If you're on the North Bay Educational Foundation's email list, you likely already know that it is reporting that the early response from the community has been "overwhelmingly positive." According to the press release, during the first initial call for preliminary intent to enroll forms during the last two weeks of July, parents representing nearly 300 students completed the forms. Based on California Charter School Association guidelines, that number translates into a school of approximately 600 students for the proposed charter's first school year beginning next fall.
"The number of preliminary intent to enroll submissions gathered in such a short time reflects the excitement parents feel when they learn about the charter school's curriculum and methodology," MJ Lonson, an NBEF board member, wrote. "As word spreads, we continue to receive preliminary intent forms and we are extending the deadline so that all interested parents have a chance to identify themselves."
The deadline to submit a non-binding preliminary intent to enroll form has been extended to Aug. 31. You can find the form uploaded here or on NBEF's website. The reason for the deadline extension? According to the press release, using up-to-date data on numbers helps determine facility size and lessens the likelihood of having to turn to a lottery if demand exceeds initial capacity.
Robert Verhoeff, another NBEF board member, is quoted as saying, "We are asking parents to signal their preliminary interest in enrolling their children by August 31st so that we can further refine the operating budget and provide the most accurate data to NUSD. Ideally, with this data, NBEF will be able to accommodate all interested students on the first day of school."
NBEF intends to submit its petition to NUSD by October.
Dr. Shalee Cunningham, Novato Unified School District Superintendent, notes in a "Local Voices" that the Nov. 1 deadline for NUSD to receive any petition. She also notes the Board of Trustees workshop scheduled for Aug. 23 and lists the schools and organizations using the Hill Alternative Education Center, a site that has been named as one the proposed charter would like to use.
In an update to the board last week, Lonson mentioned NBEF was looking at other facilities as well, assuming NUSD was not able to provide the new charter with a facility. We've heard how hard it's been to site an In-N-Out joint. What are your thoughts on where 300 to 600 pre-K-8 kids could go?