Alameda in brief: Board okays new charter school

Alameda in brief: Board okays new charter school

Michele Ellson
Alameda schools

Alameda's Board of Education okayed a new elementary charter school Tuesday night. The school, which will be opened and operated by managers of the existing Academy of Alameda charter, is set to open kindergarten and first grade classes next fall.

"Tonight's vote is a validation of a lot of hard work motivated by our strong, heartfelt desire to to serve even more students starting at an earlier age in an effort to create a model Kindergarten through 8th grade program," The Academy's director, Matt Huxley, wrote in an e-mail to the middle school charter's families after winning approval on a 3-1 vote.

Board member Barbara Kahn cast the sole "no" vote against the charter, citing philosophical grounds. "The charter movement threatens public education," the district's Twitter feed of the meeting quoted Kahn as saying.

Board president Margie Sherratt said she was concerned about giving a school site to a charter though she noted that the Academy has done an "exemplary" job with its middle school program and that the school's petition met the legal requirements for approval.

Board member Niel Tam is ill and was absent from Tuesday's meeting.

The Academy is a charter school that opened in 2009 as a replacement for Chipman Middle School, which was facing closure due to its struggle to meet state and federal test score targets. It serves about 500 students in grades six through eight.