News Release: School Leader Hosts Community Forums in South King County to Discuss Charter Schools

WA Charters fellow Maggie O’Sullivan will lead meetings in South King County to discuss community needs and answer questions about public charter schools

For Immediate Release

SEATTLE – A series of public forums will take place in South King County to engage communities and families in the process to open high-performing public charter schools. Maggie O’Sullivan, a long-time public school educator and senior fellow with the Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters), will lead four community forums in Seattle, Tukwila, and Burien to discuss community needs and answer questions about charter schools. She has previously led a community forum in the SeaTac area.

O’Sullivan will host community forums at the following times. Please note that the first and last events are not open to the broader public

Thursday, Oct. 17, 11:00 a.m.
Greenbridge Community
For Greenbridge Service Providers only

Saturday, Oct. 26, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Tukwila Foster Library – Room 1
4060 S. 144th Street, Tukwila, WA 98168
Open to the public

Saturday, Nov. 2, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Burien Library, Multipurpose Room
400 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA 98166
Open to the public

Thursday, Nov. 14, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Greenbridge Community
For Greenbridge residents only

The forums are taking place in October and November as O’Sullivan works to put together an application to open a charter school before the deadline on Nov. 22. Applications from O’Sullivan and other hopeful charter school operators must be submitted to the Washington State Charter School Commission or to Spokane Public Schools, the first district approved to be a charter school authorizer. Those interested in submitting an application must send in a letter of intent by Oct. 22 to be considered. Charter schools in Washington state must be operated by a nonprofit organization.

“I am interested in sharing information about public charter schools and the mission for the school I hope to open. I also will be listening to community input on needs and ideas for the future of education,” said O’Sullivan, who is interested in opening a middle school that engages all students in deeper learning through a college-prep curriculum.

O’Sullivan has worked in public education for more than 18 years. Prior to being named a WA Charters fellow, she was principal at Mirror Lake Elementary School in Federal Way. O’Sullivan began teaching at Foster High School in Tukwila, where she taught for six years before becoming a principal. She completed the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington and holds two master’s degrees: one in education from Stanford University and another in liberal arts from Wesleyan University.

As a senior fellow with WA Charters, O’Sullivan has received coaching on writing a charter school application and recruiting strong board members. She also participated in learning trips to observe high-performing charter schools in action.

Charter schools are independent public schools that are allowed to be more innovative and are held accountable for improved student achievement. In November 2012, voters and parents came together to approve the Washington Charter School Initiative, allowing for up to 40 charter schools in the state over a five-year period.

About WA Charters

The Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters) is a statewide nonprofit organization that supports the startup of high-quality public charter schools, with a focus on serving at-risk populations and students who do not currently have access to high-performing schools. WA Charters focuses on three key areas of support: providing information about charter schools to the public at large; supporting new leaders to establish high-performing public charter schools; and building community support for public charter schools across Washington. To learn more about public charter schools in Washington, please visit http://www.wacharters.org/get-the-facts/.

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