What is a charter school?
Charter schools are independently-operated public schools. They receive public funding from the state and therefore do not charge tuition. They have to adhere to most of the same state and local rules and regulations, but have some exemptions in exchange for additional accountabilities. The model is designed for experimentation and innovation, of sorts. Some examples of ways in which charters try to improve academic achievement of students may be to offer longer school days or longer school hours, designing curriculum to meet students’ needs, creating a unique school culture that is college prep focused or science and technology focused, etc.
They are required to be overseen by a charter authorizer or sponsor and their own independent school board. Furthermore, they are held accountable by the school’s parents, who can choose another school if they are not satisfied. Charters must be non-sectarian and adhere to all state and federal educational, health and safety regulations.
Since Lindenwood is the sponsor of a charter school, does that mean that they actually run the school?
Lindenwood is cognizant of the autonomy that the charter school has been granted by its charter, and does not interfere with the normal day-to-day operations of the charter school unless non-compliance is evident.
The governing board of the charter school is responsible for complying with and carrying out the provisions of the charter, including compliance with applicable law and regulation and all reporting requirements. The board is responsible for maintaining governing board-adopted policies, meeting agendas and minutes, and compliant with Missouri Sunshine Laws. A liaison from Lindenwood attends charter school board meetings.
Can my child attend a charter school? Where are they located?
Under current Missouri law, charter public schools are only operational in Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas. They can only enroll students eligible for those metropolitan school districts, or those that qualify through the desegregation agreement.
How can I learn more about Gateway Science Academy Charter School of St. Louis?
Please visit the school’s website at www.gsastl.org