Seven new charter school applications submitted for approval

July 21, 2014

Last week seven groups of educators submitted their applications to open a new charter school in Washington. This is the second round of approvals under the voters’ charter school law, Initiative 1240, passed in 2012. The law allows up to eight charter schools to open per year, for a total of forty schools over five years.  If less than eight spots are filled one year, the unfilled spots can be filled a subsequent year.  

These applications show the strong demand for high-quality charter school options across Washington state, in Clark County, Spokane, South Seattle, Pierce county and Yakima Valley.  

The applicants to the state Charter School Commission include:

Sunnyside Charter Academy—a K-8th grade school in the Yakima Valley to offer an academically rigorous curriculum that uses computers to individualize the instruction of each student (blended learning), and engages parents by offering English classes, access to computers during non-school hours, and creating a welcoming, inclusive environment.

Green Dot Public Schools—a 6-12th grade school in South Seattle to offer students a rigorous college prep curriculum in a school culture of high expectations. Based on a highly successful model already serving over 10,000 students in Los Angeles.

The Village Academy—a 6--12th grade school in the Tacoma area which offers a variety of teaching methods, including auditory, visual, hands-on project-based activities, using blended learning technology, a visual kinesthetic curriculum designed to educate children with disabilities in an inclusive setting alongside their nondisabled peers.

Bilingual Charter Academy—preK-6th grade school in Vancouver, Clark County to offer a unique multicultural education in which all students will become bilingual and culturally competent with strong academic skills in mathematics, science, reading and writing. 

The applicants to Spokane Public Schools include: 

Spokane International Academy—a K-8th grade school in Spokane to offer the rigorous Cambridge curriculum, which has an global, international focus, teaches students a second language, and prepares them to successfully complete advanced placement courses in high school.

iLEAD Spokane Charter School—a K-8th grade school focusing on hands-on project-based learning, integrated curriculum.  

The MOOSE Project—K—3 grade school to offer a quality education using both the American Sign Language and the spoken word for those affected by hearing loss and for other children. MOOSE stands for the Magic of Oral and Signing Education.

The state Charter School Commission will host community forums the first three weeks of September, and approve or deny the four applications at its October 9, 2014 public meeting in Yakima. Spokane Public Schools will host a community forum September 10, and approve or deny its three charter school applications by September 24th.

Washington's first charter school will open this fall in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, First Place Scholars Charter School. To find out more about this charter school and the other seven charter schools approved in the first round of applications, see our new study: Opening New Doors for Students. 

This report is part of WPC’s Initiative 1240 Follow-up Project