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New Charter School (Staff title change)

Wicked Good Ag
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My wife and I are looking into it, as our kids were accepted.

[The other thread was getting a lot of negative votes because posters thought that it was a trolling thread. We will leave this one up. This thread is about the Charter School and not CSISD rezoning. Posts that start arguments about the CSISD rezoning will be removed. -Staff]

[We are going to be just as strict on this thread as we are on the CSISD threads. All posters will be respectful to each other or they will have their posting abilities removed. -Staff]
MTTANK
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I was wondering the same thing! We have been accepted as well, and are strongly considering. It's Aggie owned to my understanding. My research shows it to be the best option for us with what the district is doing with the map.
GIG 'EM
Captn_Ag05
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It's hanging out with the Stella thread.
InMyOpinion
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MTTANK said:

I was wondering the same thing! We have been accepted as well, and are strongly considering. It's Aggie owned to my understanding. My research shows it to be the best option for us with what the district is doing with the map.


I'm curious about your research.
TaterTot_09
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Was hoping to hear from parents that went to the info meetings
viejo
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InMyOpinion said:

MTTANK said:

I was wondering the same thing! We have been accepted as well, and are strongly considering. It's Aggie owned to my understanding. My research shows it to be the best option for us with what the district is doing with the map.


I'm curious about your research.
Probably pretty simple research. The charter school is not going to change its boundaries and a family can count on their kid not getting moved to a different school based on where they live.

It is led by Aggies. The Superintendent is Eddie Conger '81. Three other Class of '81 Aggies sit on the Board (out of 5 members). I'm friends with them all and would trust my kids' educational future to any school (were they still school age) which had these great Aggies in leadership.
99StationAG
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Just got the call that we are accepted as well. Daughter has been at Primrose and got moved to their Kindergarten class a year early( she's smart, blah, blah, blah), but we were thinking of having her do Kindergarten again at the "big school" as there'd be a lot of newness to learn there. In saying that, a transition to the Charter School would be easy and convenient at this time as well.

Interested in any positive or negative opinions (educated ones) out there.

Thanks!

WB '99
EBrazosAg
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Ask them about the average years of experience teaching .....I have heard rumors it is very low. That would concern me. Not rule it out .... but concern.
agnerd
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99StationAG said:

Interested in any positive or negative opinions (educated ones) out there.
Not specifically familiar with the new charter school, but I do know about the good ones (NOT to be confused with the bad ones that are more about profit) around the state. Charter schools don't have to use certified teachers and often those teachers have little or no education experience. Those teachers struggle with classroom management since they didn't learn it in college. (Keeping the ADD kid from distracting all the other kids) Honestly, the material is very simple to teach for someone with a college degree, but managing the problem children is what allows children to learn. Charters also usually have far inferior athletics, fine arts, and extracurriculars compared to traditional schools if that's important to your kid.

The good thing about not using traditional teachers is that you get a lot more STEM degrees and subject-matter-majors teaching your kids, and not necessarily education majors. Really helps when your kids gets into upper level high school classes. Charters also require that parents take the simple step to apply, which removes the families that just use school as daycare for their kids. This can be HUGE in Dallas and Houston.

In my opinion, it's pretty close to a draw in College Station. There aren't the big city behavior problems in CSISD that make other charters more appealing. And both Consol and CSHS academics are excellent, especially at the upper end. IF I sent my kid to CSISD, it would be because I didn't want to risk my kid's education on a NEW charter school that doesn't yet have proven results. But as far as charter vs CSISD, I think it's a toss-up.
nonameag99
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[Please be respectful when posting on this forum. This entire subject has been a near toxic issue and we are going to be strict on these threads. We will be adding a warning at the top of the page after this edit. Thank you -Staff]
Oogway
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Quote:

Charter schools don't have to use certified teachers


The person, quoted above, was stating that Texas charter schools do not require certification which is not the same as having a college degree. You can have a degree but not be certified to teach in public schools. Some of my friends have a subject degree (Chemistry etc) and teaching certification.
techno-ag
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Oogway said:

Quote:

Charter schools don't have to use certified teachers


The person, quoted above, was stating that Texas charter schools do not require certification which is not the same as having a college degree. You can have a degree but not be certified to teach in public schools. Some of my friends have a subject degree (Chemistry etc) and teaching certification.
Yeah, this has become more of a non issue over the years. Many teachers now have a college degree and got certified later (alternative certification) rather than attending a college based certification program while obtaining their degree. The state sees no difference between the two and having one or the other is not a sign of skill
dallasiteinsa02
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My concern would be the long term funding of the school. Though school districts are not efficient with their money, charters get quite a bit less in funding. There have been success stories, but after the initial investment runs out there have also been disasters. It is worth discussing with the school, but I would do my own research.
MTTANK
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If you go to TEA's website you can find out a little more about how the funding works. The state now helps fund these schools, and even offers grants for districts that utilize them. I think its a good point about funding though, and worth researching. I feel pretty confident about the individuals behind this charter school, but everyone has to make that decision on their own. I have read multiple posts about people desperate to get into some of these great charter schools. I think this might be an opportunity to get into a good one on the ground floor, before it gets much harder to be accepted.
GIG 'EM
TaterTot_09
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Anyone gone through the tour yet? If you have, did you get a good feeling?
MTTANK
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Apparently the principal of the new charter school is meeting with a number of indian lakes parents early next week that are interested in attending. Think I will go, and try and help setup a meeting for duck haven and saddle creek as well. I am seeing a bunch of interest from those that do not plan on moving. I think we all have some questions, may be a good way to get them answered.
GIG 'EM
jeffk
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Campus is still under construction as of this week. Talked to the principal and she said they'd send out an email when they got their keys and could start hosting tours.

We're trying to decide between this one and Bryan for our kindergartener.
jeffk
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Has anyone heard from anyone who got waitlisted? Everyone that we know who applied got accepted.
Wicked Good Ag
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Rumor is they will pay a bit more than CSISD teachers with same years of service. If that is accurate they could get more experienced teachers although I don't know how a charter school would affect retirement benefits under TES
dubi
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Wicked Good Ag said:

Rumor is they will pay a bit more than CSISD teachers with same years of service. If that is accurate they could get more experienced teachers although I don't know how a charter school would affect retirement benefits under TES
TRS.

Likely a 403b non profit retirement.
scs01
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Wicked Good Ag said:

Rumor is they will pay a bit more than CSISD teachers with same years of service. If that is accurate they could get more experienced teachers although I don't know how a charter school would affect retirement benefits under TES
Charter school teachers participate in TRS.

https://tcta.org/node/11485-charter_school_employees
dubi
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scs01 said:

Wicked Good Ag said:

Rumor is they will pay a bit more than CSISD teachers with same years of service. If that is accurate they could get more experienced teachers although I don't know how a charter school would affect retirement benefits under TES
Charter school teachers participate in TRS.

https://tcta.org/node/11485-charter_school_employees
Good to know!

It would allow experienced teachers to move to a charter school and keep their retirement.
Tigermom84
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I went to the info session.
Basics:
1) run by Aggies, dr mcmahan the principle is an Aggie that has worked in admin for ISDs previously. She's energetic and passionate about the school
2) trilingual education, taught by teachers that are certified to teach bilingual education
3) get $1-2k less per student than ISDs, but they don't build football stadiums and have elaborate campuses, so they make it last longer
4) have sports and extracurricular (band etc), but flag football instead of tackle and no swimming. Sports are emphasized as a technique for athletic conditioning, not a way to get into college
5) Conger is also a retired marine, they incorporate leadership development and servant leadership principles
6) 99.4% graduation rate, 89% college admissions rate
7) no bussing
8) 3 counselors on staff, rn and Lvn on staff, armed security guard monitoring cameras and walking hallways all day checking locked doors
9) k-8 now, will add high school as kids age, most likely renting space for the first grades.

That's all I remember off the top of my head, but I could prob answer some questions if any pop up that jog my memory.
Oogway
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^^Good to know. We didn't go-although the school is within an easy drive for us, we're going to stay put. I had some concerns regarding the staff, but it sounds like they may have been erroneous, especially if the pay is comparable. I think it is good to have a charter school though; especially one that has less of a sports emphasis and more of a sport as a lifelong habit to be a healthy adult. Having the competitive side of it, as they do is also important, but after looking at their older schools in the Dallas area, it seems they have a solid model of the academic/athletic balance.

I was skeptical regarding charter schools, but even so, I'm beginning to see there are certain advantages and pluses to them. I also read this article and learned a little more:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2017-12-21/5-facts-about-americas-segregated-charter-schools%3fcontext=amp
Yes it is from US News and World Report (the 'dreaded' media) and yes, it is a bit of an opinion piece but don't let the buzzword title (segregation) fool you. It actually talks about some flawed studies and myths regarding charters (promoted by regular public schools) and I found it to be something worth exploring further.

Tigermom84
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Wow. What an article! Thanks for sharing. My favorite part:

"In fact, at many "integrated" urban schools, day-to-day life is actually quite segregated, with most white students in honors and AP classes and most minorities in standard classes, going anywhere but college. Diversity is a goal the nation should strive for, but not if it means sacrificing academic excellence for our most undeserved students.

Public charter schools have done what traditional public schools have failed to do for decades: educate our most disadvantaged kids. America should be celebrating them, not crucifying them for their lack of diversity."

That's a nutshell for CSISD in my opinion.

This IL Texas College Station charter will be a very interesting case study I think. Based on who was at the informational meeting, and who I've been talking to that is committing to sending their children there, it might actually be more "comparable" in terms of demographics than any of our ISD schools here. It will be interesting if the "low SES" kiddos that attend actually start performing better than they do in the public schools. If so, I would predict that it would be because there was a CHOICE made by the parents to sign their kids up there, and get them to school every day (no busses), and there's consistency in the relationships between all parents and kids, and teachers and administrators (ie, no rezoning). In other words, it's a team effort at creating culture based on the educational needs of all of the children.
Aggiewife64
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Where exactly is this charter school located?
JP76
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Longmire and Graham
viejo
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"3) get $1-2k less per student than ISDs, but they don't build football stadiums and have elaborate campuses, so they make it last longer"

Yeah, just do the math. The state pays an average average per student $10K per kid. If IL Texas gets let's say $8K per kid, based on 1000 kids (their goal), that means $8 million/year in revenue. Their other schools have a 15-1 student teacher ratio, so that's about 66 teachers. Their average teacher salary is about $43,500 (according to Glassdoor.com). So, their salary costs for teachers is $2,871,000. Throw in about 1/3 more for benefits gets you to $3,818,430, leaving $4,181,000 for anything else, including debt service on the facilities. In other words, there's plenty of money there.
MTTANK
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My understanding is kindergarten is already full here! If you are interested, I would not wait too long to apply. As far as the budget goes, I like to think of it like ups or fedex vs the U.S. postal system. I think they will be much more efficient with the money they have, and make better use of it.
GIG 'EM
cobanion218
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I just spoke with the principal and I have to say I just loved her. She answered all of my questions, was patient with all of my questions, was confident in her answers and really reassured me that my questions and concerns were valid I was already heavily leaning towards sending my kiddos there but am even more convinced now.

As for teachers, they are actually able to pay higher than both BISD and CSISD. She is taking her time and carefully choosing teachers, teachers that want to teach there not just teachers looking to leave where they currently are.

All funding comes from federal and state level, not local, so they will not be competing locally for funding. Even though this is a local campus, because their main office is in Dallas, they are considered Region 10 - I'm not entirely sure what this means, I'm about to google it, but she made it sound like that was a great thing.

And for all the moms on here, she worked in corporate america for a short period, she hated it, she said it really solidified for her that she wanted to be a teacher but it also helped her to see schools from a working mom standpoint.
techno-ag
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The immersive Mandarin requirements might cause some parents to hesitate. Dunno.
AggieMom_38
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Hearing all this about the new Charter School makes me pretty envious that my kids are too old to attend. This sounds like a great educational opportunity for our community.
MTTANK
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I will be attending a meeting with the charter school today. Any questions that anybody wants me to ask for them that has not already been covered on this thread? I have a list myself, just looking for ideas. Wish they would have built it bigger, it is kind of scary that kindergarten has already filled up. I feel bad for families trying to get out from under the district that will not have an option. I will try and get an update of what other grades are full or close to full in order to help those that are on the fence.
GIG 'EM
Wicked Good Ag
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Is this a one on one meeting or open forum? Curious because I have free time tonight to attend

if not will leave a couple of questions my wife and I are interested in knowing

txgardengirl
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Quote:

All funding comes from federal and state level

Where do you think the state funding comes from? Property taxes. Our school taxes. The state doesn't produce funds.

I think the charter school will provide a nice outlet for some, but not a one size fits all.

Also MT - be sure and ask what her salary cap for teachers is - they have one...
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