...Board discusses Circle of Seasons
The Circle of Seasons Charter School application was expected to be on the Northwestern Lehigh School agenda for Aug. 15.
School directors were invited to give their opinions on the proposed charter school at the board's Aug. 8 meeting.
Director Todd Hernandez said he did not see support in the community for the school and the curriculum does not meet Northwestern standards.
Board member Greg Sanders said the timeline the charter school is proposing is a problem because transportation would have to be provided beyond the NWL school year.
A lack of technical support and community interest was mentioned by school board member Ron Morrison.
Director Christopher Ford said public education is so rigid with state testing.
He said the charter school could add subjects public schools cannot. He said reading will be started later than in public schools.
LeRoy Sorensen said he attended vo-tech and benefited from that education.
"We pay busing to Lehigh Career and Technical Institute and it sounds the same to me," he said. "The cost of busing...we haven't gotten any numbers."
Although he admits little community support, neither has he heard anyone against the plan.
"It is freedom of choice," Sorensen said.
A letter from Director Willard Dellicker, who did not attend the meeting, stated the charter school's plan is to occupy a 40-year-old building. Dellicker said the maintenance budget for the school would be too small.
He noted gardening, knitting, art and outdoor activities are important to the charter curriculum. The majority of supporters come from outside Northwestern and eco-environmental groups support the school.
Dellicker said the whole-child concept espoused is not new.
The absence of textbooks and technology along with a seeming lack of understanding of the PSSA tests are causes for concern, as is the proposal to have only one special education teacher, Dellicker wrote.
Teaching will be by the Waldorf method, used particularly in California.
He asked if the curriculum matches the Common Core used in Pennsylvania.
Phil Arnold from Circle of Seasons, said the reason the charter school plans a different school year is because students will be planting various plants and seeing them grow is important.
He said learning is joyous and Waldorf children want to learn when they reach college.