by Evan Smith ’11
After recent changes in state guidelines for charter programs, both the UA Community School and the UA IB High School will no longer be recognized by the state as official charter schools.
The new changes will result mainly in the ending of state charter recognition for the two schools, which means no further funding will be granted to either school, according to a statement made by the Ohio Department of Education.
Both charter school programs, IB Diploma and Community School, take place in the regular high school along with its regular classes, and that is why the state decided to end official recognition of both programs as charter schools, which are state-funded alternative learning school environments. According to principal Kip Greenhill, both the IB Diploma and Community School Programs were originally accepted by the state as legitimate state-funded charter programs; however, new changes in charter school guidelines now require all funded charter programs to take place in separate locations, under independent administrations. To remain as state-subsidized charter schools, both the IB Diploma and Community School programs would be required to move to a separate location from the high school in order to regain their status as charter schools funded by the state.
Greenhill stated that neither program will be moved to separate buildings, as they will continue in their current form; however, they will now be integrated into the regular high school’s curriculum.
“Essentially nothing will change,” Greenhill said. “We’ll still be offering the same alternative learning environments as before so as to give students a wider range of class opportunities.”
Some students though, are worried about the new changes and whether college recognition will in any way be affected.
Junior Thomas Young, an IB diploma student, recognized the concerns of some such students.
“A lot of kids only care about how official the diploma will look on a college application,” Young said. “Others care only about the boost to your GPA that you get though taking the IB classes.”
Greenhill said that both college recognition and weighted grades will remain, as will the current course list. For students currently enrolled in the IB Diploma, this means their hard work and educational ambition will still pay off in the end.
“For me, the IB Diploma has always been about knowledge and learning in a different way,” Young said. “I don’t think whether it has an official charter seal of approval should change that.”