If you have been reading our blogs, you might have an idea of what a charter school is. A charter school is a public school authorized by the local District, County, or State Board of Education. Because of this, charter schools offer greater flexibility than traditional schools. They are typically created by parents, teachers, or community members with a vision for a different educational experience. In this sense, they are not bound by state guidelines and can experiment with new ways of teaching and learning as long as they meet certain state and federal requirements. The idea behind charter schools is to create an alternative learning environment that gives students a choice about what they want out of their education.
Charter schools come in all shapes and sizes—from large urban organizations to small independent schools—but the main idea is to give students more freedom over their learning experiences.
Examples of Charter Schools
Charter schools are a great way to give your kids an educational experience that’s tailored to their interests and abilities. They can be a great fit for students who struggle in traditional schools or for gifted students who want to focus on something specific. In the United States, there are many types of charter schools that offer students opportunities to learn about different subjects.
When it comes to charter schools, there are a lot of options out there. But which ones are right for your child? And how can you know if they are worth it?
Here are some examples of charter schools that might be a good fit for your kid:
STEAM/STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics
In today’s world, there is a growing emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM/STEM) education. This means that students are learning about these subjects in more depth than ever before. Charter schools have taken this idea of education reform and applied it to their own curriculum by providing students with opportunities to learn about different fields of study. These programs also promote creativity by encouraging students to explore new ways of thinking about their work. In addition, they use technology in their classrooms and provide students with hands-on learning experiences.
In addition to encouraging creativity among students, these charter schools also promote teamwork by encouraging them to work on projects outside of class time. This learning environment is ideal for students who may need to improve at sitting still in one place for long periods of time or who struggle with reading assignments because they prefer hands-on activities over reading materials on paper.
PROJECT-BASED – Learning through Independent or Collaborative Projects
The concept of project-based learning has been around for a long time, but educators have only recently started using it in their classrooms.
Project-based learning is an approach to education in which students are encouraged to dive into the inquiry process and create products for an authentic audience. This approach can be used for traditional classroom learning or for real-world applications. Project-based schools are another example of charter schools that focus on project-based learning methods. This educational approach differs from STEAM/STEM schools because they do not always have an academic focus on technology or science. Instead, project-based schools emphasize hands-on learning experiences that encourage student teamwork and collaboration.
Projects can be anything from creating a website to building a robot or doing something else entirely new and innovative!
LANGUAGE IMMERSION – Immersion in a Foreign Language
Language immersion schools use immersion programs that teach children from all over the world by speaking only their native language in the classroom. Children learn English through spoken and written communication as well as through books and materials in their own language. Language immersion schools provide instruction in Spanish or French only rather than English. While other programs offer instruction in both languages, these programs specialize in one language only. These types of charter schools have been popping up across the country because they allow parents to obtain a better education for their children without having to send them outside their home state or country for schooling.
The benefits of learning an additional language are numerous: increased vocabulary; enhanced reading comprehension; enhanced ability to express thoughts orally and in writing; an understanding of culture, customs, and traditions; exposure to different lifestyles; improved communication skills; and more! It also helps kids develop social skills because people from different cultures can understand them.
PERSONALIZED LEARNING PROGRAMS – Traditional School with Enriched Programs
In personalized education, students live at home while they take classes online or independently. This approach aims not only to provide the best possible education but also to give parents the opportunity to be involved in their children’s lives by teaching them at home. Personalized learning programs often offer enrichment opportunities with other students either at a school, outdoor space, or an extracurricular center.
The benefits of this type of education include the following: students get their education close to home which can help them feel more connected with their community and family members; parents can teach their children how they want them to learn while they are still young enough that it does not seem like work.
MONTESSORI SCHOOL – Montessori Schools with Enriched Programs
If you are looking for a way to give your child a unique educational opportunity, Montessori education might be right for them.
Montessori schools are unique because they emphasize self-directed learning and creativity. Students work at their own pace and with materials of their own choosing. The Montessori method was first introduced in 1907, and the school still uses this approach today. In addition, Montessori schools are very unique because they are built around an individualized approach to teaching children. Each student is taught at their own pace with an emphasis on self-directed learning, creative exploration, hands-on projects, and independence from teachers.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE – Study Of The Natural Environment
If your child is interested in the environment, a charter school that teaches about environmental science might be a good fit for them.
Environmental science is a growing field concerned with the interactions between living organisms and their environment. It has many sub-disciplines, including animal behavior, plant ecology, geology, sustainable development, pollution prevention, conservation efforts, climate change, pollution, and sustainability. Students will learn about how these issues affect our world today and how we can make changes for the future so that our resources last longer and we do not make things worse for future generations!
Bridges Charter School Uses Project-Based Learning To Nurture The Whole Child
Bridges Charter School is a modern K–8 charter school in the Conejo Valley that focuses on the development of the whole child through project-based learning.
You will see the following in our classrooms:
We deliberately integrate social-emotional learning into our school community through a school-wide social-emotional curriculum, daily council, and conflict resolution. Our teachers have Ojai Foundation community circle and council training. Our behavior management emphasizes proactive methods that boost intrinsic motivation to learn and succeed. We use creative, effective ways to teach in the classroom. These include project-based assignments, hands-on activities, differentiation, and flexibility, all while meeting (and often going above and beyond) the Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Our K–8 school is purposely small, safe, and cheerful, with teachers and parents who promote whole-child education. We use parent volunteers in our classrooms as well as several methods to involve families. As part of an innovative curriculum that is set up for success, we put a lot of emphasis on sustainability and health awareness.
Charter schools are becoming more popular because they provide an alternative to traditional public schooling by providing more autonomy and flexibility in curriculum design, teaching methods, and other areas.
At Bridges Charter School, we believe that learning occurs best when children are presented with ample opportunities to engage with others, when they have room for self-expression, creativity, and mastery within the context of their learning; and when a nurturing educational environment is provided so that each student reaches his or her potential as a respected individual.
Bridges Charter School is a K-8 school, and the benefits this provides kids are many. We are one of only two K-8 schools in the area, which means we stand out from other schools.
Our school is proud to be ranked one of the Best Thousand Oaks Public Charter Schools (2022-23) by the Public School Review. The Public School Review has provided rigorous data analysis of USA public schools since 2003. In addition, we received a six-year WASC accreditation and a five-year charter renewal from VCOE; both are the maximum number of accredited years a school can receive in California.
What makes us stand out? Our commitment to excellence in all that we do—from our strong curriculum and engaging classroom environments to our impressive academic results!