Charter Schools in the News: School Openings

As the hot summer days wind down, an annual milestone is ramping up: back to school season. Backpacks, pencil cases, and notebooks line the shelves of retail stores. Kids become anxious to get to know their new teacher, meet new friends, and as Kid President says, “get their learn on.”

This year is particularly meaningful for 1,100 students and their families, who will be walking through the doors of eight newly opened public charter schools in Washington state for the first time. Local TV, radio, and print outlets have been highlighting this milestone over the past few weeks. In case you’ve missed the coverage, we’ve highlighted some of the stories below.

The Associated Press published two pieces: one that answers questions about what makes charters different than traditional district public schools, what makes them the same, and how they compare to alternative schools already available in Washington state. The other piece briefly described each of the new public charter schools opening and what makes them unique.

KUOW and The Seattle Times explored the three public charter schools opening in the Greater Seattle area: Summit Public Schools: Sierra, Excel Public Charter School, and Rainier Prep. KUOW highlighted the community and family involvement that are critical elements for the three schools. The Times visited Summit: Sierra to watch some of their first day of school festivities, and the resulting story described the three Seattle-area schools and featured parents who enrolled their kids in these public charter schools.

Another piece in the Kent Reporter focused on Excel Public Charter School and its added value to the Kent community. The reporter attended the school’s ribbon cutting ceremony on August 15, and interviewed parents of Excel students, who explained what drew them to the school.

An article from the Tacoma Weekly explained school leader Kristina Bellamy’s vision for SOAR Academy, and how the school will positively affect Tacoma’s Hilltop community.

Lastly, KING5 and MyNorthwest.com explored the vision and mission of Summit: Sierra, and featured the strong voice of School Leader Malia Burns, as well as parents of Summit: Sierra students.

With Spokane’s two charter schools—PRIDE Prep and Spokane International Academy—opening in late August and early September, we expect more coverage to emerge east of the mountains. For now, join us and the families of more than 1,100 kids in celebrating a very special back to school season!

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