Ball State approves two new public charter schools to open in 2008

Topics: Teachers College, Administrative

June 8, 2007

School
Ball State has approved two new charter schools to open in the fall of 2008: Anderson Preparatory Academy in the Anderson area and Dr. Robert H. Faulkner Academy in Marion.

Based upon a recommendation of a charter school review panel and after receiving community input at a public meeting in both of the school's areas, Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora approved the sponsorship of the schools June 8.

"Ball State prides itself in helping to build better communities, and by approving the sponsorship of these schools we are giving parents and students across the state added opportunities to grow and excel in education," she said. "Providing children with an alternative to traditional public schools allows them the opportunity to be taught in an environment that best suits them." 

The two new schools are:

  • Anderson Preparatory Academy: The school will open in the fall of 2008, serving students in grades 6-8 with an approved enrollment of 200 students. It will add one grade every year until grades 6-12 are served, growing to maximum of 500 students in 2012. It will be affiliated with the Civil Air Patrol and will uphold a strong disciplinary environment. Students will be expected to wear uniforms. An exact location for the school has not yet been determined.
  • Dr. Robert H. Faulkner Academy in Marion: The school will open in the fall of 2008, serving a number of at-risk students in Marion in grades K-5 with an approved enrollment of 158 students. It will grow to 220 K-7 students by 2012.

Before they were approved, the two schools were carefully reviewed for community support, engaging educational programs and other aspects such as finances and facilities. The university is convinced that both schools have the necessary elements to be successful, said Larry Gabbert, director of Ball State's Office of Charter Schools.

"The sponsorship of these schools builds upon Ball State's commitment to continue to provide additional opportunities for a high-quality education to Indiana children and their parents," Gabbert said. "We are confident these schools are starting with a solid foundation, beginning with its leadership, curriculum and teaching methods."

Gabbert also points out that both schools have a well-articulated mission, a solid governance structure, sound administrative management and a strong educational program. Each of the school's proposals also meets or exceeds the General Indicators of Success requirements, which are available at www.bsu.edu/teachers/charter.

The Office of Charter Schools has another proposal review cycle scheduled for this fall and expects more organizing groups to seek charters during that period.

Earlier this year, Ball State approved the sponsorship of Imagine MASTer Academy in Fort Wayne, Indiana Math and Science Academy in Indianapolis and Renaissance Academy in LaPorte, which are all scheduled to open this fall. Indiana Math and Science Academy and Aspire Charter Academy, both in Gary, were all approved in earlier review cycles and will open in 2008.

In 2001 the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation allowing four-year public universities, public school districts and the mayor of Indianapolis to sponsor charter schools. Ball State is the only university authorizing charter schools in Indiana, with 19 in operation and seven more scheduled to open by 2008. As a public charter schools authorizer, Ball State does not run the schools but reserves the right to rescind a charter if a school fails to meet performance standards.

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