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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

BHS gets state approval for charter school

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blytheville High School is on the verge of a new era after unanimous approval of the school's intended charter conversion from the state Board of Education.

Administrators and board members from Blytheville Schools met with the state Board of Education Monday to present them with a summation of the school's plans for a charter. The charter, which was approved by all seven voting board members, will allow the district to implement the New Tech Network learning system.

"It was an overwhelmingly positive response," district parental involvement facilitator Teryn Spears said. "A unanimous approval -- we couldn't have hoped for anything better actually. We've been told that that's not the norm for charter approval."

With the charter for the high school now officially given the green light, the district can now move forward with its plans for New Tech Network. With the New Tech model, which Spears said will start with the 2013-14 school year, the school will be making major changes in the way courses are structured, including implementing interdisciplinary courses.

"This gives us that good, solid opportunity to implement the New Tech Network methodology of project-based learning," Spears said. "It gives us a lot of freedom to do that, specifically in regard to waivers from some of the standards."

"We'll really be able to make big changes, for instance, mixing a geography class and English together or integrating oral communications into every class instead of it being its own, stand-alone Oral Comm course," Spears said.

Spears said more information about exactly how the charter will affect the school will be made available in the coming months, with opportunities for questions from students and parents.

While the new changes are going to be significant, Spears said the most important thing is that the school will still, in essence, be Blytheville High School.

"Our students aren't going to have to change anything or re-enroll. We're still BHS," she said.

For more information about the conversion charter or New Tech Network, contact Teryn Spears at 870-762-2053.

cpinkard@couriernews.net

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