21st Century Charter School, in downtown Gary, Indiana, is a free public charter school committed to "breaking the cycle of poverty, one child at a time, through education." Chartered in 2008, the school is managed by the Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation, which assisted influential Gary community members in drafting the school's charter.
21st Century expects that all of its students will attend an institution of higher learning. The school is one of only a few in the state which offers a "middle college" program, which allows qualifying high school students to take college courses for credit, free of charge to the students and their families. The school houses grades K-12, and current enrollment is 372 students. Any student in Indiana may apply to attend, as admission is based on the availability of places in each grade and is determined by lottery. The enrollment lottery is held each January for admittance during the next academic school year. Curriculum at 21st Century is modeled on that of a college preparatory academy with an added emphasis on the student as an individual learner.
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