Editor's Note: The following announcement was sent by the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill. If you would like to post your news to Patch, click here.
In the wake of Assumption’s School closing, Father John Higgins has announced that he will explore the possibility of using the school building as a home for a new public charter school. A Founding Board has been organized and has filed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the New York State Education Department—one of two charter school authorizers in New York State.
As public schools, charter schools are free and open to all students, including those with disabilities.
Charter schools are non-selective; they enroll students through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery. Each charter school is governed by a volunteer board of trustees, which typically includes educators, community members, and leaders from the private sector.
Charter schools were established to provide families with educational choice and educators with the flexibility to create schools that best meet the needs of their students. Charters have freedom to establish their own policies, design their own educational program, and manage their human and financial resources. In exchange, they are held accountable for raising achievement and helping their students meet state learning standards. There are currently 244 charter schools authorized in New York State.
Said Higgins:“Assumption School has provided Peekskill families with an educational option for over 100 years. With its closing, there will be a real void. One of the ways to fill that void is to establish a public charter school at no cost to families. Of course, it would be open to any Peekskill child. I would welcome the building being used as it has been used for all these years—to educate generations of Peekskill’s children.”
If the authorizers accept the Founding Board’s application, the charter school will open its doors in September 2014 and will begin serving children from Kindergarten through third grade with a plan to add one grade a year up until 8th grade. It will stress high academic standards and, though Higgins makes it clear that it will not be a Catholic school, it will be guided by a values-infused curriculum with a goal of forming students who can reflect on their choices and actions and establish a community of mutual respect, interdependence, perseverance and integrity.
The Board will hold town meetings at various locations throughout Peekskill to educate the community and gather feedback. Community members may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.