KEYC - Local Charter School Faces Uncertain Future

Local Charter School Faces Uncertain Future

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MANKATO, MN -

Kato Public Charter School is battling a non–renewal application proposed by their "authorizer," Novation Education Opportunities.

School Director Claudia Madrigal said NEO decided to propose the idea after the school was unable to meet specific requirements.

The school's press release said the school is graded in four performance areas: academic, school climate, operations and financial management. 

"The last time that the school was renewed there were concerns regarding the academic performance of our students, so we received a three–year renewal rather than a five–year renewal," said Madrigal.

Madrigal said over the past three years, the school has been working to improve in those areas.  

"We've made a lot of growth but not quite enough to be where our 'authorizer' would like to see us," said Madrigal. 

The school currently serves 73 students with different learning capabilities. Some students deal with mental illnesses, some are high at–risk, while others just prefer a smaller learning environment. 

Madrigal said the school does well to cater to kids, who may face difficulties, in the average public school. 

Students who received the news took it pretty hard.

High school senior Devyn Rubie said the school molded him into a better person; because of that, he will take action.

"We all want to go to the repeal and state our stories, " said Rubie. " A lot of people are already working on what they're going to write down."  

Madrigal said although they did not meet the set requirements, the students have improved over the years.

Parents and alumni have sent messages, wrote letters on behalf of the school.  If the non-renewal is approved, then students will need to select new schools. 

Madrigal said it is important to look at all aspects of education, especially in situations like this. 

"It's important to look at what education is supposed to be about, and to look at students as individuals, rather than just looking at test scores out of context.

The board's last formal visit to the school was in January. 

The Board of Education has not set a date for the hearing, but the director said she wants all letters by Feb. 21.