What is a charter school?

A charter school is a choice, a public school option offering a different approach than those found in traditional schools. Typically founded by like-minded parents, educators, and community members, a charter school with its staff of certified teachers must meet all the same academic standards as any school in the district, but is granted greater flexibility in its teaching and operational methods in exchange for greater performance accountability.

The “charter” is a contract that details the school’s mission, academic program, students the school aims to serve, performance goals, and assessment methods. In the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, charters must be approved by the school district, the school board, and the Alaska State Board of Education.

As with any public school, a charter school education is free. These alternative schools are funded according to enrollment levels, with public funds allotted on a per-student basis. Our school’s programs will be overseen by an Academic Policy Committee composed of educators, parents, and community members. This group will work alongside the principal to monitor student achievement and ensure that school programs are in line with the school’s mission. A nonprofit board, Partnership for a New Kind of School, will focus on fundraising and community connections.

“Charter schools have changed my family’s lifestyle. Far too often in today’s schools I see parents which are totally out of touch with their student’s education. They are out of touch with their teachers, the curriculum, and most importantly, their own child/family. Charters like this will force students and their families to become involved with their schools and each other. This is something that is not only needed in the Valley, but in all areas in the US.”

– Parent and MSBSD teacher