Next school year we could see a charter school open up in the Spokane area and a clue as to what it might look like lies right across the state line at the Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy.
The Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy is no walk in the park. It's rigourous and challenging in its preparation of kids for the future. In fact, nearly 100-percent of the senior class goes on to college.
Inside Mr. Gabrielsen's third period class at the charter academy students are learning about geometry. When it comes to schools these kids know they're at the top of the class.
Newsweek ranked the school #13 in the west; the Washington Post ranked it #59 in the nation. The academy also snagged a spot in the U.S. News and World Report top 100 high schools rankings.
"I really like the classes, they were challenging," student Kyle Mason said.
"It's such a small class size, I really get to know people," student Taylor Garn said.
It's a college prep school, sixth through 12th grade, founded in 1999.
"The curriculum in general is very advanced, accelerated across the board, we like to push kids really hard," principal Dan Nicklay said.
In fact, every class is taught at an honors level or above.
"It is a lot of work, I do hours of homework each night," Garn said.
"I came here because I wanted a good education and be as prepared as possible for college," Mason said.
Mason is off to a strong start. He's already passed six AP exams. He's just one shining student among many. The school's average ACT score is 30, well above the national average of 21.
Seniors typically graduate with $100,000 in scholarship offers.
The school is chartered by the Coeur d'Alene School District but they have their own board of directors. They also receive state funding just like traditional schools. While the curriculum might be different, charter schools with the Spokane School District would be structured somewhat similar.
"A significant chunk of the population feels like its academic needs aren't being met, aren't being served, that's why we are here, we are answering the demand," Nicklay said.