Gilroy charter proposal: A fresh opportunity for learning

America’s future walks through the doors of our schools every
day. ~ Mary Jean Le Tendre
America’s future walks through the doors of our schools every day.

~ Mary Jean Le Tendre

That’s the quote below rotating pictures of Gilroy students on the opening page of the Gilroy Unified School District website.

It’s also the reason that the Board of Trustees should look favorably on the comprehensive proposal which will come before them at the end of the month for a new, independent charter school, the Gilroy Prepatory Academy.

Gilroy Prep would open in the fall of next year with a strong focus on academic achievement based on the best practices – both instructional and technological – which have a demonstrated track record of success.

GUSD teachers Sharon Waller and Karen Humber are the engines behind this homegrown proposal. They both passionately believe that accelerating the innovative developments taking place in education can give Gilroy students a significant learning boost right now.

They have spent countless hours carefully crafting and revising the charter and have held a number of public meetings to discuss the plan and the needs of the community.

That effort and the educational experience of the two primary founders should be duly rewarded with the opportunity to improve opportunities in Gilroy.

Gilroy Prep – though it does not have an identified physical home yet – does have a solid foundation, and there’s clear support from the community as evidenced by the number of signatures gathered. Perhaps that’s predictable: Everyone wants the best education for their children. The charter will present trustees with two school-opening options – a kindergarten through second grade school and a K-2 plus a 6th grade.

The latter is a flexible offer to assist the district with the current middle school conundrum. Two middle schools, South Valley and Brownell, are under federal Program Improvement status having not met academic growth standards for a number of years. That gives parents the option to move their student to Solorsano Middle School. And they’ve been doing just that, flooding Solorsano with new students and leaving empty classrooms at Brownell and South Valley.

A Gilroy Prep 6th grade would give the district a new, viable option.

Either way, it’s an exciting proposal that defines a Gilroy grassroots effort. The charter calls for after-school programs, merit pay for teachers based on student success and proven technology to assist the learning process.

GUSD Trustees are a savvy group who are likely to support such a concerted effort by people who have done their homework. That full support would be welcome news indeed for Gilroy.

Leave your comments