BUSINESS AS USUAL: School Recruits Students

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The open house Tuesday night was a chance for prospective students and their parents to check out Des Moines' only charter school, despite the school's unclear future.

“We were real interested in the school, what it had to offer as far as technology, different approaches to education,” said Paul Aasmundstad, a parent considering sending his son to Des Moines Charter School next school year.

The teachers and parents talked about the benefits the school has to offer, including smaller classroom sizes, the focus on technology, and unique learning opportunities offered. Aside from one quick question about it, the discussion stayed away from the fact that there might not be a charter school to come to next year.

“It’s very important that we keep pursuing because they haven`t decided yet. So we need to act as if we are going to continue,” said Dr. Cynthia Knight, a Special Education Teacher at Des Moines Charter School.

Despite the uncertainty of the school’s future, several parents expressed interest in sending their children to the school starting in July. In fact, some look at the school’s current predicament as an opportunity.

“it`s a good opportunity as a parent to get involved and maybe shape the future of the school and how it works for the kids,” said Aasmundstad.

Many people attended the open house to learn to more, but Breanna Smith hoped she could help future generations. She was a former student at the Charter School and said she hopes her experiences can help other kids, like her, and maybe help save the school.

“The teachers are really helpful and nice and you just learn things you wouldn`t at a normal school. Like they don`t teach you about computer programs. I learned so much about power point and word that I didn't know before,” said Breanna Smith.

Members of the Des Moines school board were at Tuesday's open house. They said they're encouraging school employees to continue planning for next year. Board members hope to have a decision about the future of the charter school by May 29th.

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