Nevada Charter Schools Among Top in the Nation - 8 News NOW

Nevada Charter Schools Among Top in the Nation

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LAS VEGAS -- Charter schools are an option for families in Clark County to give their kids free public education with many of the benefits of a private school.

This week charter schools in Nevada were recognized for being some of the best in the country.

Among 43 states that have charter schools, Nevada came in at number 13 this year, jumping up nine spots from last year.

Local educators say even though the state still doesn't offer as many charter schools as other places in the country, the ones that are here are making the grade.

At a kindergarten class at Explore Knowledge Academy, the students, who are just barely 5 years old, are no stranger to modern technology.

"Every student is given iPad 2's," Superintendent of Explore Knowledge Academy Abbe Mattson said.

Explore Knowledge Academy is one 18 charter schools in southern Nevada.

Mattson said her school offers a choice for parents who want a more intimate learning experience for the kids and one that embraces technology.

"They have access to all kinds of resources they wouldn't normally have, if we just had a couple of textbooks in the classroom," Mattson said.

Lori Rogers said she never even heard of charter schools until she moved here from Texas. Now, she says she is happy that her fourth grader and 10th grader are enrolled at Explore Knowledge Academy.

"Both my kids learn better in smaller group setting, I do like that," Rogers said.

This week, a national ranking put Nevada charter schools among the top third in the country, when it comes to quality and accountability.

The Nevada Department of Education says charter schools moved up in the ranking due to new state legislation that created a performance framework for charter contracts.

Explore Knowledge Academy is accepting new students, but the superintendent said like any school, parents need to do their research on what campus is right for their kids.

"They need to go look, find out, investigate, see what their child needs. They know their children best," Mattson

Charter schools in Nevada have to resubmit applications to renew their contracts every six years. Explore Knowledge Academy just found out this week that they are approved to continue operating until 2020.

For information on enrolling in charter schools and in open enrollment for public schools, go to ccsd.nt/schools/open-enrollment/

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