Spokane has approved Washington State’s first charter school after a unanimous vote by the city’s public school board.
Spokane Public Schools received applications earlier this year from three charter school organizations; PRIDE Prep, iLead and the Academy of Arts and Sciences. After submitting applications organizations went through interviews and public forums. In a vote January 22, the school board unanimously approved the PRIDE Prep school.
Brenda McDonald, a former middle school principal and inaugural member of Washington State Charter School Association’s Leadership Center Cohort, will oversee the new school. McDonald says she is honored to be associated with the first charter school authorized in Washington.
The PRIDE curriculum will center on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school hopes to achieve a 100 percent high school graduation and four-year university acceptance rate.
Charter schools are publicly funded, but independently run. Any student can elect to attend a charter school. If applications exceed capacity, selection will be done through a random lottery process.
PRIDE Prep will be a six through 12 grade school, but will open in the fall of 2015 with grades six and seven.