On Sunday, KING 5’s Up Front show with Robert Mak had a report about what parents in Washington could do if voters pass Initiative 1240, the charter school measure.

Parents at Oregon’s Sauvie Island school, 20 miles north of Portland, were worried. Student enrollment had fallen to 80 students. So in 2010 they asked their district if they could convert Sauvie Island school to a charter school. The district approved their application in January 2011 and Sauvie Island Academy opened as a charter school in September of 2011.

Today over 200 students attend Sauvie Island Academy, enough to allow the school to open a new eighth grade this fall. The principal and teachers, working as a team, selected a curriculum, Place Based Education, which teaches children by connecting them to their community and natural surroundings. Teachers chose Direct Instruction to teach reading and math skills in kindergarten through third grade.

Some schools here in Washington are also in trouble. Sauvie Island Academy charter school is an example of what parents and local communities can accomplish here to improve their schools if Initiative 1240 passes this fall.

Watch the full Up Front segment, which is only 7 minutes long:


[Reprinted with permission from the Washington Policy Center blog]