Parents Asked For, Now Can Learn About, ‘Option Schools’

By Paige Browning

Spokane will have its first charter school, Pride Prep, in 2015. It’s a major talking point among teachers and parents, but charters are just the tip of the iceberg for options in Spokane Public Schools. The district wants all parents to know the options, and is hosting a public meeting Monday.
 
In January, Spokane Public Schools was named one of about two-dozen Portfolio Districts in the nation. This means the district is serious about giving families options, and seeking students’ talents.
 
Jeannette Vaughn is the district’s Director of Innovative Programs. She oversees options like the Montessori program, parent-participation learning,  and charter schools. And she wants parents to know what’s out there.
 
Vaughn: “In the past if you wanted to go to Apple or Montessori, then you had to know about it, you had to be able to go to a parent meeting, you had to be able to fill out forms in English, you had to be able to do all these different things, and we just know that not all families are able to do that.”
 
So, next fall, parents will get a single application to rank the options, if any, they want their child in.
 
Vaughn: “So its one stop shopping for families, where they could say ‘my first choice is Pride Prep, my second choice is the community school, my third choice is this’, whatever it might be.”
 
Details on this will come out next fall. But Vaughn is giving parents and students opportunity to ask questions now. A meeting about option schools takes place Monday, May 19th at 5:30 at North Central High School, and Monday June 9th at 5:30 at Sacajawea Middle School.
 
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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