By Curtis Hendricks

With more than one month of the school year behind us, it is time to assess your child’s position in his or her current school. Is your child happy in his or her current school? Does the school cater to your child’s academic needs? Has your child had difficulty? I strongly suggest that you talk to your children about the school they attend and their thoughts on how they are at school. Many students will not speak up because they feel there are no other options. You have options!

In our beautiful Coachella Valley, we have many options other than the traditional public school. Many private schools span our valley, giving you the options that many areas cannot offer. Private schools hold an additional fee for attendees, but many parents are happy to pay the extra amount if their children are receiving the academics they need. Some of the private schools in our area are also religious driven schools. A new option that has opened up to the public is Hope Academy Charter in Palm Desert. A short distance up HWY 74, Hope Academy Charter is found next to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, where Haystack and HWY 74 meet.

Hope Academy Charter is a nonreligious, free independent public charter school with full Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation. The focus at Hope Academy Charter is independent study with enrichment classes and extracurricular activities. The daily routine here is like no other in the valley. Kindergarten through eighth grade has three-hour enrichment classes from nine o’clock in the morning too noon. The students are welcome to be picked up at noon, or stay for extracurricular clubs and study hall offered by the teachers and on campus tutors. Students come home on Fridays with a week’s worth of homework due the following Friday. During the course of the week, teachers will “enrich” the classroom lessons with projects, reinforcement activities, and hands on learning. Each student also is given a twenty-minute weekly one-on-one appointment with their teacher. Hope Academy Charter also strives to teach the individual rather than the collective with tailor-made assignment sheets. Hope Academy Charter also offers an independent program for ninth through twelfth grade students. High school students are given weekly assignments and meet with their instructor on a one-on-one basis, once a week for one hour.

Hope Academy Charter brings a breath of fresh air to the academic neighborhood in our Coachella Valley. With a school wide goal “DRIVIEN,” which is an acronym that you should discover at the school for yourself, Hope Academy Charter is ready to teach in ways other schools have failed in. For more info contact: Ericka Steele (760) 848-8993 or email Hopeacademycharter.com.

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