Why a Charter School?

Charter schools in Cook County provide an educational option to the families that live here, or would like to live here.  A different approach may meet the needs of students whose educational needs are not currently being met, as well as provide the opportunity for new ideas and visions in education to take shape.

Who can go to a Charter School?

Anyone who applies will be admitted, up to the enrollment caps established by the school board.  Charter schools are public schools and receive funding from the state and federal government based on the number of students attending.  As a public school, enrollment must be open to all and provide an equal opportunity for all students to attend.

Can Charter Schools improve achievement?

Yes! According to the Center for School Change at the Humphrey Institute: 21 out of 31 charter schools studied have reported gains after administering the same test twice. In addition, charter schools are required to state and achieve two specific, measurable academic and non academic goals each year. Results of these goals are reported annually to the Minnesota Dept of Education.

Do Charter Schools take money and resources from public schools?

No. Charter Schools ARE public schools and they operate in the interest of public school students. They use public education dollars and resources that are intended, and designated by the tax-paying public, for educating students. If a child moves from one public school to another, the dollars follow. If a district loses a student for any reason, it loses the corresponding revenues.  Also, Charter schools often bring new education funds into an area by bringing new children into the public school systems: home-schoolers, dropouts, and new families.

Is Great Expectations School different than other public schools?

Yes. In order to receive state approval, charter schools must be innovative in at least one, and up to five different areas. Great Expectations will be innovative in the following areas:
  • Improving pupil learning.
  • Increasing learning opportunities for pupils.
  • Encouraging the use of different and innovative teaching methods.
  • Requiring the measurement of learning outcomes and create different and innovative forms of measuring outcomes
  • Establishing new forms of accountability for school.
  • Creating new professional opportunities for teachers including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site

Does Great Expectations offer Special Education?

Yes. Charter schools are public schools and must meet the same requirements to provide Special Education services as other public schools.

Do Charter Schools use licensed teachers?

Absolutely! Charter Schools must employ qualified teachers, and all employees must have criminal background checks.

Do Charter Schools have to follow any regulations?

Yes. Charter Schools must operate within state and federal law and comply with health, safety and civil rights laws and various business and state reporting regulations. They must submit annual reports to the parents and community, their sponsoring body and the state.  They are also accountable to their sponsor/authorizer. As schools of choice, charter schools must also meet the high standards of the students and families they serve.

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