By MacKenzie Waterman
Usually Alliance Charter Academy has an extensive wait list, but since many students left last year we were able to get through the entire waitlist and still have fourteen spots open.
“I just find it interesting that we’ve had a higher turnover than normal.” said Seanna Bloemer, ACA’s Director and a former ES. The school can’t deny access to anyone but, they also can’t accept anyone from out of state.
Every year students leave either because they graduate or leave the school because it wasn’t what worked best for them and every year new students come in to take their spot. Thirty-five students graduated last year. The highest percentage to return is 10th and 11th grades tied at 92%, the lowest percentage to return is 7 grade at 77%.
Alliance Charter Academy is a great school for all ages and a welcoming environment with flexible schedules, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
“I can’t speak to the rest of ACA’s population. I would expect that some of our high schoolers might leave just because we are a small school without a lot of extra curricular offerings. But that is the same reason a lot of our high schoolers choose to stay. We are small school and the staff and students know each other well.” Said Megan Burt, an ES and teacher at ACA, “It creates a family like environment that doesn’t always exist at bigger schools. It is a trade off and students just need to consider what they most prioritize. ”
When asked how she felt about so many students leaving last, Mrs. Brainerd, the associate director and lead ES said, “I feel like its a good thing if you are going somewhere that helps their needs better. It does make me a little bit nervous that they will make that changes because it looks easier.”
This year’s parent liaison, Carla Calhoun, organized and ran the “New family meet and greets” an event for new families to attend and meet the staff and other new families. There have been two sessions already but not many families were able to attend. “We want our new families to feel supported while they are here,” said Calhoun. “There is usually just a handful of new families who attend these sessions but I feel they are valuable, no matter how many families attend. I want them to know we are here for them, in addition to their ESes, the teachers and the admin team.”
She would like to have other sessions throughout the year but is still trying to find an ideal time that works for everybody.
Since there were a lot of staff changes last year, finding and placing students with an ES at this time of year is challenging. Some students even get placed with an ES temporarily until a full time one becomes available.
“I have two new ES students this year, but they are not new to the school, just new to me. They are new to me as a result of the shifting that took place with other ESes. ” Said Burt.
New student, Raeyn Kratz, said that he’s overall happy he decided to come here and plans on returning next year. There is an informational meeting for prospective families Monday, October 29th at 1:45 in room 108.
Bloemer, Seanna. Personal and email interview. Oct. 18, 2018.
Calhoun, Carla. Email interview. Oct. 16, 2018.
Burt, Megan. Email interview. Oct. 18, 2018.
Khan, Grana. Email interview. Oct. 19, 2018.
Smith, Shallon. Personal interview. Oct. 22, 2018.
Brainerd, Diana. Personal interview. Oct. 22, 2018.
Kratz, Raeyn. Personal interview. Oct. 22, 2018. “ Stay cool, Pony boy.”