Next fall my firstborn will start kindergarten. As such he has the choice between the local elementary (4 blocks from home) and the charter school (Freedom Academy). He has other choices but he isn’t going to exercise them, so we’ll ignore those.
1. Several of our nearest neighbors attend the charter school, thus it is as much our “neighbor” school as the elementary.
2. The charter school is currently far away, but we can carpool and they expect to move closer within a year or so.
3. The charter to the charter school specifies a unified curriculum of Spalding, Saxon and Core Knowledge. They track kids into the math that works for them.
4. They do Spanish once a week which the elementary doesn’t.
5. Ideologically I am in favor of the concept of charter schools, but not so much that it is a big player in the decision.
6. The charter school will be in its 3rd year.
7. The charter school requires 40 hours of volunteer work and is run by a board of parents.
8. They also have a uniform policy. Currently this means little to me but since they will likely have classes through 8th grade a uniform policy might be very nice later on.
9. The elementary school is about what I expect from an elementary school and seems competent.
So here’s the question. Does anybody have anything useful to say about 1-9. Does anybody have experiences that would be useful to us in making our decision? Are there important questions we should ask? Does grade school Spanish do kids any good? Are these curricula noticeably better or worse than any other?
I imagine that both options are actually just fine, with good people teaching in both places, but I thought I’d see what the collective brain has to say.