CHIME Charter Elementary School, recently named charter school of the year, will receive $3.4 million to build a permanent campus for its middle school, which is currently located on property belonging to the Cornerstone Christian Church.
CHIME deserved the money because of the quality of their programs, said Anita Landecker, executive director of Excellent Education Through Charter Schools, a Santa Monica based non-profit organization that works with charter schools.
“They applied for the money and competitively won,” Landecker said. “They have been recognized for a wonderful and caring environment.”
Juliana Fabrocini, principal at CHIME Elementary School, and part-time lecturer in the Education Department at CSUN, said CHIME staff has worked hard by putting a great amount of time and effort into the 4-year-old school to create an environment that is caring and nurturing.
The charter school was developed in collaboration with the Education Department at CSUN.
The school’s faculty has been working in establishing an environment that promotes hands on instruction rather than simply being told what to do, Fabrocini said.
Gary Larson, vice president of communications of the California Charter School Association, said the award was not only given in recognition of CHIME’s academic success, but for the school’s outstanding work in integrating special education and regular education as well.
At CHIME, one will not only find a broad range of choices in terms of classes, which include general education as well as elective courses, but also more interpersonal relationships between teachers, parents and students, Larson said.
Fabrocini said charter schools understand that parents are the experts on their own children. With this concept in mind, they have been able to open the doors to parents, and offer a place where they can talk to teachers and administrators regarding their children, she said.
“The idea of chartering offers parents an opportunity to match (the parents’) philosophy of education, and a school’s philosophy of education,” Fabrocini said.
Charter schools, in general, provide teachers with the opportunity to try innovative approaches and stick with the ones that work, Larson said.
Teachers have a say in the curriculum and they form a strong partnership with parents and the surrounding community, Larson said.