Another school is joining the Redwood City School District, with a slightly different curriculum. To a crowded room of parents and community supporters sporting green Community Connect Charter School shirts, the approved the charter school’s petition this evening.
The K-8 school, which plans to open in September 2013, and social emotional learning while implementing block schedules so teachers can engage with students for a longer period of time.
“We’re so thrilled and hopeful for the future,” said Whitney Wood, a founding member of the 300-student school. “We have an excellent relationship with the school district.”
The district board trustees sincerely appreciated the school’s promises to teach and serve students from all over Redwood City, not based on location, Wood said.
An initial concern for some school board members was how the school would fit into the district’s current budget.
An independent reviewer assessed the financial feasibility of Connect and determined that the charter school’s budget can work with no additional funding.
Going forward, the school plans to raise $350,000 by January 2013 to hire a principal. Recruiting and hiring staff is a top priority, Wood said.
“Finding the right folks is critical to success,” she said. “We have aggressive fundraising goals to do this.”
A number of educators are on the founding team and have several connections for recruiting teachers from education programs like the Stanford Training Education Program, she added.
Initially, the school will be housed in classrooms within the district, ideally on the East side of the city. However, this depends on classroom availability as determined by the district. The board hopes to eventually have its own school site.
“We are thrilled by the board’s decision and can’t wait to open Connect,” said founding board member Kathryn Hopkins. “It’s a great option for Redwood City families.”
The board is also developing an enrollment process to align it as closely as possible with the district’s enrollment in January. It is accepting students in grades Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 6th in the first year.
Leaders of the proposed 300-student charter to the board of education in June. The petition took approximately 18 months to develop.
The new school board emphasized the desire to have children utilize critical thinking skills and learn while “making and doing.”
“We, together, can change the face of public education,” Hopkins said.
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