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State board meets with Heritage Community Charter School Board

State board meets with Heritage Community Charter School Board
Heritiage Charter Folo 4

BOISE - Heritage Community Charter School officials met with the Public Charter School Commission in Boise onWednesday.

At the meeting, they talked about the accreditation process for the high school. But that was only one of the items: there was a 17-page agenda laying out concerns from the state.

The Public Charter School Commission says there is a learning curve when opening a new school, but there are still a lot of issues with Heritage Community Charter School.

Well they let some things get away from them, there's not question about that, that they should have been on top of, said Public Charter School Commission Chairman Alan Reed.

The commission detailed three big concerns: violation of the charter, failure to meet parts of the charter, and violation of certain Idaho laws.

These are mentioned in the notice of deficit the commission gave Heritage on Thursday. Now, Heritage's school board will have to go to a later meeting and prove they are taking steps to fix those problems.

Reed says the number of problems is out of the ordinary.

This is unusual to have such a large list, he said.

One student isn't ready to write Heritage off. He says he wouldn't be this far without the faculty at Heritage.

Before they opened, I was just going to drop out because I was almost three years behind, said Kyle Beaston, who will be a senior this fall and plans to graduated spring of 2013.

Beaston says his education hasn't been affected by what's going on with the school's leadership.

The school board, again, denied our request for an interview.

We have a meeting, we're trying to meet right now we gotta do... and if you could send us some questions in writing. We'll respond as soon as we can, said board president, Richard Hammond.

KTVB emailed Hammond a request for an interview. He responded with the same statement he sent us yesterday

The preliminary ISAT test results for Spring 2012 of 88.2% proficiency in reading and 77% in math reflect that HCCS has phenomenal teachers, quality leaders and the best students and parents. The large waiting list also reflects that the community is supporting HCCS as a valuable alternative to the traditional public school in Canyon County.

As with all charter schools, accreditation is a process; however, the process for HCCS to receive accreditation may take longer than planned. We are taking every step to ensure that the school receives its permanent accreditation as soon as possible and expect this to take place in the upcoming year. HCCS also reported that it is operating within the expected budged due to the receipt of the funds this month.

We are excited to announce that Javier Castaneda will be joining HCCS as the new Executive Director for the upcoming year to provide additional leadership and help fulfill the charter. Mr. Castaneda is bilingual with six years of experience as a principal and is coming from a bilingual school. Mr. Castaneda will commence work in July to help with the preparations for the next school year.

HCCS also hired Archie Buck, who has ten years of classical experience as the director of a private classical school. Mr. Buck will be a teacher, the teacher development instructor, and will help with the curriculum. He has a Master of Education with an emphasis in administration and supervision. He is working on obtaining his Idaho administrative credentials to assist in the leadership. Mr. Buck started earlier in May and has been a valuable asset for the school.

The first year has been a positive learning experience where parents, teachers, and leaders have donated time, experience, money and assets to ensure that education expected for our children is available. As a parent with three sons at the school and one daughter to start next year, I am proud of the education that is offered and am excited for the future.

There were no seniors at Heritage Community Charter School for the 2011-2012 year, and the first senior class is set to graduate in the spring of 2013.

Public Charter School Commission President Alan Reed says this does not reflect charter schools in Idaho, and that there are some great ones and others that struggle.