairly bland statement on their mission.

Whole Elephant Chinese Charter School.  A K-12 school, it says it will be affiliated with UW and Benaroya Research Institute.  The filer is Dr. Lotus King Weiss with a New York state phone number.  

To establish an innovative education system which integrates the most frontier science of the West with the ancient science of mind-body-spirit from the East, with the goal to bring out the Master within each child whose unique passion and talent will be cultivated to blossom and whose mind will be cultivated to reach true maturity with great wisdom of human life and the universe.
Some interesting "applicant questions" submitted to the Charter Commission:

Are charters allowed to develop Private Placement Memoranda to gain private funds?
The short answer: no.

Can we issue Certificates of Participation? The short answer:
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Washington State Charter Schools Update (Plus a New Private One):

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