Charter School Plans Coalesce

Founders to host next information meeting Thursday
By Shelley Widhalm, Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

More than 100 families want to send their children to a school that, at this point, is just an idea.

The school, a proposed K-12 charter school called Loveland Classical Schools, is the brainchild of Loveland residents Trisha Coberly and Tamara Cramer. They decided to start the school after they did not make the New Vision Charter School lottery for their sons who will be entering kindergarten in the fall.

“There are quite a few parents sending their children to charter schools outside the district,” Coberly said. “A lot of them love New Vision but have nowhere to send them to continue their education, because New Vision is a K-8 school.”

Those parents and a few others signed a letter of intent with Loveland Classical Schools that enters their children into a lottery system for enrollment at what would become, if approved, Loveland’s second charter school, Coberly said.

“It doesn’t obligate them to the school,” she said.

Coberly and Cramer held an informational meeting in April, attended by approximately 20 parents and community members, to determine interest in the charter school. The meetings in May and June, which are held monthly, generated a turnout of 20 to 30 people.

Coberly and Cramer are holding the informational meetings on a monthly basis with the next one Thursday. Attendees can ask questions, share their ideas and voice any concerns.

If approved, the charter school would open in fall 2011 to provide children with a classical education that follows a Core Knowledge curriculum.

Core Knowledge teaches a body of knowledge that allows students to build on what they know as they move through the curriculum, Coberly said.

Classical education is based on the concept that everything in life consists of three things, that of rhetoric, logic and grammar, Coberly said.

“You’re applying those three things to find truth and to the down to the basics,” she said. “We teach our students how to think and how to find truth rather than what to believe.”

The classic texts, including historical documents and literacy classics, will be used, and Latin will be taught as part of the curriculum, Coberly said.

During its first year, the school, proposed for a capacity of 1,200 students, would accept 365 students in grades K-11, Coberly said.

“We won’t open 12th grade until the following year,” she said. “We don’t anticipate any seniors transferring in for their last year.”

Since the first meeting, three other founders joined Coberly and Cramer in planning the school, including Loveland residents Margo Ervin, Rod Otero, and Rob Protzman.

The founders plan to submit their charter application to Thompson School District in August. They expect to get an answer by the end of the year, Coberly said.

If the district denies the application, the founders have 30 days to appeal to the state, Coberly said.

Once the application is approved, the founders and district staff will be required to develop a contract about the school’s operation.