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Charter fair is Tuesday

Submitted by on 1, January 14, 2011 – 12:01 amNo Comment

Alameda’s charter schools are hosting an Alameda Charter School Fair at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 18 in the multipurpose room at Nea Community Learning Center, 500 Pacific Avenue. The fair is free and open to the public.

Schools presenting at the fair include the Alameda Community Learning Center, which serves grades 6-12; the Nea Community Learning Center, which serves grades K-11; The Academy of Alameda Middle School, which serves grades 6-8; and the Bay Area School of Enterprise, which serves grades 9-12.

“Alameda parents have choices within the public schools. Next year Alameda’s charter schools will serve 1 out of every 8 Alameda residents,” said Paul Bentz, executive director of Community Learning Center Schools, Inc., which operates Nea and ACLC.

Bentz said the purpose of the fair is to allow parents to get information about all the Island’s charter schools in one convenient place, and to allow them to hear about the similarities and differences between the schools in order to determine where they might like to apply. Representatives from each of the schools will offer a 15-minute presentation following a brief overview on charters, with additional information and a tour to follow.

Bentz said the fair’s organizers are also seeking to dispel what he called “negative myths” about charters. He said he wants parents to know that charters are tuition-free, public schools that are publicly accountable for their performance. And he said charters aren’t just for “good students” who are easy to educate, and that they educate the same percentage of special education students as public schools.

Enrollment in the schools is conducted by random lottery if the number of applicants exceeds available spaces, he said.

“Come to our charter fair and learn about all of your choices and determine for yourself if one is right for your child,” Bentz said.

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