For Turlock Unified School District director of student services Gil Ogden, Fusion Charter is a dream come true. For the district administrator and others that attended the school’s open house on Thursday, the newly developed independent charter school is not only an opportunity to educate students, but to rebuild the Westside of Turlock.
“Our passion, my passion is working with the kids here and getting them to turn their lives around,” said Ogden. “We want these students to succeed and we want them to own their community and be proud.”
Fusion Charter principal Siobhan Hanna echoed Ogden’s sentiments with her hope that the new charter school will ensure the academic success of all students who walk through its doors.
“This has been a very exciting experience and I want to thank my staff and the students” said Hanna. “We’re going to make this school something to be really, really proud of.”
Formed from a partnership between the Turlock Unified School District and Aspiranet, the school is the perfect fit for students in grade seven through 12 who do not succeed in a traditional school environment. The school blends direct instruction from credentialed teachers with online learning to create a unique educational alternative for students.
Since its opening in September, the school has enrolled 140 students. Annually, the school is slated to serve approximately 250 students.
“I just want to be able to thank everyone who has made a commitment to make Fusion Charter a great school,” said Aspiranet CEO Vernon Brown. “Everyone here has a story as it relates to their educational process and where they are at in their lives.”
During the event, Hanna took the time to personally thank those who helped in the process of constructing the new school, one of which was Turlock Irrigation District spokesperson Calvin Curtin.
Curtin, who Fusion Charter had reached out to previously, had spearheaded the water district’s move to donate 39 computers to the new charter school.
“We really like their mission. They had a need so we were able to help them out,” said Curtin. “I hope these computers give them the tools they need in today’s environment to accomplish schoolwork and broaden their horizons.”
Although the computers were considered outdated for TID, Curtin knew that the machines would still prove useable for a school. He noted that the computers would be great for internet usage and writing papers.
During Thursday’s open house, the school also conducted its first official order of business with the selection of its new mascot. With 22 votes, students, parents, and the community voted to designate the school as the Fusion Charter Spartans.