Board to consider charter school

Carson City parents struggling with wayward teens may soon have an alternative other than sending their child to a detention center.

"Many parents come to us and say, 'I'm at my wits end,'" said superintendent Jim Parry. "This would offer those parents another alternative."

The school board will discuss a proposal Tuesday by Rite of Passage to open a charter high school that would serve males who have problems with violence, peer interaction, attendance or who are credit deficient.

The boot-camp-like program, Rite of Passage, would extend its program to include a non-residential school, Pathways Charter School at Clear Creek.

John Fry, the director of education for Rite of Passage, will serve as the principal for the new school.

"Our goal is not to compete with the school district for kids but work as a tool for at-risk youth," Fry said.

Parry said the application has been approved by the state and he is confident that the board will approve the school. He is also hopeful that the school will be effective.

"I have seen their students before and they appear to me to have been real gentlemen," he said. "This will be a public school that can offer services to this niche of students."

Fry said that, like the Rite of Passage program, the school will focus on core academics, vocational training, physical conditioning and community service. A dress code will also be enforced.

Fry has worked with the program for six years and has seen success.

"I've had a great time," he said. "We've been very pleased with the outcome."

He expects the same from the charter school.

"When they realize their potential, there's no stopping them," Fry said. "They're competent capable individuals."

Pathways Charter will receive students in two ways. Parents can either send them there or a judge can assign them to the school as an alternative to detention.

Nevada's charter law allows a school to be gender-specific when targeting at-risk youth but it may not always just serve males.

"We're not discounting the idea to eventually include the female population as well," Fry said.

The charter school students will have to complete the same standards as the rest of the district including the proficiency exam as a requirement for graduation.

"By law, their requirements must mirror ours," Parry said. "We look forward to a good relationship with them."

If you go:

What: Carson City School Board meeting

When: Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Where: The Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center


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