Catalyst: Bremerton to expand from K-8 to K-12, Summit Public School: Atlas earns three-year renewal of authorization by state regulator
Charter public schools are tuition-free, open to all, non-religious and non-profit public schools subject to the same state and national certification standards as traditional public schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2023
Contact: Maggie Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-263-9826
WASHINGTON — Today the Washington State Charter School Association applauded the Washington State Charter School Commission’s approval of Catalyst: Bremerton’s application to expand and Summit Public School: Atlas’s application to renew its charter for an additional three-year term.
The Washington State Charter School Association (WA Charters) is a non-profit organization that advocates for and supports a thriving, innovative charter public school sector comprised of quality, student-centered, community rooted schools. The Washington State Charter School Commission (Commission) is the state agency serving as the main regulatory authorizer of charter public schools in our state.
“We are thrilled that Catalyst: Bremerton will grow in its work to serve its local community and are pleased that Summit Public School: Atlas has earned the opportunity to continue serving scholars for an additional three-year renewal of its authorization,” said Natalie Hester, Co-President of External Affairs at WA Charters. “Charter public schools are an option for families seeking the best fit for their student. These successful applications provide another public school opportunity within a system that prioritizes accountability and works tirelessly to strengthen the talent and capabilities of all the students it serves.”
In approving staff recommendations for Catalyst: Bremerton’s expansion from K-8 to K-12and Summit Public School: Atlas’s three-year charter renewal, the Commission shared details on the review process, evaluation and determination regarding the schools’ respective applications. Catalyst Co-Founder Amanda Gardner stated, “It is an honor and privilege to serve the Bremerton community and we are grateful for the dozens of families who have testified and shown support for our school model. We look forward to serving the full K-12 continuum as part of our mission to support diverse scholars to live full lives and succeed in college, career, and life. This approval moves us closer to our ultimate vision for Catalyst – a school where scholars can build a strong understanding of themselves, envision the world in which they want to live, and develop the agency to access the future of their dreams.”
Summit Public School: Atlas Class of 2022-2023 graduating senior Najmi Iman wrote in a senior spotlight that he had been offered full scholarships at several colleges in Washington State before accepting a full scholarship to the University of Washington. He shared that “before I came to Summit, I didn’t feel like I had mentors or teachers that actually cared. But at Summit, every student and teacher are connected. You meet a student every week who has the same bond with their teachers. We get to confront weaknesses and build on our strengths, especially because we work with a lot of the same teachers during the four years at Summit. We all would work to lend each other a hand – we are all human, students and teachers alike.”
Additional senior spotlights after the 2022-2023 school year included:
- Denisha Shipps – Summit: Olympus, Tacoma
- Kaden Boren – Lumen High School, Spokane
- Marshawn Jones – Rainier Valley Leadership Academy, Seattle
- Winter Bee – Whatcom Intergenerational High School, Bellingham
A recent summary of data concerning student outcomes from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, an assessment released by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and administered annually to students in grades 3-8 and 10, found that students attending charter public schools are making significant strides in academic performance in our state. The review found that “between the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 academic years, charter public school students in Washington State have made significant strides in academic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Their proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) has increased by 6%, and in math by 15%. These gains are double the state’s average improvement of 3% in ELA and significantly exceed the state’s 9% improvement in math, bringing charter public school students closer to pre-COVID levels of achievement.”
Additional insights on student outcomes data may be reviewed online.
About the Washington State Charter School Association
The Washington State Charter School Association advocates for and supports a thriving, innovative charter public school sector that upholds quality via student-centered, community-rooted schools and aspires to disrupt a systemically racist and inequitable education system. As the non-profit advocacy organization in Washington representing our state’s tuition-free, open to all students, non-sectarian charter public schools, the Washington State Charter School Association was founded following the state ballot measure approving charter public schools in 2012.