LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Although Clark County is home to the fifth largest school district in the country, charter schools are becoming a lot more popular in the Las Vegas valley.
Clark County has 70 charter schools which are funded by the state of Nevada just like any public school.
“It is just a nice option, especially if you have a student that is struggling to fit in a general education situation or the class sizes are too big,” Nadia Ramnath said.
Ramnath is a social studies teacher and is no stranger to charter schools in her 10 years of teaching.
“If you feel they are getting lost in the system, then a charter school is a great place for them to really focus on who they are and what they want to do,” Ramnath said.
Although Ramnath has taught in a charter school before, it is her first time teaching at a single-gender charter school like The Young Women’s Leadership Academy, which is located in east Las Vegas.
It is Nevada’s first all-girls public charter school for grades 6 through 12.
“Families appreciate having the opportunity for choice, they want what’s best for their scholars,” Principal Whitney McIntosh said.
McIntosh said what makes charter schools so unique is that they have flexibility in their curriculum such as taking a day once a week to explore career options for students, even at a young age.
“They get to see there are so many things out there that they didn’t know existed,” McIntosh said.
Besides their regular syllabus, the students at YWLA are taught to speak up and speak out. This allowed many to raise their hands in the classroom for the first time.
“The dynamic here is definitely building a community of strong women. I honestly really love it because it really builds up my confidence since I came here,” 9th grader Breanna Williams said.
This is because students like Breanna don’t have to struggle to be noticed by their teachers., another advantage smaller classrooms offered by charter schools have.
YWLA enrolls students based on a lottery all year long, and you do not have to live in the east valley to attend.
The State Public Charter School Authority provided 8 News Now with data to show the increase in enrollment in their schools in Clark County.
- 2019-20: 41,685 students enrolled
- 2020-21: 45,828 students enrolled
- 2021-22: 48,201 students enrolled
- 2022-23: 52,385 students enrolled
For a list of all charter schools in Southern Nevada, visit this link.