Board Meeting Update, 11/26/12

Thank you to those who were in attendance of last night’s board meeting. For those of you who were unable to attend, please see below the summarized meeting minutes regarding the expansion.

The search for a sponsor has produced some possibilities and a December 6 special board meeting has been scheduled to discuss the potential authorizer. The financial report was distributed and reviewed as well as the educational section of the RA3 charter.

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Letter to all families: currently enrolled & on the waiting list

November 14, 2012

To All Families on Rocklin Academy Waiting List (K-6)/Western Sierra Waiting List (6-7) & All Current Rocklin Academy Families

Last month you received a letter indicating that I would be speaking to the Rocklin Academy Board of Directors on October 22, 2012 regarding a proposal that would allow us to potentially serve more students in this community.

As some of you may know, the Rocklin Academy Board of Directors met and voted unanimously to allow administration to explore the possibility of opening a new Rocklin Academy K-8 school, which would include transitional kindergarten (TK)*.   This process is complex and involves finding a sponsoring district, writing a new charter, and finding a suitable facility/location.

For planning purposes, we need to determine the number of students interested in attending a new TK-8 school so that administration can move forward to secure a suitable facility/location.  If you would be interested in having your child/children attend a new Rocklin Academy TK-8 charter school, or if you have friends who might be interested, please complete the Intent to Enroll form and submit it no later than November 30, 2012.  The information provided on this form will help us keep you informed as we continue with this process.

By submitting the Intent to Enroll form, you are indicating that you are interested in having your child/children attend a new Rocklin Academy TK-8 charter school.   You also understand that the form expresses interest only and is not an application for enrollment or guarantee of placement.  At the appropriate time, we will have an open enrollment period when we will accept applications.

Sincerely,

Phil Spears
Superintendent/Executive Director

*Transitional Kindergarten eligibility dates are for children who turn 5 years of age between October 2-December 2, 2013.

Know Your Organization: Q & A’s

Know Your Organization

November 5, 2012

What you may have heard. What you need to know.
A new charter school does not have any added value at this time. 
  • Currently there are 765 students on the waiting list for enrollment at Rocklin Academy, and 98 students on the waiting list at Western Sierra for grades 6-8.
  • Many more families have expressed interest, but did not apply due to the size of the waiting list.
  • Many families desire to have their children experience the educational program our schools offer.
  • Outstanding teachers and support staff
  • Core Knowledge Curriculum
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Highest Academic Performance Index (API) scores in region
  • Powerful Parent School Partnership
  • Mastery Learning Philosophy
    • Growth improves the financial strength of organization.
    • Economies of scale are greatly improved as our organization grows in a thoughtful way.
    • Our analysis confirms that the new school will not be a financial drain on our existing schools. In fact the new school will be a positive revenue generator or we won’t embark on this proposal.

 

The new charter school will be located in the Rocklin Unified School District boundaries. 
  • There has not been a decision as to where a new charter school will be located.
  • The first job is to find a school district within Placer County to sponsor our new school.
  • The facility we are looking for needs to be of sufficient size, in a school friendly location, be cost efficient, and provide all the amenities that the school will require.
  • The availability of commercial sites is very favorable at this time. All indicators tell us we should be able to secure a desirable location at a favorable price.

 

Transitional Kindergarten will be available at Meyers or Turnstone campuses next year. 
  • The existing Rocklin Academy housing agreement limits enrollment at both the Meyers and Turnstone campuses.
  • The enrollment limits make it impossible to add transitional kindergarten at either campus.
  • It is not clear that charter schools are required to offer a transitional kindergarten program at this time.
  •  A new charter school would make it possible to offer transitional kindergarten if there is an interest and the executive board authorizes the program.

 

A child that is on the current waiting list for Rocklin Academy Turnstone and Meyers will have preference for enrollment when the new charter school opens.  
  • Prospective families must apply separately to the new charter school, and no enrollment preference will be given to those currently on a waiting list for Rocklin Academy Turnstone or Meyers.
  • A new charter school, by state law, must conduct lotteries for each grade level it receives more applicants than it has spots available.  The lottery will establish ranking and create the waiting list for the new charter school.
  • A student who is currently enrolled at one elementary campus, who wishes to attend a different elementary campus within the organization, must apply to that campus, and will be treated as a new applicant without any enrollment preference.  Eligibility for enrollment will be offered based on the waiting list for that location and grade level.
  • Students that do have a preference for enrollment at the new charter school include:
    • Dependents of RAFOS full-time teachers and classified staff
    • Dependents of Rocklin Academy Board of Directors members
    • Dependents of Board-approved expert advisors
    • Siblings of enrolled students at the new charter school or Western Sierra.
    • Students that reside in the attendance area of the sponsoring school district