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Old 07-26-2008, 05:38 PM
 
128 posts, read 286,411 times
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Can anyone share what the process is for parents who choose to send their children to a charter school? How difficult is it to find carpools for three children? We are trying to decide where to move and schools are holding us back from a decision. If I am not able to carpool my children should I plan on not sending my children to a charter school and move to an area where the public schools are good? Waht do working parents do concerning charter school. Sure wish they had buses!!!!!!
Thank you in advance!!!
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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Have you looked in to how to get your child in to a charter school? That should be your first concern. Most are lottery system and you must attend a meeting in Jan or Feb and the lottery is drawn in March or April for the next school year. For many of them there are about 800 students trying to get in to about 15 openings per grade level if that.

I have friends who have tried for years to get in to Queens Grant or Union Academy and still have never made it in.

There is also no bussing, but usually each school has a good list of people who want to carpool and have a way to help organize it.

Dawn
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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My friend's kids attend a charter school and they do have organized carpools as well as after school care. However as Dawn says, your first concern should be getting them in; it's not easy. At the one I know about, siblings take up almost all the open spaces and you do need to plan a year ahead to get them in. Also consider if the charter schools match your child's and your family's objectives; they often have a specific focus and shouldn't really be approached as "anything but public" schools or "just because it's free" schools vs. private. At some, particularly language immersion schools, they do not encourage children to enter after second grade or so because they would not know the language.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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What do you mean if they enter after 2nd grade they won't know the language? I would be looking to place a kindergardener, 5th grader, and a 7th grader.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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I think solnechko is referring to the Japanese, German, French and Spanish language schools. Your kids probably wouldn't be comfortable entering a school when they were the only ones who didn't speak the language.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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Yes I was referring to the language immersion charter schools. Just like magnet schools, some (most?) charter schools have a special focus. The one I am thinking of has a Greek immersion program. There's also a charter school for high-IQ kids, one with an international focus, one that is humanities-based. In some program, kids would be at a distinct disadvantage if they did not have the curriculum from K or first grade.

And like I said, from what I hear -- this after having researched Union Academy, Queen's Grant and Socrates Academy in particular -- most of the kindergarten spots go to siblings of current students. With the lottery system it's very difficult. Queen's Grant, for example, has 718 students and 1000 on a waiting list. Union Academy numbers are higher; about 900 students and I'm not sure how many waiting.

Another thing is, if you work full time, will you be able to fulfill a volunteer commitment to the school? Union Academy has a requirement of 60 hours from each family per year. It's contractural and if you don't fulfill it, your child could be asked to leave.

Charter schools definitely have their advantages, but you need to be aware of what you are getting into.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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Thank you for the information. Do you know anything about Lake Norman Chater School or Chidrens Community School. Both are Charters.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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No, sorry, don't know about those. I'd suggest a visit or a phone call to the principals.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:23 AM
 
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Don't believe the hype about Union Academy. Before sending your children there try and get an honest answer about why they have such a high turnover rate for teachers and can't keep good quality teachers for more than two years. You would be better off finding a good school to send your kids to and try and buy in that area. Chances are they will be in a higher quality school and environment and you won't have to worry about transportation. Just food for thought.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Lakeside. Of course.
532 posts, read 1,565,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireJackie View Post
Can anyone share what the process is for parents who choose to send their children to a charter school? How difficult is it to find carpools for three children? We are trying to decide where to move and schools are holding us back from a decision. If I am not able to carpool my children should I plan on not sending my children to a charter school and move to an area where the public schools are good? Waht do working parents do concerning charter school. Sure wish they had buses!!!!!!
Thank you in advance!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireJackie View Post
What do you mean if they enter after 2nd grade they won't know the language? I would be looking to place a kindergardener, 5th grader, and a 7th grader.

My son attended (and graduated) Lincoln Charter in Denver. They do compile a list of families that are looking for carpools... it's then your job to track down other families that you can carpool with. They also offer a bus service. My son was driving himself last year, so I don't recall all the specific bus stops, but they have significantly expanded their bus service since my son started LCS (They only had one stop, at the Harris Teeter in Denver. I had to make arrangements with my boss to take work home with me to make up my hours.) Now, don't get me wrong; they're not going to pick your kids up at the door... but they do have several places around the northern part of Charlotte, maybe Huntersville or Cornelius and South Denver where they pick up. You would be responsible to get them to the bus stop and the bus will take them to school from there.

I chose to send him there when he was starting HS. At the time, they were just beginning their HS program and when I contacted them, they had just two spots left for freshmen. My son got one of those seats. Now, all the classes have waiting lists. As DawnW said, typical registration is by lottery in the early spring.

The last report I saw (dated April, 2008,) they have a significant (over 100) waiting list for kindergarten and 5th grade. 7th grade had 46 on the waiting list.

Good Luck.
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