Charter Schools Up for Renewal

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – It’s been nearly 5 years since two charter school opened in Rockford and now its time for the school district to decide if they should stick around.

Legacy Academy of Excellence and Galapagos Charter Schools are both up for renewal. The school district has been going through this process and making site visits since September.

Legacy is now a K-9 school. Galapagos goes through 7th grade. There are four criteria the district is required to look at for these schools – they have to make sure they stick to their contract agreement, were fiscally responsible, and that they didn’t do anything illegal. They also look at adequate yearly progress and academic growth.

"It's important for especially our taxpayers to understand that somebody is holding the schools responsible and all of our charters are very okay with being held responsible, they think that's part of their call as a charter, to not only provide choice but to be responsible,” said Dan Woestman, the Assistant Superintendent of Accountability.

On the surface, looking at adequate yearly progress, it doesn’t look good. Only 32%of students are meeting or exceeding standards at Legacy and about 41% are at Galapagos. However, if you look at growth, both schools are showing it in reading. Legacy however, did not show growth in math this past year.

The district will hold a community forum where the public can comment on the charter schools. It will be held on March 4th. The board is expected to make its decision later that month on whether to renew the charter school contracts.

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