News from Generation 18 charter interviews, including Carpe Diem San Antonio

Carpe Diem Learning Systems Texas Charter Interview September 11, 2013 | San Antonio Charter MomsThis week, the State Board of Education is interviewing new charter applicants (full list in this earlier post), including Carpe Diem Schools–San Antonio (application).

The school is known in education circles for its “blended learning” model, which splits time between online instruction that allows students to control their learning pace, group instruction and one-on-one instruction.

“SBOE scrutinizes S.A. charter candidate”, Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, September 11, 2013.

On a personal note—yes, it was fun to get interviewed for the paper!—but I talked to the reporter for about 12 minutes, so there was a lot of information that didn’t make it into his article. Luckily, I have my own blog, so here goes.

So, what distinguishes Carpe Diem from other schools? “Blended learning,” yes, but who benefits the most from the Carpe Diem model? Kids who need to move at their own pace. Here are some examples:

  • Special education students who can follow their own customized plan
  • Students who are “2e” or “twice-exceptional” (i.e., gifted and special needs)—they may be advanced in some subjects but not others
  • Former homeschoolers who are at different grade levels in different subjects
  • Students who fell behind at their previous school, and need flexibility so they can catch up more quickly
  • Young athletes and performing artists with demanding schedules

More about Carpe Diem in this earlier post from July and this earlier post from February.

About this year’s charter application approval process:

Interviews for the 12 open spots – under the existing cap of 215 – are being conducted Wednesday and Thursday in Austin. Texas Education Agency staff members are expected to make recommendations to the commissioner the following Monday and Williams would inform the board of his decision no later than that Thursday. The board would likely need to make its veto decision the next day at its Sept. 20 meeting, said agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe.

“Charter applicants, commissioner to start new approval process”, Jennifer Radcliffe, Houston Chronicle, September 9, 2013; see also “SBOE Will No Longer Approve Charter Applicants”, Morgan Smith & KK Rebecca Lai, Texas Tribune, August 15, 2013.

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