What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school that has been authorized, or "chartered,” to teach its students via its unique, proven educational program. Charter schools are public schools that are freed from many state and local regulations and rules but are still held accountable for improving student achievement. Charter schools also have more academic freedom and flexibility than a public school can get through magnet status or waivers. A charter school may not charge tuition and it may not discriminate. Charter schools are typically smaller than regular schools and they have specific academic targets and themes to achieve as a part of their contract with the chartering entity. The key components of a charter school include flexibility, no tuition, choice, public funding, and achievement goals that must be met.
What is the Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education?
The Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education (CAPE) was approved by the Oxnard Union High School District on June 20 and opened on Sept. 5 for the 2007-08 school year. CAPE is teaching students in grades K-8 with an educational philosophy that expands upon the “Open” philosophy that thrived in Camarillo for over 30 years, first at Bedford Open and then at Los Senderos Open.
What does CAPE mean for our children’s education?
It means they will get an enhanced “Open” — what we’re calling progressive — education. One of the key benefits to chartering is that the teachers are free from the bureaucratic mandates that are forced upon schools every year. Yes, charter schools must still achieve the state’s overall educational goals, but charter school teachers have the freedom to use educational programs that actually help their students excel, not the standardized, one-size-fits-all programs that don’t necessarily work.
Who may enroll at CAPE?
Families that are interested in enrolling a student or students during the current school year should contact the school directly to set up a meeting and tour of the campus. Currently, CAPE has a few openings but waiting lists for many grade levels. The enrollment period begins in early spring.
Are students enrolling at CAPE charged any kind of tuition or fees?
As stated above, charter schools are publicly funded and cannot charge tuition.
When will CAPE start the High School?
Although our charter is K-12 through OUHSD, the immediate plan is to get CAPE going K-8 as planned. OUHSD has the obvious expertise in developing, managing and maintaining high schools and, after our K-8 program is settled and off the ground, we will look forward to entering discussions about next steps for the high school.
How are we doing with money?
Now that CAPE is operational, many opportunities have opened to our school. For example, the state of California recently awarded CAPE a $450,000, two-year grant, one of only seven charter schools to receive this award. The money will be used to purchase classroom technologies that will make CAPE one of the most technologically advanced schools in Ventura County. Since we are an independent charter, we are able to utilize resources that we were previously unable to, such as donated equipment, corporate sponsorships, and other goods and services that could be very helpful.
Can tax deductable donations be made?
As a non-profit corporation, we are able to accept tax-deductible donations (checks can be made to "CAPE" and sent to 777 Aileen Street • Camarillo, CA 93010
Are there any fundraisers coming up?
Well yes, there are! Please check this website's Fundraising section for the latest information or watch for emails for more information.
Does CAPE have a Corporate Sponsorship program?
Yes, our Corporate Sponsorship program is a great way for CAPE to connect with our community. We are dedicated to featuring the individuals, businesses, and companies which support our school. Click here to learn more about becoming a Corporate Sponsor...
Five Common Misconceptions about Charter Schools
Charter schools are private schools.
Charter schools are public schools—all of them, everywhere. In 39 states and the District of Columbia, state law defines public schooling options to include charter schools. The configuration of these schools varies state to state, but the core idea is the same: Publicly funded, publicly accountable charter schools take on greater accountability for results in exchange for greater autonomy. They operate under a contract (or charter) that defines their program and academic objectives. If a charter school does not succeed, it can be shut down.
Charter schools can pick and choose their students.
Charter schools cannot select their students. State charter laws require that admissions be open and that, where there are more applicants than seats, a lottery is used for admitting students. State laws vary on whether certain categories of students – such as siblings of children already enrolled in the school, or local residents, or children of teachers at the school – can receive an admissions preference if a lottery is held.
Charter schools receive more money than traditional public schools.
On average, charter schools receive only about 75% of the funding that traditional district schools receive. This varies by state, but the deficit is usually related to the fact that most charter schools are not eligible for facilities funding, so they must stretch the funding they do receive.
Charter schools are schools that don’t have to follow the law.
Sometimes charter schools are referred to as “schools without rules,” but this is not at all the case. Federal law applies to all charter schools, just as it does to all other public schools. State laws apply as well, and each state’s charter law states what freedoms and obligations charter schools have there. Often charters are given more flexibility, but are required to get approval for any innovative practices and held accountable for following them.
Charter schools don’t educate children with disabilities.
Like all public schools, charter schools must admit students with disabilities and ensure that they receive appropriate services. State law varies considerably on how decision-making authority and funding for special education students in charter schools is allocated – in some places the district retains primary control over such matters and in others the school itself does. Some charter schools are focused specifically on meeting the needs of students with a particular disability, such as autism, learning disabilities or hearing impairments.
How do I find out more information about CAPE?
Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education
777 Aileen Street • Camarillo, CA 93010
805-384-1415 • Fax: 805-384-1473
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