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Springfield One Step Closer To Getting Charter School

Springfield One Step Closer To Getting Charter School

CREATED Jan 23, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. – Charter schools have become more popular in the Mid-State recently. Now, school districts in Springfield have grown closer to getting its first charter school.

For years, the report card for schools in Springfield has not been pleasing to anyone. During the 2012- 2013 school year, nearly 65 percent of students in the third grade through the eighth grade performed below their grade level in math, reading and science.

This is difficult for many parents with few to no education alternatives.

A few years ago, a group of concerned citizens including former county commissioner Raymond Francis and Kathy Raglin formed a steering committee looking at alternative schools. They eventually chose the Little Rock, Arkansas based Exalt Education.

"We felt like their focus is where our need is and we were impressed the heart they have in trying to help children improve," said Raglin.

Exalt Education has a school in Portland Oregon and two campuses in Little Rock, with the Arkansas Department of Education's Charter Authorizing Panel recently approving a third.

"It's not only going to make public education better for the students we would serve through the school, it actually enables the county schools to be better as well," said Ben Lindquist, CEO of Exalt Education.

During their third visit to Springfield, Exalt CEO, Ben Lindquist and Director of Regional Development Freddie Scott visited many businesses in the community explaining the school's mission.

If approved the school would start with grades Kindergarten through the second grade with an additional grade being added until reaching eighth grade. The school day is typically nine and a half hours-- about 40 percent more leaning time for students each year.

Exalt Education will have to submit its letter of intent by the end of the month and the application turned in to the Robertson County Board of Education by April. If all goes as planned, Springfield's first charter school would open by 2017.