Two Charter Schools
EduPreneurship Charter School
Size: 88 K-8 students, 20 percent minority.
Governance: Nonprofit corporation chartered in 1995 by the state board for charter schools. Veteran classroom teacher Carol Sammans, in photo at right, and technology director Ann Peschka left the Mesa, Ariz., public schools to start EduPreneurship.
The vision: "I want school to be uncomplicated again and to produce lifelong learners with character,'' Sammans says. "I wanted a little community.''
The focus: The school offers multiage grouping, individualized performance evaluations in place of letter-grade report cards, project-oriented lessons with "real world'' application, and heavy doses of integrated technology. Students participate in the school's token-money economy and are encouraged to start their own businesses.
Challenge Charter School
Size: 155 K-8 students, 50 percent minority.
Governance: Nonprofit corporation chartered in 1996 by the Window Rock Unified School District. Gregory Miller, who runs an engineering company, is also the school's chief executive officer. His wife, Pam Miller, is the school director, the school board president of the Paradise Valley school district, and the former president of the district's parent council. Both Millers, at right, have been active in education at the local and state levels.
The vision: "We wanted an alternative for kids who were not successful in big settings,'' Pam Miller says. "Most district schools don't interact with parents worth a hill of beans,'' Gregory Miller adds.
The focus: The school offers hands-on learning, individually tailored so all children, including those who are at risk academically, can achieve. Students are encouraged to develop common moral values, such as honesty, integrity, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic. After-school programs include music, creative writing, American Indian arts, and cooking.