Archive for Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Superintendent testifies about charter school

August 15, 2001

The Basehor-Linwood Virtual Charter School is now being recognized as one of the most successful programs of its kind in the state of Kansas.

The virtual charter school offers district students, home-school students or at-risk students a way to continue their studies outside the normal school setting, district officials said.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, Basehor-Linwood School District Superintendent Cal Cormack testified in front of a Kansas State Senate subcommittee concerning the progress of charter schools in the state.

Cormack was one of three school district superintendents that testified in front of the legislators last Tuesday. The subcommittee was interested in finding out more about the government of the charter schools and the procedures involved in the schools, he said.

"The intent of the legislature was to encourage school districts to increase the number of educational choices in their school district," Cormack said. "They wanted to know how districts can deliver educational opportunities in a different way."

In 1996, the Kansas legislature approved 15 charter schools across the state. In 2001, the state added 15 more schools to the list.

The Basehor-Linwood School District has offered a charter school since 1998 and Cormack said the success of the program has been evident.

It appears the Basehor-Linwood School Board also believes in the success of the program. In March, the School Board approved a resolution that would renew the charter of the school for three more years.

"What the charter school has meant to us as a school district is that it helps us to think outside the box a little and find new innovative ways to educate our students," Cormack said. "It helps us think of new things in the learning process and has been very beneficial in that regard."

Since the charter school is centered on the use of computers and the Internet, Cormack said it has helped the school district make strides in technology for the other schools in the district.

Enrollment numbers at the school have also been going up since the school's inception in 1998. Since the school began, district officials have seen enrollment numbers increase to nearly 300 students.

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