The charter school movement has steadily gained ground in the city of Baton Rouge, as schools like BASIS, IDEA, GEO, and Helix are leading the way with their specialized curriculums that oftentimes focus on specific topics like college prep, law, and even aviation. This new age way of schooling has certainly caught the attention of parents as enrollment into these schools have increased, and children have benefited from these more challenging and focused curriculums. In contrast to a broader form of education that the traditional school settings offer, charter schools are able to hone in on specific topics and truly spark and feed the interests of students from a young age.
Sandra Douglass, founding principal at GEO Prep Academy, has worked in both the traditional and charter school setting, and she speaks very highly of the charter school system. Its autonomy and curriculum work in conjunction in order to provide children with every opportunity to grow and mature as students as well as people. There is not as much red tape to get through when implementing changes, so she feels that she is able to get things done quickly which benefits students tremendously. That is just one of the many things that has led to the rise of enrollment in charter schools.
WHAT CHARTER SCHOOLS OFFER
Something else that is truly unique about charter schools is their ability to really focus on and emphasize specific topics of interest. For example, Helix Community Charter Schools have three unique campuses that are able to all provide a great quality education in their own unique way. There is the Helix Aviation Academy, Legal Academy, and Mentorship STEAM Academy. At each school, there is a unique program in place in order to truly dial in and emphasize a specific area that students may particularly enjoy. This provides a unique learning experience that truly captures a student’s attention. Now, a young student with an interest in aviation can start to feed that interest at a younger age by attending the Helix Aviation Academy. There, they will not only learn the core skills that they would in a traditional setting, but they will also be taught useful information about the world of aviation that will be incorporated into the core curriculum.
Gone are the days where students viewed school as this very broad thing that didn’t always touch on things they found enjoyable, interesting, or even useful for the career path that they wanted to pursue. In addition to the programs that are offered by Helix, there are several other schools that also do an amazing and unique job at teaching their students in ways that go above and beyond.
GEO and BASIS charter schools have excellent college prep and immersion programs that do an excellent job of preparing their students who wish to continue their education after high school. At these schools, teachers aren’t just preparing their students to pass the next test. They are being prepared to succeed at the next level with some students even graduating with an associates degree in hand. Rosalind Thompson, head of school at BASIS Baton Rouge Mid City Campus, states, “BASIS Charter Schools started with a specific purpose: to raise the standards of student learning to the highest international levels. Our founding fathers saw when you raised the bar for students, they responded by meeting raised expectations, and exceeding them.”
WHY IS THIS BENEFICIAL?
Having options is always beneficial when it comes to school. In a world where everything is constantly evolving, it is vital that schools do the same. With the autonomy that charter schools possess, they are able to quickly incorporate these changes in order to benefit their students. With what charter schools are offering their students now, students can actually pursue their interests. When someone is actually interested in something, their effort and quality of work shows that.
Now, that little child who dreams of becoming a lawyer can attend Helix Legal Academy and develop a deep understanding of the complex legal system. They can better prepare themselves for college and even prepare themselves to pursue work in the field of aviation if that is what their hearts desire. To put it simply, schools like Helix and BASIS are making it their mission to teach students to love learning. This in turn sets them on a path to be problem solvers, creative thinkers, and professional leaders in the 21st century world. That is the magic of this new age of schooling that is charter schools. Students can pursue what their hearts desire, and when students are invested, you will find that their attitude towards school and the future are just that much more positive.