Point Loma Mulls Charter 'Cluster'

Correia Middle School would be the first to become a charter school

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Right now, the only plan under consideration is for Correia Middle School to go charter in case students don't make the more difficult growth target next year.

    As many as 10 schools could be involved in a breakaway charter movement in one neighborhood.

    It would be groundbreaking if it were to happen: Every school in a cluster of neighborhood schools going charter? It's an idea that has come up in Point Loma. One school in the 10-school cluster is talking about the possibility of a charter.

    But could the other nine schools follow? Could they all form their  own cluster conversion -- or, taken further  --- their own school  district? The idea was raised during a meeting at Correia Middle School.

    Correia is in "school improvement" status, meaning it has to meet certain goals as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. This year, it met those goals, but it has to meet them two years in a row. If not, it has to come up with an alternative plan, and one option being considered is becoming a charter school.

    The idea of a charter school "provides the school community control over the budget, control over hiring and control over the curriculum, so rather than having those three areas managed by a district, the school itself would make those decisions," said Patty Ladd, Correia's principal.

    Christy Scadden, with the Point Loma Cluster School Foundation, said the idea of a "cluster conversion" is not necessarily being considered by the foundation.

    Officials hope that schools would feed into Corriea regardless of whether it became a charter. Ladd said it would be groundbreaking if a cluster conversion were to happen.