FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

UNDERSTANDING CHARTER SCHOOLS

Charter schools provide parents a choice in the education of their children – and it is a public choice. Public tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools. Local, state, and federal dollars follow the child to a charter school. The schools have open enrollment with no discrimination, no religious associations, and no tuition.

Yes. Since charter schools are public schools, they must provide special education and related services to all eligible students. For further information please read the following documentation.

The only requirement to get into a charter school is the availability at the school in the requested grade.

Charter schools are open to ALL children and they are committed to serving a student body that reflects the local community. Enrollment figures show that charter school students are just as diverse (racially and economically) as students who attend traditional district schools.

By law, charter schools cannot have admission processes that unlawfully discriminate against students. Charter schools accept all students who want to attend. If there are more students who want to attend than there are seats available, a charter school will use a process to randomly select students, oftentimes a lottery system.

While school districts are required to provide adequate and equivalent facilities to eligible charter schools under state law, districts vary in their compliance with this law. Many charter schools secure their own facilities, using public and private financing, or donations. In some cases, the charter school may build a full school campus from the ground up; or, they may rent available space in churches, community centers or commercial buildings. Many charter schools choose to operate in a nontraditional facility because it may better serve the requirements of a unique program model.

As schools of choice, all charter schools are open to any student who wants to apply, regardless of where he or she lives, space permitting. Independent Study or non-classroom based schools have some geographical limitations which permit them to enroll only students from the county where they are authorized, or from adjacent counties.

CORE KNOWLEDGE SEQUENCE

With a strong focus on challenging but appropriate content, the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence provides the foundation for an effective early childhood program by specifying a cumulative and coherent progression of knowledge and skills in all developmental areas.

An underlying principle of Core Knowledge is that we acquire new knowledge by building on what we already know. Core Knowledge advocates a curriculum that presents a coherent sequence of skills and knowledge building cumulatively year by year. The skills and knowledge specified in the Preschool Sequence provide a solid foundation for success in any kindergarten program and especially in content-rich kindergarten classes like those found in Core Knowledge schools.

Core Knowledge Language Arts Preschool (CKLA Preschool) is a comprehensive English Language Arts (ELA) program. It includes lessons and activities that address Preschool Sequence language and literacy skills in the context of rich content. CKLA Preschool is a great starting point for those wishing to implement a comprehensive curriculum based on the Preschool Sequence.

The skills and content of the Preschool Sequence and the associated Teacher Handbook are based on research in developmentally appropriate practice in the education of young children. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), “developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) is a framework of principles and guidelines for best practice in the care and education of young children, birth through age 8. It is grounded both in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about education effectiveness. The principles and guidelines outline practice that promotes young children’s optimal learning and development.”

Goals and objectives specified in the Preschool Sequence very closely align to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Indeed, the initial development of the Head Start Child Outcomes was shaped in part by testimony from Dr. E.D. Hirsch, Jr., who was invited by the congressional committee charged with reauthorizing the Head Start Act. He provided testimony regarding the content and characteristics of an effective preschool education. To learn more, read about the Preschool Sequence alignment to the 2015 Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.

K-8 SEQUENCE

Yes, the Core Knowledge Sequence presents specific content embracing a great diversity of people, events, and ideas. The Sequence is intended to start students on the path toward acquiring the knowledge needed to grasp the importance of diversity to human history and current affairs.

Not including specific content guidelines for subjects such as Physical Education, Technology, or Drama doesn’t mean we do not value these areas. Quite the opposite! By design, the Core Knowledge Sequence concentrates on identifying a limited core of academic content and skills.