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Charter schools: NOCA to host informational meeting



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November 13, 2013 - Parents interested in learning more about a proposed local charter school are encouraged to attend an informational meeting from 7-9 p.m., Nov. 20 at the Ortonville Montessori, 258 S. Ortonville Road.

The American Charter Educational Services (ACES) is nearing completion of an application to Central Michigan University on behalf of North Oakland Charter Academy (NOCA).

Earlier this year a local founders board was established comprised of parents to form NOCA. A location for the proposed school is yet to be determined; however, several possibilities are under consideration which will be funded through a series of grants. To coordinate the process ACES, comprised of a team of individuals providing support services for charter schools and which works with management teams, school boards and prospective founders, was retained.

Lorilyn Coggins, president of ACES, along with NOCA founders, will attend the informational meeting and has been working to help establish NOCA in the Ortonville community.

"We'll discuss just what a charter school is," said Coggins. "Understand charter schools are public schools. Teachers are certified like public schools, it's all the same. However, the accountablity is more strenuous (than public schools)."

Coggins added there are a lot of myths out there.

"One big myth is that charter schools are for profit—they are not. Again, just like the traditional school. We welcome parents to find out what the school will look like— what kinds of extracurricular activities, what the school year will be, what the (school) day would look like."

"It's a matter of choice," she said. "One size does not fit all. Just because a family lives within the school district lines, the public school is not necessarily the right place for that student. Smaller class sizes, focus on different aspects of education what ever the reason—parents should decide. There are students falling through the cracks in public schools—they will have options at the charter school that can be structured to meet their needs. It's a win-win situation."

According to the National Charter School Study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University—overall, charter school students are faring better than they were four years ago, surpassing those in traditional public schools in reading gains and keeping pace in math.

The Brandon project was introduced to Corey Northrop, director of New School Development and Administration at The Center for Charter Schools at Central Michigan University.

"He provided some suggestions as to how to proceed, which includes the assurance of demand for a charter school," said Coggins. "Ultimately, when the door opens in the fall of 2014, their target date, there's enrollment to support the school. The second concern will be the first year budget."

NOCA is planning two classrooms per grade, with 18-20 kids per class with a total of about 240 students. The charter school would receive a state foundation allowance of approximately $7,000 per-pupil.

For more information on NOCA, contact Todd Heimler at 248-933-4868 or Jeff Maxson, 810-240-2431.

Email:northoaklandcharteracademy@

gmail.com

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