ICSN is committed to helping parents make informed choices for their children's education. School choice is essential so that every child has a successful and meaningful academic career.
Learn what a charter school is. How to choose one and get your child enrolled. What questions to ask. What's a lottery? Are there charter schools in your community? How are charter schools doing?
What is a charter school? Is it private?
“Charter schools are innovative and independent public schools run by an entity other than its authorizer. These schools are produced by parents, organizations, or community groups to fill an educational need not otherwise offered by traditional schools.”—Karin Piper ( excerpt from CHARTER SCHOOLS: The Ultimate Handbook for Parents)
Charter schools are tuition free public schools.
Charter schools are free from many regulations which apply to non-charter public schools. Charters are designed to self govern. This gives charter schools the independence to explore different education tools and techniques.
How many charter schools are in Idaho?
There are 40 charter schools in the state of Idaho. The greatest concentration are in the Treasure Valley but there are charter schools in each region of the state. Four charter schools are virtual schools, instruction delivered or mediated by internet systems. Virtual schools are available to students throughout the state.
Karin Piper, author of Charter Schools: The Ultimate Handbook for Parents, is a parent and charter advocate in Colorado. She has this advice for parents:
"There is no magic bullet, and there is no “one-size-fits all” education. What works beautifully for one student is a disaster for another. Our traditional public schools are set up to offer education for the general masses. In some cases it works, other times not so much.
The reason a child is not learning to his or her full potential is not always the fault of poor national education of an inferior teacher. Sometimes a student just falls outside the peripheral lines of his or her learning environment. Whether your child is bored out of his gourd and needs more of a challenge, or falling behind the rest of the class, finding a solution is pertinent. Ignoring a child’s individual education needs can evolve into a future disaster.
So what is a parent to do for a child what fits this description? First, you (the parent) are your child’s advocate. Without your involvement and support little can be done to improve the situation. Second, you need to consult a professional who can advise about your child’s specific requirements. Your school district or state education department can provide you with contact information to such specialists in your area. "
From the introduction of Charter Schools: The Ultimate Handbook for Parents