Proposal made for charter school
08 Apr 2022 — Journal Gazette
Ashley Sloboda

Community members will soon get to weigh in on a new K-8 charter school eyed for Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne Preparatory Academy wants to open in the 2023-24 academic year with 150 elementary students. Leaders plan to expand to the middle school grade levels : eventually serving 400 students, according to a 60-page application filed with the Indiana Charter School Board.

A public hearing about the proposed academy is set for 5:30 p.m. April 18 in the Globe Room of the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza downtown.

The academy, which expects to draw students from Fort Wayne Community Schools, would be in southwest Fort Wayne. The location was selected because of its "lack of charter schools, the region's high population and the majority of the schools being low-performing," the application said. A specific site hasn't been identified, the applicants wrote, but their ideal place would be a former school property to ensure the building feels like a school rather than an office.

Academically, the school would follow state standards and combine research-based best practices in education with community partnerships for labs, service opportunities and skills development through a career and early college program, the application said. It further described the proposed school as family oriented, supportive of creative thinking and focused on meeting the whole child's needs.

Accel Schools would be the academy's education service provider. Based in Virginia, the K-12 educational management organization operates virtual and brick-and-mortar schools in multiple states, including Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, the application said.

The academy's board of directors are Kenneth Sinak, president; Cynthia Roach, treasurer; and Susan Gusho, secretary. The application said leadership might expand to include a parent and community member.

A school leader hasn't been chosen, the application said, but the search process is underway. Hiring wouldn't happen until the application is approved. The principal's initial salary is budgeted at $70,000.

Nine other employees would be hired for the first year, including six classroom teachers paid an average 42,000 salary, the application said. The total budget for salaries and benefits is about 587,200 in the first year.

The Indiana Charter School Board is expected to act on the application during a meeting at 9 a.m. April 28 in Indianapolis. The meeting will be livestreamed on the board's YouTube channel. Applications for schools in Gary and Lafayette also will be considered.

This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"Proposal made for charter school" Journal Gazette 08 Apr 2022: C1