Charter Schools Offer New Opportunities For Local Parents

- Charter schools are on the rise in Rochester and Saturday families were able to enroll their kids in the charter school of their choice.

Tiffany Siplin is worried about the future of her four year-old son. He is going into kindergarten and she wants an option for a better education.

"Right now he is in pre-k and there are 18 students so I don't feel he is getting the help he needs," Siplin said. "I think a smaller classroom or even an extra teacher would help."

That's what some charter schools hoped parents would find at Saturday's sign-up fair. Charter schools are funded by public dollars but they have more freedom to design programs around the needs of students.

"One thing about charter schools is you see what works and you do more of it," executive director of E3 Rochester, Joe Klein said. "You see what doesn't and you forget about it and that's not possible in districts."

At the all-boy Vertus Charter School directors say they focus on connection and character before learning.

"Every one of our students belongs to a small team with a full time preceptor who is 100% responsible for his success," Dr. Leigh McGuigan said.

Trueyanda Huggins has a 12 year-old daughter and she likes the fact that charter schools appreciate the arts.

"The city school district is cutting a lot of programs like choir and they have to take it after school," Huggins said. "Charter schools have that included during the day."

Right now there are 3,300 city students attending eleven charter schools. The fair was held to show parents they have a choice in the newsroom.

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