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New ‘Wyoming Classical Academy’ public charter school proposed to serve Casper and Mills

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CASPER, Wyo. — City of Mills Community Development Director Sabrina Kemper on Monday shared information about an u-coming open house for a proposed charter school that would aim to serve students from Mills and Casper.

The proposed “Wyoming Classical Academy” would be launched under the Barney Charter School Initiative, an outreach program of Hillsdale College that works to help establish new K-12 charter schools.

“Hillsdale College provides assistance to a network of member schools that serve a wide variety of local communities,” Hillsdale says of the Barney Charter School Initiative. “Each has its unique challenges and opportunities, but the network is bound together by a common understanding of American classical education and shared program features.”

The initiative aims to support charter schools that provide “classical education” for K-12 students. Hillsdale says that classical education “emphasizes the centrality of the Western tradition in the study of history, literature, philosophy, and the fine arts” and “features a rich and recurring examination of the American literary, moral, philosophical, political, and historical traditions to equip students for citizenship.”

“Its curriculum is balanced and strong across the four core disciplines of math, science, literature, and history, with explicit phonics instruction leading to reading fluency and explicit grammar instruction leading to language mastery,” Hillsdale adds. “Well-educated and articulate teachers are central to the classroom, in contrast to conventional ‘student-centered learning’ models.”

“The school culture demands moral virtue, decorum, respect, discipline, and studiousness among the students and faculty — and simultaneously produces a spirit of wonder and a desire to know that which is good, true, and beautiful. In short, classical education offers K-12 students the sort of rigorous education that undergraduate students receive at Hillsdale College. Each of the Member Schools serves students from Kindergarten through 12th grade or has a plan to serve all grades as it grows and matures.”

The open house for the proposed “Wyoming Classical Academy” will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 7 at the Mills Senior Center, located at 401 Wasatch Ave. in Mills.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools states that charter schools are public schools that are “independently operated” and “have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs.”

“All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer — usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university — that holds them accountable to the high standards outlined in their ‘charter,'” the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools adds. “It is common to see charter schools led by former teachers who wanted to take the lessons they learned in the classroom and apply those lessons to an entire school.”

The Wyoming Department of Education provides information on the laws and rules that govern charter schools in Wyoming.


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