Charter schools begin school year
August 31, 2004
Latosha Edmonson didn’t pass ninth grade at Dayton High School last year. But she’s convinced she’ll do better this year – by not going to school.
“I’m smart and I think I’ll be able to pass with flying colors,” she said. “This is going to be way easier than dealing with all those kids in one classroom.”
Rather than return to the traditional high school setting, Edmonson, 15, opted to enroll in the area’s first online charter school, Silver State High School, where she will be able to take classes from home over the Internet.
Students returning to school Tuesday had another option as well. The Carson City Montessori School, formerly Educare Academy, opened its doors for the first time.
Joan Lepas, principal and teacher, spent much of the summer training to run a Montessori school and put the theories into practice in the classroom.
“It’s like, ‘Whoa, this really works,'” she said. “They’re excited that they have a lot of freedom of choice.”
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She said the younger students were surprised to find they would be studying subjects such as botany, geometry and chemistry. There were other surprises, too.
“They couldn’t believe they could take their snack anytime and they have real-glass glasses,” she said. “And they have a bunny in their classroom.”
As charter schools, they must meet the same requirements as public schools and are free. High school students must complete the same 22.5 credits and pass the Nevada High School Proficiency Exam.
Corey Bracht, 15, expects that will be easier to accomplish on his own timeline.
“At least I get to sleep in,” he said. “I can just do a half-hour here and a half-hour there. I like this better than regular high school.”
Principal Steve Knight isn’t sleeping in, however.
“I was here at 6 o’clock this morning,” he said. “It’s been a real push to get everything ready. This has been two years in the making.”
Silver State High School freshmen were required to attend an orientation Tuesday morning. Sophomores will meet this morning, and juniors and seniors will receive guidelines Thursday.
“The whole point is to keep it small so the teachers can work with and help the kids,” Knight explained.
That’s why Chelsea Cribbins, 14, chose the school.
“There will be more attention and more help,” she said. “It will help you understand better, work better and get better grades.”
About 140 students have enrolled. Maximum capacity for this year is 210. Enrollment will remain open until Sept. 23.
Carson Montessori School has openings for younger grades, but grades four through six are full.
Carson Montessori School was sponsored by the Carson City School District. The district denied Silver State Charter School’s charter application, which was later sponsored through the Nevada State Department of Education.
For more information or to enroll in Silver State Charter School go to http://www.silverstatehs.org or call 883-7900.
For more information about the Carson Montessori School, call 882-3011.
Contact Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1272.