The Vernonia School Board will meet in a special meeting on April 21 at 6:30 PM to decide whether to sponsor a Charter School and submit an application to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
The Vernonia School District formed a Steering Committee earlier this spring made up of citizens, school staff, School Board members and parents to discuss the possibility of submitting an application to the state to become a Charter School. The Steering Committee held discussions, decided to move forward, and prepared the formal application which was reviewed by a School Board Subcommittee for completeness. Following two public hearings, the full School Board is currently evaluating the application on its merits and will make a final decision about submitting it to the State at the special meeting on April 21.
The proposed application would leave the Mist School separate from the charter. The charter would encompass the entire K-12 Vernonia School. The new Charter School would require the formation of a separate Board of Directors and require independent accounting processes.
Vernonia District Superintendent Aaron Miller elaborated on the Charter School application process during a recent conversation. Miller said the Steering Committee included several community partners and was what he deemed “a representative group” that included “a wide range of people from the community.”
According to Miller the Steering Committee identified several advantages to becoming a Charter School. Miller said one advantage was the ability to expand the Natural Resources curriculum that the District has already made a priority as well as expanding programs like engineering, math and art. “We feel like we’ve done a good job but the Charter School option comes with some extra funding that would provide resources and supplies we need to keep moving them forward and also provide professional development for teachers to implement new and innovative programs,” said Miller. Read More