What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are publicly funded schools founded by a community, teacher or parent group. They are held to the same academic standards as other state schools, but have more freedom when it comes to hiring and learning models. Charter schools such as AmeriSchools Academy have free tuition. If your child is transitioning to a charter school from public or private school, here are five important things to know.

The Building Blocks of Charter Schools:

  1. Voice: Charters recognize the need for active participation. Students are encouraged to speak during discussions and offer answers when asked. Encourage your child to take notes, raise his or hand when appropriate, and listen actively during class.
  2. Community: Because school sizes are smaller and parental participation recommended or required, there is often a greater sense of community at charter schools. Family interaction is widespread and parent groups are tight-knit.
  3. Size: Many parents are attracted to the smaller class sizes offered at some Arizona charter schools such as AmeriSchools. 20 students (or less) is the ideal class size.

4. Culture: Charter schools often build their culture around a specific subset of education, such as arts, science or good citizenship. AmeriSchools Academy focuses on fostering cultural sensitivity, compassion and responsibility. 

5. Innovation: Because charter schools are autonomous, teaching methods can be outside the box. Some charter schools employ popular methods such as Montessori, while others formulate their own unique teaching styles tailored for different types of learners.