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Charter school developer hopes dropouts will log on

TERI VANCE

Steve Knight has a new message for students who no longer wish to attend high school – don’t.

Knight’s suggesting an online alternative for dropouts and other at-risk teens in Carson City and surrounding counties through his proposed Silver State Charter High School.

“I’m not trying to compete against students who are already enrolled in and attending Carson City schools,” he said. “My intent is to pick up students who have dropped out and don’t want to attend a Carson City school.

“There’s a group of students who are just unhappy with the local district for whatever reason.”

Superintendent Mary Pierczynski presented the charter school’s application to the school board during Tuesday’s meeting along with an application for a Carson Montessori Charter School.

Trustees are scheduled to vote on them at the Feb. 10 meeting.

Knight began his career in education as a teacher at Carson High School in 1975 where he taught math, science, auto shop and electronics.

He later served as the coordinator for adult and alternative education in Lyon County for 13 years, two years as the principal of adult education in Storey County and worked six months for the Nevada Department of Education.

“There’s a huge dropout rate out there and I’ve worked with them for a long time,” he said.

One of the main objectives of the school will be to answer the universal student question, “Why should I learn this?”

“In every class, the students will learn a sellable skill,” Knight said.

“That’s the absolute imperative, that students have an understood reason for taking the course.”

Although classes would be taught over the Internet, an actual building would be set up in Carson City where students would check in once a week.

He will begin with a staff of about six teachers.

“The people who are involved are just dynamic people,” he said. “They really know their stuff.”

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.