In 1997, Nevada passed major educational reform legislation that permitted charter schools to start operating in the state. Over the last 20 years, the number of Nevada charter schools has grown to almost 50 schools serving nearly 50,000 K-12 students. This rapidly growing charter school movement offers families the opportunity for educational choice, including some very high-performing schools. However, other schools fail to deliver on the legislation’s promise of increasing student achievement, making it essential for parents and students to do their homework and research potential schools to attend. Here are three important considerations to take into account before attending a public charter school in Las Vegas.
- Purpose – First, there are two questions to consider: What is your purpose for attending the public charter school, and what is the purpose of the school itself? Charter schools are mission-specific schools that can focus on anything from leadership to college preparation to career and technical education to the arts — and beyond. You want to choose a charter school that has a clear mission and purpose that matches your own goals. Avoid selecting a school just to get away from the school you’ve been attending!
- Transportation – Many charter schools in Las Vegas do not provide transportation. This may be a sticking point for families that struggle to get students to and from school. While some schools may not offer transportation, they may instead offer extended hours, which allows parents to coordinate more convenient pick-up and drop-off times for their children. Make sure to get this information from your chosen charter school early so that you can make appropriate plans for the upcoming semester.
- Benefits – Understand all of the perks of attending a public charter school. These benefits can include an extended school day, flexible scheduling, a longer school year, smaller class sizes, summer programs, enrichment programs throughout the year, volunteer opportunities, sports programs, internship opportunities, and more. Most of these benefits directly impact students, but some schools may have enrichment and engagement programs for parents to get involved as well.
Choosing to attend a public charter school must be done with careful consideration to ensure the school is the right fit for you and your family. Fortunately, since the passage of the first charter school legislation in Nevada, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of schools available and the schools’ commitment to increasing student achievement. Families searching for better options for their students may find exactly what they’re looking for at a charter school in Las Vegas!