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Hart Board To Consider Charter; School Would Teach Chinese

BY LEON WORDEN/ SCVNEWS.COM

The Hart School Board will consider an application Wednesday from a proposed charter school that wants to teach computer skills and Mandarin Chinese to seventh and eighth graders.

In its application, Apollo Charter School describes itself as a “college preparatory charter school” whose mission is to “ensure that all students gain the cognitive skills, digital literacy, and global awareness they need to succeed in high school and college, and to become productive citizens in the 21st century world.”

It says it uses a “blended learning educational model,” by which it means it “combines the effectiveness and socialization opportunities of the classroom with the technologically enhanced active learning possibilities of the online environment.”

The applicant is Johnny R. Jin, development director for a “charter school management organization” in Indiana that has the stated goal of opening 10 charter schools beginning in 2013.

His application says Apollo Charter – which draws its name from both the Greco-Roman god and the U.S. space program – would be “a school of choice for families within the William S. Hart Union High School District catchment area.” It notes that the Hart District’s API score of 838 “places it as a leader among its peers throughout California” but says the district missed API targets for “students with disabilities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, English learners” and certain minority populations.

“Apollo will serve those students within the district who may benefit from an alternative education,” the application states.

Students would attend class daily for eight hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., split into 12 periods that fall into one of the following categories: classroom instruction with academic teachers, computer-based learning, small group inquiry-based learning, individual work time, music and Mandarin Chinese.

School districts are required by state law to hold a public hearing when charter school applications are received. Following Wednesday’s public hearing, the school board will have 60 days to give an answer.

Read Apollo Charter’s full application [here].