EGSD Board discusses charter school application
For several years now discussions of developing a charter school in the Fraser/Winter Park area have quietly simmered in the background.
Those discussions are becoming more concrete as a formal proposal for the Fraser Valley Academy is developed by the nonprofit organization Fraser Valley Academy Charter School Inc. (FVACSI). The group is working to complete its official state application for the creation of a new charter school.
The East Grand Board of Education briefly discussed the proposal at its meetings in September in anticipation of receiving an application this year. However, representatives from the FVACSI informed Superintendent Jody Mimmack they would likely be unable to complete the new charter school application by the Oct. 1 deadline and would probably submit their application next summer.
The board was presented with a conceptual overview of the Fraser Valley Academy, the name of the proposed charter school,during their second meeting in August.
According to Mimmack the charter school’s organizers hope to begin operations during the 2017-2018 school year. In the Concept Overview submitted to the school district, the FVACSI explains its vision for the new charter school.
The school will be for grades 6-12 and will have a liberal arts base curriculum with a heavy emphasis on preparing students for application to college. The middle school program, grades 6, 7 and 8, will be modeled on the Boulder Valley School District’s Peak to Peak Charter School.
Organizers hope to enroll between 240 and 360 students across seven different grades with approximately 40 to 60 students per grade, depending on space limitations. They plan to initially occupy vacant commercial space in the Town of Fraser or Winter Park until a school facility has been constructed.
If the FVACSI misses the Oct. 1 application deadline this year they will still be able to submit their official application after the submission period reopens at the beginning of summer 2016. The application itself is a lengthy document and Superintendent Mimmack estimated the FVACSI would have upwards of 75 pages in the official application.
Charter School applications are officially denied or approved by the State Board of Education.
“Charter Schools have in the past been very important to the State Board of Education,” Mimmack said. “We looked online and there were 10 contested applications last year. Only one was denied by the State Board.”
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On the same day a crucial workforce housing project in Winter Park suffered a setback, four residents requested the town add them to the waitlist for affordable units.