A middle school with almost 300 students, The Latin Academy, one of the district’s newest charter schools, opened in the 2012-2013 school year. I had a chance to visit with the staff and students this week. The school moved into the former APS Capitol View Elementary school building last school year.
True to their name, the Latin Academy focuses on a classical curriculum. Principal Larry Thompson told me that all 8th graders take Latin as a foreign language and attend fine arts classes each day. Two 6th grade scholars have been awarded the Ben Carson scholarship, and according to our charter schools office, scholars are growing on average 1.5 years in both reading and math.
This was our lunch stop for the day and the students were eager to tell me what they liked and didn’t like about their school lunch. While they don’t receive the same lunches as students in our non-charter schools, they still had plenty to say about how school meals could be improved. I love hearing feedback from kids when it comes to their food – and I plan to include students in our decision making process next school year as it relates to menu choices.
I heard that 11 of the school’s 8th graders will travel to Rome for an end-of-the-year field trip June 18 – June 24. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the experience.
Our charters are an important part of our APS family, and as I toured several of our charter schools this week, I noticed multiple opportunities to support and enhance their facilities and buildings. I’ll be brainstorming with our charters and our operations team on how we create a plan and leverage our efforts to get support for some upkeep and maintenance of facilities – we want all of our staff and students to have safe, welcoming and clean environments to work and learn.
But for now, enjoy your summer vacation and your travels – carpe diem and see you next year!
Oh, and my favorite quote in the entire world is in Latin – Maxima debetur puero reverentia. Translation: The greatest reverence is due a child.