Q: What is a charter school?
A: A charter school is a public school that receives authority to operate from a public entity, like a school district, state university, or a state board of education. Leadership Academy of Utah’s charter is sponsored by the Utah State Charter School Board.
Q: What is a virtual charter school?
A: A virtual charter is an entirely online school. With a virtual charter, there is usually not a brick-and-mortar campus where students attend class. Students participate from their own homes, or any location with an internet connection. Virtual charter schools usually have a headquarters office with a small number of staff, and teachers who work remotely.
Q: Do charter schools charge tuition?
A: No. Charter schools are public schools, and are funded by taxpayers the same way that traditional public schools are.
Q: How do I enroll my student in a Utah charter school?
A: Most charter schools have limited capacity and therefore cannot accept all students who wish to attend. Charters enroll students through a lottery process that complies with state laws and regulations. Parents complete an application for enrollment to enter their children into the enrollment lottery. To begin the application process click here.
Q: Do students have to live in a certain area to attend a charter school?
A: No. Charters are open to students anywhere in the state. Most charters do not provide transportation. Virtual charters are open to students anywhere in the state, and do not require students to travel to attend class, although students are sometimes required to travel to testing locations in neighboring cities for annual state testing.
Q: How are charter schools funded?
A: In Utah, charters receive approximately the same amount of taxpayer funding per student as local public schools.
Q: How are charter schools started?
A: A group of Utah residents can create a Committee to Form a charter school, and submit an application to the State Charter School Board. There are rules about the composition of the Committee to Form. It has to include parents, credentialed teachers, and experienced professionals in other fields.
Q: Are charter schools accredited?
A: In Utah charter schools are not required to be accredited. Some charters choose to become accredited as a means of certifying the quality of their program.
Q: Are the teachers certified?
A: Yes, the same licensing requirements that apply to teachers at traditional public schools apply to teachers at charters.
Q: Are uniforms required?
A: Some brick-and-mortar charters require uniforms. Virtual charters do not.
Q: Do all charter schools have a niche focus?
A: No. Some charters may have a niche focus, like performing arts, or serving at-risk students, but many charters make overall excellent academics their main focus. All charters in Utah must have a mission, and must strive to achieve it.
Q: How do charter schools benefit Utah residents?
A: Charter schools provide additional choices to parents and students. The traditional public education system is not right for every student. Charters give taxpayers the opportunity to exercise more choice in how their education tax dollars are used to further their children’s education.
Q: Who governs charter schools?
A: Each charter school has a Governing Board––a group of Utah residents who have a vested interest in the success of the school, and volunteer their time to steer the school toward accomplishing its mission.
Q: What happens if a charter is underperforming?
A: Charter schools (virtual and brick-and-mortar) are relatively autonomous––in many ways a charter is like a school district of just one school. This autonomy allows charter schools to adopt innovative approaches to education. As with traditional public schools, charters are held accountable for student performance. Students are required to participate in the same state tests as all other public school students in Utah, and test results are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the school. Teachers are required to be licensed, and the curriculum must be approved by the state Department of Education.
What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school that receives authority to operate from a public entity, like a school district, state university, or a state board of education. Leadership Academy of Utah’s charter is sponsored by the Utah State Public Charter School Authority.