For Immediate Release | Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Contact: Maggie Meyers at (724) 263-9826
Fall Enrollment Open for Washington Charter Public Schools
SEATTLE, Wash. – On January 15th, the Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) unveiled the first of a series of billboards and posters promoting charter public school enrollment options in Tacoma. The campaign, slated to run for several months, seeks to educate parents about their public school options as the state’s charter schools continue to grow and thrive. The educational ads will also debut in Seattle later this month.
Posters will appear on twenty bus shelters across Tacoma, coupled with several outdoor billboards in the city. The first bus shelter ad is located at East 29th and Clayoo Street. Billboards will also be going up in Seattle, along Rainier Avenue, later this month. Community members can also expect to see a one-month run at the Rainier Beach Light Rail Station. The ads feature real charter public school students and teachers.
“We’re excited to promote the excellent charter public school options in Tacoma and Seattle,” said WA Charters CEO Tom Franta. “Charter public schools offer personalized, rigorous, tuition-free education for students and families. We want to make sure that parents know that their options are expanding. Public education is the foundation of our economy and our values – as both Washingtonians and Americans – and we are excited these high-quality, innovative options are a growing part of our public education system.”
Tacoma’s three operating charter schools – Green Dot Destiny, SOAR Academy and Summit Olympus – are enrolling students for the 2017-18 school year. Parents can enroll their children, and learn more about each school’s model and grade level offerings at: http://enrolltacoma.org. All three of the currently operating charters in the Seattle area – Summit Sierra, Rainier Prep and Excel Public Charter School – along with Spokane International Academy and PRIDE Prep in Eastern Washington, will also growing to serve more grade levels 2017-18. Additionally, three new charter public schools will be opening in Washington in Fall 2017: Green Dot’s second campus in South Seattle, Summit Atlas in West Seattle, and Willow Public School in Walla Walla.
About Washington’s Public Charter Schools
Charter schools are a type of public school, approved and overseen by a state or district authorizer. Like all public schools, they do not charge tuition, they are open to all students, and they are publicly funded. However, charter public schools are held more accountable for showing improved student achievement. In exchange for greater accountability, teachers and principals are given more flexibility to customize their teaching methods and curriculum to improve student learning.
Washington’s charter public schools are helping to close the education equity gap. A majority of charter public school students in Washington are students of color, as compared to 43 percent statewide, and a majority of charter public school students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, as compared to 45 percent statewide.
In some communities, traditional public schools are meeting the needs of local students. But in other communities – particularly communities of color that struggle with poverty – they are not. In Washington, African American, Latino and Native American students are scoring between 15-20 percent lower on state assessments. According to 2015-16 mid-year and end-of-year assessment results, students at Washington’s charter public schools are making impressive gains in reading and math.