New Charter School Accepted

By Anthony Saude

 

Chino – Allegiance STEAM Academy Thrive Charter School was voted into the district by the Chino Valley school board last week. There were some mixed emotions as evidenced by the board’s narrow 3-2 vote to accept Superintendent Wayne Joseph’s recommendation to approve the charter school. Allegiance STEAM Academy was only granted 2 years initially and was given a list of conditions that will need to be met by specific deadlines, the first of which is due sometime this week. The initial approval of two years will begin on July 1, 2018 and will run through to June 30, 2020.

It was reported that before the vote that Irene Hernandez-Blair spoke and said that it could “be risky to the taxpayers of Chino Valley”.  A district report shows that the school had insufficient cash flow and reserves and there are also concerns about the amount of training the teachers have received in specialized math, science and technology programs that the charter promised to have in their petition.           The new school will be located at the former Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter School campus  on C street in Chino. Originally it was the site where El Rancho Elementary was located; Oxford was closed down by the district last year. Allegiance STEAM Academy will have a dress code and tuition will not be required to attend the school.

Parent participation gave some of the board members confidence that the school would be successful but the conditional tasks will need to be met by their deadlines or they won’t move forward. New board president Pamela Feix says she doesn’t see any difference between what the charter is offering and the other schools in the district offer.

In recent years the school board has closed down 3 public schools. Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter School was also closed just last year. Maybe Allegiance will redeem the past sins of the school board of closing those schools and it could help the community heal some of those wounds.