What is a “charter” school?
A charter school is a state-funded public school that operates differently than a traditional public school. Most public schools are part of a district (e.g. RRISD, AISD) and individual campuses report to the district that then reports to the state agency. However, charter schools respond directly to the state education agency. This direct communication allows for more flexibility in policy so that the charter school can create specific procedures that align with the vision of the school. Basically, a charter school has much more freedom in how it runs its campus than a traditional public school. Also, typically, charter schools have very large geographic boundaries (numerous districts rather than a neighborhood).
What does “open enrollment” mean?
Open enrollment means that as long as there is a spot to fill, the school cannot deny someone admittance into the school based on subjective reasons. Admission to Chaparral Star Academy and all programs, including Special Education, will not be based on gender, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, academic or athletic ability.
However, there are two main reasons that a student can be denied admission to Chaparral Star Academy.
1.) Students with a documented history of criminal offense, juvenile court adjudication, or discipline problems resulting in suspension, alternative education program placement or expulsion as described by TEC, Chapter 37, Subchapter A.
2.) Submission of false or incomplete required information
How is Chaparral Star Academy different than a traditional public school?
The main difference is that we operate on a 4-hour schedule. Classes are only 40-minutes long and consequently students follow a compacted curriculum. There are few extra-curricular activities as the focus of the school is getting through the necessary curriculum in a short time. Most students already participate in an extra-curricular activity outside of school (that being the reason they attend the school). There is neither recess nor lunch. There’s not even a cafeteria! Class sizes are limited to 15 students, allowing for a more student-centered environment.
What is the typical class size?
As stated in the school’s charter, there are 15 students per class per session (with a rare exception of 20 students in certain high school courses). For example, there are no more than 15 morning 3rd graders and no more than 15 afternoon 3rd graders. Given the nature of high school, the typical class size can range from 9 to 15 students.
How much does the school cost? What is the tuition?
Nothing. Chaparral Star Academy is a public school and receives funding from the state based on attendance.
What curriculum does the school follow?
Chaparral Star Academy meets and exceeds the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) at every grade level. The school’s entire curriculum is based on state-adopted products that align with the TEKS. Publishers such as Houghton-Mifflin, Scott Foresman and McGraw-Hill are used in various classrooms. For more specific information, feel free visit TEA’s (Texas Education Agency) website.
What types of student attend your school?
In founding this school, it was the belief that students who are dedicated to intense extracurricular activities are disciplined students because of their ability to focus on a task. The school was designed with the idea that these extracurricular activities take place outside of the school setting. As such, it was also the belief that these students would be able to accomplish as much as or more in less time than they do in a traditional classroom. This would provide them more time to pursue their special interests without sacrificing other extracurricular social activities.
Are there any remediation modules? Any extra tutorials if my student struggles?
Unfortunately, no. Given the unique schedule of our school, there is no time throughout the day to offer such extra practice and tutoring for our students. Independent students who can understand material in a fast-paced, compacted manner are the students for whom the school was designed.
Is there a G/T program offered at the school?
Although some of our teachers hold G/T certificates and all have been trained in G/T strategies and use G/T strategies in daily instruction, there is not a specific G/T program at Chaparral Star Academy.
How do you fit it all in 4 hours with only 40 minutes per class?
Very carefully! Since the school operates on a compacted curriculum, one of the main ways the school is successful is by deleting a majority of “homework in class” time students may receive at a traditional public school. A common misconception about the 4-hour day is that students will receive less work since there is less time in class. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Since students receive very little (if any at all) time in class to work on their assigned homework, it ends up that they actually have more work outside of class.
Are there any extracurricular activities?
Currently, students can participate in Competitive Forensics (Speech), National Honors Society, and ZUMBA . However, the school was designed with the idea that its students would participate in intense extracurricular activities outside of the school setting. As a result, very few extracurricular activities are offered.
Are there sports at the school?
No. The school was designed with the idea that its students would participate in intense extracurricular activities took place outside of the school setting. As a result, very few extracurricular activities are offered.
Is there After-School Care offered at the school?
No. Given the unique schedule of our school, there is no time throughout the day to offer after-school care.
Do the students take state assessment exams, such as STAAR?
Yes. Since Chaparral Star Academy is a public school, it is required to administer all state-level assessments, such as STAAR and EOC.
Are there any buses or provided transportation to/from the school?
No. Transportation to and from school (i.e. pickup and dropoff) is provided by the parents.