Since the Supreme Court ruled the charter school law unconstitutional last Friday, parents across the state have reached out to us to voice their support for the children’s school and share their stories. Below is one story shared by parent Erica Fox.
By Erica Fox
My child, Mikayla, attends Spokane International Academy (SIA) and is in the 6th grade. We chose SIA for Mikayla because we could not afford to send all three of our kids to private school. Our local public school, just a block away from us, is not a good environment for our children. I heard about SIA via the internet and called the office. They had just held their lottery, but there were still a few 6th grade spots available. I attended the parent meeting and was so impressed with everything I heard about the school. I admired Travis Franklin, the school leader, for being so full of vision and creativity to think outside the box in terms of educating young minds. For Mikayla, SIA seemed like a perfect fit. She has always asked us to learn Spanish, is interested in the world beyond our backyard, and the thought of a laptop to use in class – she was sold!
So far, Mikayla loves her new school – friends, teachers, home made lunches, the global classroom emphasis, and learning a foreign language! What I am enjoying seeing the most is how she is taking responsibility for her learning and thinking for herself.
The school has been cultivating it’s culture since we enrolled and became a part. Over the summer, there were numerous opportunities for families to get together and get to know each other. I love that! I do feel like there is a culture of “family” budding from the roots of this innovative and wonderful school. While I still don’t know everybody, when I enter the doors of SIA or attend a meeting, I feel a solidarity with the other families, teachers and staff that we are all part of a whole and we are all in this together!
The learning environment at SIA seems very balanced to me. There are high expectations, but they are balanced with a care for my student and where she is at. The best part as a parent is that the students come home with very little homework (besides reading and occasional projects)! Family time is important to us, and I love getting to spend the rest of my evening with Mikayla, not worrying about a list of things we need to do for school.
The Supreme Court ruling, in my opinion, is trying to silence the voices of brave pioneers in education, such as Travis Franklin and other charter school leaders. Who knows but that the bold ideas in a few small but successful charter schools might be the impetus for big change in public education? We stand with Spokane International Academy, Travis Franklin and the Washington Charter Association, as well as all the voters who deserve to have their voices heard.