Is a Charter School Right for Your High Schooler?



Charter schools are independently-operated educational institutions, though they are still funded by the public and usually don’t charge for tuition (aside from mandatory fees). That makes them more accessible than private schools but still retain independence from other regulations that restrict state-run public schools. In Salt Lake City alone, different charter high schools can be found that cater to different needs and individuals. These schools are not governed by any school district and can be enrolled in by application instead of by area assignment.

Whether you are a parent or a student, if you are considering enrollment to a charter school, here are some points you should take note of before making your decision:

  • Flexibility in Curriculum

Because the state-mandated curriculum does not limit them, charter schools often have more flexibility with their schedule and approach to lessons. Students often get a more individualized learning path that caters to their pace and can help them focus on tracks they want to pursue, whether it’s in the arts or sciences.

This same flexibility, however, demands a more instilled sense of discipline in students to hit core points in their academics and requires some independence to perfectly blend extracurricular learning with their classes. Whether that is a pro or con depends on the student’s habits, though there are usually counselors in-staff who can guide them through that process.

  • Admissions

With over 7,000 charter schools across the United States, there are indeed many options to pick from. That depends on the particular environment you’re looking for and the kind of learning you seek to attain. The benefit of charter schools is that they are open for application to all potential students and don’t have the same location-based restrictions as state-run public schools.

The flip side here is that they make lottery admissions, which means all admissions are technically based on chance since they pool all applications together and randomly select those who will receive the vacant spots for the school year. On the other hand, that also ensures that students chosen will not be selectively favored and discriminatory decisions can inherently be avoided.

  • Student Body

Charter schools take on fewer students and limit the size of their student body. The benefits of this include a more tight-knit community that can be good for each individual to flourish and feel more comfortable quickly. However, it can also lessen the diversity and chances for social building that can be afforded to a teenager.

This type of environment can be much healthier for students who flourish in smaller groups, have had less than positive experiences in public schools, and introverts. Though extroverts can also shine in this setting, a smaller student body can also mean fewer opportunities to explore major activities like sports and other facilities.

Figuring out the right fit for schooling is a big deal, especially for high schoolers who are going through adolescence and hitting a crucial stage in their development. With these considerations, you can make a more informed decision when picking the educational space that can set the path for college and more.

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