Charter schools are tuition-free public schools. They are open to any student and are accountable to the public, funded by the public, and scrutinized by the public. Each elementary charter school has a curriculum, calendar, admissions procedures and specific schedules. These items may differ from public schools, but they are operated on the premise of high education, developing character, and achieving academic excellence.
Elementary programs in charter schools are operated by community organizations, foundations, and teachers and are held accountable for student academic achievement by a state board of education. The enrollment process is, and new student enrollment processes are usually on a random lottery basis. There are generally more applications than available spaces in a highly successful school in the US.
In a highly successful school in the US, Amerian Prep Academy, elementary school students are given a strong foundation in the four core areas including language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The curriculum is continually reviewed to ensure that it regularly meets the goals and mission statement of the Academy. Curricular units are developed by using curriculum committees that includes teachers, specialists and administers. The goal is to give students in each elementary grade level a good knowledge base.
Students are assessed using a joint valuation and graded on standards that are in line with the Utah Board of Education. The difference between a charter school like American Prep Academy and a public school? Teachers are given the freedom to use a balance of academics, creative and expressive learning interlaced with positive social skill development. Children are taught in a positive environment that is motivating and encourages enthusiasm for learning. Students are also taught instruction in particular areas that include Art, Business and Computers, Physical Education and often different languages.
An Idea of Elementary Charter Curriculum
Charter School elementary curriculum utilizes elements for direct instruction and focuses on core subjects to allow a student to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for life-long learning. The elementary curriculum is intended to help contribute to the life-long growth of children.
The goals of a highly successful charter school in the US, American Prep Academy, is to prepare students to be continual learners in a competitive society. Many charter schools have three specific goals to reach that challenge, and these include:
- Maintain children’s interests by helping them understand that what they are learning is going to prepare them for the rest of their life.
- Proven curricula and teaching methods are skills that have been documented as enormously successful in classroom use.
- Inspire children to be excited to use their problem-solving skills, communication skills, and critical thinking skills throughout the day. It is the ultimate goal to help elementary students want to continue learning even when they are outside the formal classroom.
The best and most highly successful charter schools in the US work as a team. The team includes parents, teachers, administration, the students plus the community to ensure that all students receive the most excellent education experience in a secure environment that is safe, moral, clean and spirited.
As with public elementary schools, charter schools face an increase in student population, classroom needs, and new startups. There are financial helps for charter schools and one of these helps includes grant programs.
Grant Helps for Charter Schools
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 has been amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (20 U.S.C. 71-7221j) to include charter school programs. There are different eligibility requirements, definitions, application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria; however, the goal is to award state education agencies to conduct charter school subgrant programs.
Discretionary/Competitive Grants for Charter Schools, Public Charter School Program (CSP) is designed to expand opportunities for all students including those students who have been unable to attend charter schools. It is given to charter schools to meet the challenging academic standards of states. It is also designed to provide financial assistance for program design, planning, and initial implementation of public charter schools. The grants are intended to increase the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the nation and evaluate the impact of charter schools on elementary student attendance.
The CSP grant is also intended to help new charter schools to open and prepare by replicating highly successful charter schools in the U.S. like American Prep Academy.
To help a charter school start-up or grow a charter school to higher accomplishments, there are foundation grants that can be searched. One is the Walton Family Foundation that has supported the creation and growth of high-quality charter schools. It is the Walton Family’s goal to allow all families to choose the best options for their children. Highly successful charter schools in the US are eligible to apply for these grants. The grants are intended to develop new ideas and create great elementary school programs that meet the unique needs of elementary school children.
Apply directly to the Walton Family Foundation for grants on expanding learning and improve academic outcomes. All information for this grant can be found at https://www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/grants/public-charter-startup-grants.