Changes In Store For Charter School

Children receiving charter instruction in Nacogdoches are the last students enrolled in the NISD-SFA Charter School. Those who return next fall will most likely be in the first class of the new university charter school.   Next week the State Board of Education will consider its approval.

Charter school director, Lysa Hagen said,  " We would really like to move into the area of research." reorganization will provide access to funding for the only charter school in Texas directly linked with a research laboratory.   Hagen explained, " Through being a state charter we will have research opportunities, grants, foundations, so money that could come into help us to be able to implement some new things."

Ground has been broken for a $28-million early childhood research and development center. It will house the charter school, the Early Childhood Lab and the Department of Elementary Education. All three will provide transitional education for students and future teachers. Early Childhood Lab director, Lori Harkness said,  " We are able to bring them in the classroom from their earliest classes, so they have lots of hands on experience through out their entire program."

The reorganization is creating anxiety for some parents, current students have the option of automatic enrollment, but infants and toddlers in the Early Childhood Lab will lose what's always been considered an almost guaranteed admission into the charter school. A lottery system will be introduced. Hagen said,  " All of the names go into almost, like a hat, and you pull them out."

A new building, scheduled to be complete in 2009, will allow space for two classrooms for at least three grades. The goal is to continue exemplary-rated education to as many children as possible.