Entrepreneurial-themed charter school coming to Penn Hills

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Entrepreneurial-themed charter school coming to Penn Hills

Post  HopefulInPh on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:53 am

Entrepreneurial-themed charter school coming to Penn Hills
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
By Zak Koeske

Penn Hills parents hesitant to send their young children to the district's public schools will have another option next school year.

The school board unanimously approved Tuesday night the application of the Penn Hills Charter School for Entrepreneurship. The new charter will be operated by Imagine Schools of Arlington, Va., a national family of charter schools that also operates the Regent Square-based Environmental Charter School at Frick Park.

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that rely on school district funds and are subject to the same academic requirements as traditional public schools, but operate independently of the district. Charters are run by a board of trustees and have the autonomy to a staff, set a curriculum and use school-specific educational methods. Students are not required to live in the chartering school district to attend.

The Penn Hills charter school will open this fall with an estimated 200 students in kindergarten through second grade, and expects to add a grade level each school year until capping enrollment at 600 students for kindergarten through grades 8. Students residing in Penn Hills will receive preferential enrollment over those from other areas.

The former William Penn Elementary building on Penn School Drive will house the charter's students. Negotiations to purchase the building from the school district aren't final, but director of business affairs Richard Liberto said the building's sale will add about $300,000 to the district's coffers.

Penn Hills resident and Carlow University philosophy professor Jim Carmine, who spearheaded the charter school initiative, will serve as president of the school's board of trustees.

The first courses of action, Dr. Carmine said, will be finding the school a great principal and shoring up the rest of the charter's board.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11117/1142235-100.stm#ixzz1KjedLEoO
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