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TUSD eCademy to become charter school

POSTED January 7, 2011 9:25 p.m.

Targeting non-traditional students has always been the goal of the Turlock Unified School District’s new eCademy school, but now the district is looking to bring in more students sooner by becoming a charter school.

“The original plan was to open eCademy without the charter school title and wait a year or two to make it a charter school, but we are doing it now,” said Lacrisha Ferriera, TUSD assistant superintendent for educational services. “Why wait?”

The TUSD Board of Trustees approved the decision at Tuesday’s meeting to act now on submitting a proposal to the state to make eCademy a charter school before it opens in August.

TUSD staff will put together a proposal to the state with eCademy’s overall plan, program and budget hoping for the state’s approval to make eCademy a charter school.

With eCademy potentially becoming a charter school sooner than expected, more students can attend the school through the online distance learning e2020 program. Students from contiguous counties will also be able to use the district’s online distance learning program.

The charter school title expands the opportunity for more students from all over the state, Ferriera said.

“There are people in the Turlock community that go to outside charter schools and we are trying to attract more students to stay here in Turlock,” she said.

The eCademy school will provide five different programs for non-traditional students with four of those programs starting up in 2011/2012. Those programs are the kindergarten through sixth grade home school program, the seventh grade through 12th grade independent study/home school program, the ninth grade through 12th grade online distance learning e2020 program and the ninth grade through 12th grade credit recovery e2020 program. The Explore ROP Child Development program will start up in the 2012/2013 school year.

TUSD will be seeking input from the community about the Turlock eCademy Charter School in two community forums. The first will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the district office for kindergarten through sixth grade students and families. The second one will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 in the district office for seventh graders through 12th grade students and families.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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