Charter schools extend the privilege of choice to all families. They provide options for parents and students in pursuing their ideal educational experience. Charter schools are open to all children free of charge who are eligible to attend traditional public schools in the state of Michigan. Charter schools are governed by a local Board of Directors and are required to meet and often exceed the standards of its Authorizer and the State Board of Education.
2. How are charter schools governed?
Charter schools are governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Academy’s Authorizer. Bylaws of the Board of Directors outline its role and responsibilities. Some charter schools employ an education service provider/management company to provide executive leadership and management services. Other charter schools choose to go it alone with the Board and Academy Director.
3. What are the benefits of sending my child to a charter school?
Children attending charter schools benefit from small class sizes, high academic standards, and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Charter schools are organized by a founding group that is passionate about the basic tenets of the curriculum. Enthusiasm for the school is contagious. Board members, staff members, parents, students, and community members are attracted to the charter school because their interests coincide with the charter school’s educational program and special themes. Charter schools have to be responsive to parents’ concerns because they operate in a free market. Parents literally make the choice to send their children to the magnet or theme school. Parents also typically transport their children to school, which means that parents have a stronger connection and more active communications with the faculty and staff.
4. Why should I send my child to a school managed by Choice Schools Associates?
The fundamental belief of Choice Schools Associates is that every child will be empowered with the academic knowledge and skills, work habits, and character traits to gain access to the American Dream. All children are capable of accelerated learning and achieving excellence in their academic endeavors and are prepared for active citizenship in their communities. Each state certified instructor that CSA employs receives intensive training on the links of differentiated instruction and the importance of holding oneself accountable for the academic success of all students. The goal of achieving and maintaining parental satisfaction requires each employee to take the education and safety of each child personally and continually seek parental input regarding academic needs and successes. Choice Schools Associates will not enter a management agreement unless the Academy Board will stand firm for safe, secure schools and will make the tough decisions to ensure that every child receives a first-class education free of disruption, threat, and fear. CSA also has to know that the Board-CSA relationship will be focused on student achievement, parent satisfaction, and safe, secure location for learning. Each CSA Academy is one of only a few schools or school districts in America that involves parents in the evaluation of teachers. Each spring, parents are asked to complete and return an anonymous survey on teacher performance during the school year. Results are important in the evaluation, to the identification of professional development topics, and to employment decisions. CSA’s teacher evaluation instrument was developed under the guidance of Dr. Don Ball, University of Virginia School of Education, and is the only teacher survey instrument known to meet reliability and validity standards of the research community.
5. How do I enroll my child in one of Choice’s schools?
Parents or legal guardians are invited to contact the school of choice to learn of their enrollment process and obtain an enrollment application. Students will be accepted and assigned to classes on a first come, first served basis. If a particular grade is full, students will participate in a lottery process at the end of the official enrollment period or will be placed on a waiting list in the order enrollment applications are received.
6. Who is eligible to enroll at the Academy?
Any student eligible to attend public schools in Michigan is eligible to enroll at the Academy. To enroll in kindergarten, your child must be at least five years of age on December 1st of the school year of enrollment. Choice Schools Associates does not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability. Charter schools are public schools and all children are encouraged to attend one of our Academies.
7. What materials are required for enrollment for the first time?
- Birth certificate: The child’s birth certificate is required for enrollment at all grades.
- Immunization or waiver form.
- Certificate of hearing and vision examination after age 3 and before entrance into Kindergarten.
- Religious exemptions may be honored upon completion of the proper state form 5. Immunizations-Transfer Students: All new students must satisfy the same immunization requirements. Parents must present proof that immunizations have been received.
- Record Release Form: A parent is required to sign a record release form at the time of registration.
- Emergency Care Information: An Emergency Care Information Card must be filled out completely and filed in the office for use in emergency situations. Please list emergency contacts in the event a parent is not available. Correct telephone numbers are essential. Parents/guardians are expected to update the card as changes occur.
8. How can parents get involved in our Montessori schools?
Parents are always welcomed in the school community. Each volunteer goes through a background check before volunteering in a classroom with students, they also go through volunteer training in which a Montessori video is shown. Parents are taught about the approach teacher’s use and are given ideas on how to engage children in order to create responsible children. Volunteers are given Montessori ground rules so they are able to understand the universal rules within a Montessori classroom. Parents can volunteer weekly, monthly, a few times per year, or whatever works best with their schedule. Parent volunteers can give spelling tests, practice math facts, do art projects, etc. If parents don’t want to be in the classroom there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in the office.
9. What kind of training do teachers participate in?
New teachers will attend a New Hire Orientation, be assigned a mentor within the school for the first three years, and have the ability to select meaningful professional development seminars offered in the area to enrich their personal instructional toolbox. All teachers attend a two-week training session prior to the start of the year. This extensive professional development provides valuable time to collaborate with colleagues, learn specific skills to become a highly effective teacher, work to develop the individualized culture of the school, and become familiar with the policies, procedures, and process required for the consistent and smooth operation of the Academy.
10. What does CSA’s character education program include?
CSA schools believe that education involves more than academics. Our character education program seeks to teach students the importance of good choices and to nurture positive character traits. Each month, classes focus on a specific trait: respect, responsibility, cooperation, compassion, integrity, good judgment, perseverance, courage, and citizenship. Studying individuals who have exemplified these traits throughout history and exploring these qualities during the school day through literature, music, and group activities. Character education involves every student, staff member and parent, and also includes student-run assemblies and family events at school. Our program has proven successful in creating a positive school culture in which students are given the tools and language to solve problems peacefully and accept each other’s differences.
11. What makes a CSA managed school different from schools managed by other management companies?
We begin our decision-making process by answering the question: “What’s the impact on the student?” We are passionate about transforming lives of our students and being a contributor to their lifelong success. CSA will be known as the organization that gives every student access to achieving the American Dream.
12. What does “full service” mean?
The Choice organization provides all of the resources to our schools to ensure a successful, efficient and meaningful operation. From Marketing to Finance to Teacher Development, our staff of highly skilled, talented and resourceful individuals are available to assist with any issues that our schools may face.