The State Board of Education has approved an application to open a STEM-based charter school in Windham, according to the Derry News:
Windham Academy Public Charter School is still in the early planning stages, according to Sean Donahue of the Foundation for Student Achievement, the group that brought the plan to the state board twice before it was approved.
“We’ve had a lot of input from parents, and a lot of people are requesting an alternate education to what’s available in town,” Donahue explained. “What we’re planning to do is create a school that has a lot of parent involvement and that introduces children to STEM early.”
According to Donahue, a board of trustees is slated to be established within three months. That group will be tasked with making major decisions while the Foundation for Student Achievement steps away from logistical planning.
The board of trustees will work closely with parents.
“We want parents to have a say in how the school is governed,” Donahue said. “We’re hoping we can put together different committees, like a curriculum committee and a teacher selection committee.”
Enrollment at Windham Academy will be capped at 300 students from anywhere in the state, he said. Windham students will have preference and any additional spaces will be filled though a blind lottery.
“We plan on opening it to K-4 the first year,” he said. “And adding on grades 5 through 8 in the years that follow.”
Donahue, who works full-time for a medical device company, said he’s involved with Windham Academy because of the educational variety it can provide.
“I’m a big fan of educational choices,” he said. “We have fantastic public schools here in Windham, but they’re not necessarily the right fit for every student.”