Charter school on the horizon?

Gilroy Prep math teacher Heather Parsons leads her class through a exercise during a recent visit to the shcool. Gilroy Prep wants to open a charter school here in Hollister, which uses different techniques and new technology to school its students.

Hollister area residents last week toured Gilroy Prep School and heard a presentation from staff officials who talked openly about plans to open a similar charter school in San Benito County.

On May 23, Gilroy Prep Principal James Dent led the tour of the 180-student campus at 277 IOOF Ave. near downtown and made a presentation afterward, taking questions from attendees. Dent indicated the school has plans to create a “network” of charter campuses on the Central Coast, including one in Hollister in 2013-14, ideally at R.O. Hardin School site.

Dent discussed Gilroy Prep’s model, based on other successful charter schools in the state, and the improved results at certain schools coinciding with the alternate teaching methods – largely focused on proper behavior, keeping students engaged and using technology in the classroom.

He said the charter school network would build its administration through current staff to ensure practices are consistent. He said teachers could “come from anywhere.”

“The more Hollister flavor we get, the better.”

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