Charter school optimism

(Appearing in the Daily News, Letters to the Editor, 9/29/06)
As readers of the Daily News will know, a local group of parents and educators have been working on the plans for the Palouse Prairie School, a new public charter school in Moscow. It is based on the Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, a learning model that emphasizes love of learning and the importance of service to the community; there are some 150 ELOB schools around the country, including two highly successful ones in Boise and Pocatello. Now, at a milestone, we want to provide everyone with an update, and to thank the community for the strong support the proposed school has received.

As part of the process of starting a public school, a school charter that meets all the requirements of Idaho law has to be written. It is quite a tome, and a critically important one, as it will steer the school in years to come. While assembling the charter, we have strived to work with the community as much as possible, first through a public presentation in May, then through presence at the Farmers Market, and most recently at a public hearing organized by the Moscow School District. We have been greatly heartened by the amazing support for the school from the community, especially so at the public hearing. As a result of that meeting and many helpful suggestions from Moscow School District Superintendent Candis Donicht, her staff and the Moscow School Board, we now have a completed charter in hand, ready for submission to the Idaho Charter Commission. We expect to receive word from the commission in November about the fate of our application. We are optimistic the school can open in fall 2007.

If you would like to receive updates on the progress of the school plans, please send an e-mail to info@palouseprairieschool.org.

Olle Pellmyr, Palouse Prairie School, Educational Organization, Moscow

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