Dear Parents, Staff and Students of Vision Charter School:
We approach all of you today with tremendous pride and excitement. Those of you that have been with us from the beginning will recall our small 1.4 acres of land on the other side of 20/26 where Vision Charter School first opened its portable doors, against many odds, on-time and at capacity, 5 years ago.
Even more of you may remember the big news two years ago when we purchased in cash, the 22 acres of land on which our portables rest today.
First, we want to highlight some amazing accomplishments of our five year old Charter School.
- We have some of the highest standardized test scores in Idaho.
- We have remained not only fiscally sound, but rigorously so, throughout economically uncertain times.
- We have grown in size from 2007, when we opened with one grade each of K-7th to 505 K-11th graders in 2011. We are committed to continuing controlled growth to meet the demands of our waiting list to the best of our ability.
- Last year we were the highest scoring Idaho school district for overall K-3rd grade students reading at or above grade level.
- Consistently over 96% attendance which reflects both the students’ interest and enjoyment in VCS but also positively impacts our state funding to allow us to keep offering as many extras as possible.
- Last but not least are our amazing teachers! The staff and faculty of VCS, along with the parents, reinforce every day our commitment to Character Development and Community Service.
Now Vision Charter School is preparing for its next big challenge: Phase one of our permanent building. We are on schedule to break ground in November of 2012!
We bring these things to your attention because we believe it is necessary that we; the governing board, the staff, the students and parents, NEVER FORGET that we achieved all of these things in our ugly, little grey portable buildings.
These achievements are ours because we hired the best teachers and administrators, our students worked hard and were held accountable and have had both academic challenge and support. We achieved these things because our parents are committed and involved, and because, as our charter states, in part, " ....we see ourselves as allies of the family, reinforcing parents’ efforts to guide the intellectual, emotional, and moral development of their children. By providing and enforcing moral and ethical standards, the school prepares its students to accept the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship." There is no doubt that a permanent building for Vision Charter School will provide wonderful new opportunities and experiences for our students -- for that we are truly excited. But our students have proven that a state-of-the-art facility is not necessary for stellar student performance -- for that we are truly proud.
Because safety, academic accountability, and fiscal responsibility are the main concerns of the board, we have moved slowly and carefully throughout this process and will continue to do so through the end of this project. We believe that carefully planned, phased growth will prevent some of the pit-falls we have witnessed in other small charter schools.
Vision Charter School is set to open the Phase1 Facility in the Fall of 2013. This building will house a multi-purpose gymnasium-cafeteria-auditorium. With a stage for performances and a warming kitchen for catered lunches, this space will be big enough for indoor PE and on-campus plays and concerts. We will have an up-to-date technology lab as well as a media center-library and an impressively outfitted Science laboratory/classroom. Middle School and High School classrooms will be located in the Phase I Facility. The portable buildings will remain the campus for K-6th grade, but these elementary students will benefit from use of the Gym, Cafeteria, Auditorium, Library, Media Center and Technology Lab.
And before we know it, the board will be writing a new letter, announcing with pride and excitement and hardly-contained exhilaration, the date of the ground-breaking for Phase II, when both campuses will be located in two adjoined, but distinct buildings, one for MS/HS and one for elementary.
Please enjoy the design and drawing plans linked below. We look forward to achieving Vision Charter School's "Next New Home" together.
Vision Charter School Board Site Committee