The Virginia Board of Education conducted a first review of a Fairfax County charter school application. The review, which was discussed during a regular Board of Education meeting, looked at a recommendation by the Board of Education’s Charter School Committee, which met with the applicant over the winter to work on application requirements.
“The Charter School Committee as a whole was very excited to see this application. It was well thought through,” said Board of Education member K. Rob Krupicka of Alexandria, who was appointed in 2009. “Two months in a row we’ve been able to bring forward charter school applications that really show what charter schools in Virginia ought to be about.”
J.E.B. Stuart High School teacher Eric Welch is leading an effort to establish a small charter school in the Falls Church area to bolster achievement among at-risk students. The proposal brought before the Board of Education on Thursday outlines plans for a school serving 450 students at full capacity in grades seven through 12. The school, which would be called the Fairfax Leadership Academy, would offer courses on career building skills and college prep, in addition to the standard curriculum, said Welch, who would serve as the school’s executive director and chair its board of directors.
Plans also call for longer school days — eight hours compared to seven in regular high schools — and a year-round academic calendar, raising the number of in-class days from 183 to 206. The planned opening date for the charter school is Aug. 12, 2013.
The Board of Education’s Charter School Committee said the application aligned with the board’s goals of expanding opportunities to learn and creating a sound policy for student success.