Five new public charter schools approved to open in 2009

Topics: Teachers College, Administrative

June 12, 2008

Ball State has approved five new charter schools in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Muncie, South Bend and Bloomington. All will open in fall 2009.

Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora approved the sponsorship of the schools after receiving a recommendation from a charter school review panel and community input at each school's public meeting.

Imagine Bridge Academy, Fort Wayne: The academy will open with students in grades K-5 and have a proposed enrollment of at least 400 students. The school will use a curriculum developed by the Four D Education Foundation. The school will use textbooks and comprehensive lesson plans based on Indiana academic standards. All curriculum, lesson plans, textbooks and assessments will meet or exceed all state standards. 

Imagine Indiana Life Sciences Academy-West, Indianapolis: The academy will serve students in grades K-5 and have a proposed enrollment of at least 300 students. The school will have an educational program that focuses on life sciences and will use curriculum such as Direct Instruction, Saxon Math, Full Options Science System and Core Knowledge Sequence, a comprehensive educational program that specifically outlines content for every grade level from K-8. The school will use textbooks and comprehensive lesson plans that meet state standards.  

Cardinal Academy of Muncie: The academy will serve students in grades K-5 with a proposed enrollment of 300 students. The school will use Core Knowledge Sequence. All subjects will be taught in a sequential manner, providing a solid and coherent foundation for learning. A local board of directors will work with American Quality Schools, a company responsible for the school's day-to-day operation. 

Xavier School of Excellence, South Bend: The school will serve students in grades K-5 with a proposed enrollment of 300 students. The school will use Core Knowledge Sequence, and like Cardinal Academy, all subjects will be taught in a sequential manner. Xavier school directors also will work with American Quality Schools, regarding the school's daily operation. 

The Project School, Bloomington: The school will serve students in grades K-7 with a proposed enrollment of 224 students. The school's unique Project, Problem and Place (P3) curriculum is designed to reduce the achievement gap among students. P3 has a strong focus on developing positive habits of the heart, mind and voice as well as critical literacy and performance-based assessment. 

"As part of the approval process, each school must go through a rigorous screening and review process before a decision is made," said Larry Gabbert, director of Ball State's Office of Charter Schools. "After reviewing all of the applications, we feel that these schools are well prepared to offer a high-quality educational experience to their students."

Last year, Ball State approved the sponsorship of eight other charter schools: Anderson Preparatory Academy, Aspire Charter Academy, Dr. Robert H. Faulkner Academy, Indiana Math and Science Academy-Gary, Imagine Schools on Broadway, Imagine Indiana Life Sciences Academy-East, Hoosier Academy-Indianapolis and Hoosier Academy-Muncie, which are all scheduled to open in fall 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 22 in operation and 13 more to open within roughly a year. 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. For more information, visit www.bsu.edu/teachers/charter.

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