New Charter School Forming in Menifee

Robyn Rogers is resides in the Canyon Heights community of Quail Valley and is leading some folks interested in establishing a new charter s...

Robyn Rogers is resides in the Canyon Heights community of Quail Valley and is leading some folks interested in establishing a new charter school. She's inviting the public to a community forum to describe the new school and hopes to recruit some volunteers willing to help her get it started.

"Aberdovey Charter School", would serve the Menifee Union School District and give parents an alternative to the public classrooms. A charter school is governed by the school district, paid for with federal funds, free to attend, but follows its own specific style of teaching. Aberdovey will follow "Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound" (ELOB) which promotes hands-on, student-centered, authentic projects. ELOB is a framework for teaching; the school will utilize curriculum from state standards.

The community forum will take place in Quail Valley at Grace Church on Goetz Rd, on Tuesday, November 18th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Robyn notes that the school is not religious-based.

You can follow Robyn's efforts to get a charter school started at her blog...

http://aberdoveyschool.blogspot.com

You can contact her there as well.

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  1. Aberdovey? Why Aberdovey? Why not Menifee Charter School? Just curious about some naming conventions, nothing sarcastic here.

    Steve I.

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  2. I don't even know how to pronounce that. Seriously!

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  3. Rip Off! Come up with something more original...
    Outward Bound Sea School (Aberdovey, North Wales)

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. It's interesting to me that the first few comments placed on the Menifee 24/7 site are regarding the name that I chose for the school. Don't get me wrong...I'm excited that people are talking about the school at all, so if they want to discuss the name, that's fine with me. It's just interesting that they would focus on the name instead of the type of school or the type of framework.

    As for why I chose Aberdovey Charter School...in my research about ELOB, I read a lot about Kurt Hahn (the founder of Outward Bound). The first school that he started was in Aberdovey, North Wales (as "anonymous" pointed out on Menifee 24/7). I thought that the place had a cool name and used it as a nod to the origins of ELOB. Doesn't seem like a rip-off to me as the school had a different name. I want this school to have a unique identity that is tied to its foundation in Expeditionary Learning. It is not just Menifee Charter School...it is an ELOB charter school and as such, I want to make note of it in the name. Since Menifee Expeditionary Learning Charter School is pretty long, I was looking for a name that "symbolized" ELOB. Maybe "Hahn Charter School" would work just as well. I happened to like the sound of Aberdovey.

    Point is, I am the ONLY PERSON working on this charter school at the moment, and while there aren't many advantages to being the sole crew member on a voyage, one of them is that I get to name the ship! If you'd like to join my crew, we can certainly explore other names.

    I want more crew members. But this crew is not focused on the beauty of a name. It is focused on the important task of creating a school that will give children in this area a chance for a great education.

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  6. Quail Valley or Menifee? Steve!!

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  7. They other thing about being the only member of the ship is you get to go down with it to. Good luck.

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  8. Quail Valley is part of the Menifee Union School District...so the answer is Quail Valley AND Menifee. The school would be part of the Menifee Union School District and any student enrolled in the Menifee Union School District would be eligible to attend the charter school.

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  9. "They other thing about being the only member of the ship is you get to go down with it to. Good luck."

    Thanks for the encouragement. I know it will be a great challenge. We need all the help and support we can get to bring more opportunities to our community.

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  10. I am a public school teacher in the area and admire your efforts to meet the educational needs of the families in our area. I wish you the best of luck. The more educated our residents, the better our city will be!

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  11. i am planning to send my daughter to river springs charter in temecula next eyar. if we have a charter here that would be amazing and we can use your charter istead !

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  12. The last thing this county needs is another alternative ed/home school charter school. If you are going to start a charter school you should make it a rigorous college prep school with a goal of 100% of students on on track to go to a 4 year college. Good luck, u will definately need it. River Springs is a joke by the way.

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  13. The thing about my charter is that it is a "framework" for teaching. That means that the curriculum isn't determined by the charter. We will use California State Standards to create curriculum for our school.

    ELOB schools across the nation have been proven to give students an excellent education. The design principles promote high quality work and self-driven excellence. The students who attend this charter will be held not only to state standards, but also to high personal standards. It will be a quality academic program that encourages students to achieve greater, create products with integrity and thought, and above all, instill in them the desire to be life-learners, not just students.

    The motto of ELOB is "We are crew, not passengers." Students are expected to take a large role in their education, but they are still expected to succeed.

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  14. One other thing to note...Aberdovey Charter School will be a regularly attended school. It is not a home school connection charter. Students will be in classes Monday through Friday in their appropriate grades with classroom teachers.

    The difference with our charter school is HOW we teach the curriculum. It will involve inquiry-based math, social studies and science, readers' and writers' workshop, and all subjects will be taught cross-curricular. Students will develop and create project-based knowledge using cooperative learning and hands-on activities. We will involve the greater community in our classroom endeavors and will be an active part of the community with our education.

    If you'd like to learn more about ELOB...there is a website that describes it well www.elschools.org

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  15. I think its really great to start a good charter school here in Menifee.
    Good going...our youngest is a senior at River Springs and his grades have improved greatly from the time he went to Paloma..from 2.0 to a 3.0+.....and he will be graduating in a few months. He enjoys school now and is excited about learning again.

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  16. Fantastic idea! I have all three of my children attending an amazing charter school in Temecula, where all of last year's graduating class was accepted to a 4 year university program. The high school is actually ranked as one of the BEST in the nation. Menifee would greatly benefit from the addition of a fine charter school, especially one that goes up to grade 12. Our Menifee high schools do not rank well, and it is something we should all be concerned about. I wish you all the best, and I love the name.

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  17. actually statistics show that children who go to a charter school have higher SAT scores by 90+ points. educate yourself before you talk bad about it.

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  18. I can't believe how negative people can be. Who cares about the name of the school and the other petty comments people are making on this blog.

    This woman is trying to do something good for our kids in this city and all you can do is complain! She should be commended for trying to do something positive.

    Maybe instead of complaining you should attend her meeting on November 18 and help her. Bring your good ideas on how to make the school better. Maybe you would learn something!!!

    This is a great idea and I for one will be there. If we all work togehter we can make this a great thing for all of our kids!

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  19. Thank you to all of you who are ready to create something great for our community. I have learned to look beyond the clouds...so don't worry too much about the nay-sayers. There will always be some.

    I would like to extend a personal invitation to anyone interested in finding out more about my endeavor. Come as you are...in agreement or discord. Talk with me about what we can do better. My goal is to give my children and the children of this area an opportunity to excel.

    Attend the meeting and find out about what I'm trying to do. You might even want to join the crew!

    Remember, knowledge is power.

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  20. I wish you luck in this very ambitious venture! As you can see by the tone of some of the posts here, you will be faced with negativity whenever you mention the words "charter" or "homeschool". Negativity will flow mainly from uninformed individuals.

    My children have attended River Springs for the past 4 years and have excelled academically beyond anything their brick and mortar schools offered them. Both of my older children passed their CAHSEE's (on their first try, I'll add) with advanced scores and all of my children have scored in the advanced range on their STAR's for all subjects. If River Springs is a 'joke', as one poster stated, then we need more like it in the area. Besides, it's terrific to have choices - and even more terrific for brick and mortar schools to have competition.

    As far as college-prep, charter schools like River Springs offer a more viable option than brick and mortar schools, schedule-wise, for attending community college while concurrently enrolled in high school. We find this to be a huge benefit to River Springs. I hope Aberdovey will embrace this method as well.

    From what little I have read about the ELOB method, it seems to be a very strict method of teaching. Is there flexibility in curriculum or is it a strict adherence to state-mandated textbooks and materials, like Santa Rosa Academy? One of the reasons families choose charter schools is because of the wide-range of excellent curriculum options available. After four years of homeschooling, I would not want to adhere to a state-mandated curriculum.

    In any event, we will remain with River Springs. However, I do wish you good luck in your venture.

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  21. ELOB is a "framework" for teaching. It's a style of teaching that encourages a lot of projects, hands-on activities, inquiry-method learning, and community outreach. You could use it to teach ANY curriculum you choose. It's not a curriculum in and of itself. So in that sense, there is lots of flexibility in ELOB.

    I am mentioning state standards only because as a charter school, our students are expected to meet the state standards like any other public school. HOW we teach students this information is what will make our school different than others.

    For instance...second graders need to understand the life cycle of a plant. In a traditional school, they might read about it in their science book, memorize the stages, and then regurgitate the information. In an ELOB school, they would plant a garden and watch it grow. They would question what helps plants to grow, what hinders growth, what types grow better or worse. They would chart progress in their own style...maybe through narrative and drawings. They would enlist master gardeners in the area to learn more about plants. They would culminate their learning with a project that shows their understanding of the life cycle of a plant.

    Of course, that's a big example. And that's why ELOB tends to teach cross-curricular. As you can see, we could easily meet state standards for knowing the life cycle of a plant and at the same time learn the about the water cycle, pollution, ecology, climate, cooperation, urban gardens, inquiry method, narrative, note-taking, drawing...the possibilities are endless. An expedition attempts to create an environment where the kids are learning about "one" subject but are learning a multitude of subjects through it.

    Does that make sense? I'd love to have you come to the meeting just for input. I'm going to present information in an EL style so that you actually experience the framework yourself.

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  22. I'm new to the area. My wife and I moved to the "Romoland" portion of the city west of the FWY, North of Rouse and east of Murrieta. We don’t have kids as of yet but speaking with a neighbor I was under the impression that my side of the city (and I assume from the prior Romoland designation) that we attend the Romoland School District. Now that we are part of the city does this open options up? Could I potentially send my future child to this new charter school? Thanks.

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  23. Good luck with this new venture.

    I'm curious though as to what your qualifications are to starting a charter school? Are you a teacher?

    Also, I would like to add that my child goes to QVE and I feel he is getting a wonderful education there. Please don't imply that by staying at this school my child will not be getting a great education. The teachers there are wonderful and work very hard.

    However, I will definitely be looking forward to hearing and learning more about the new charter school.

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  24. Yes, I am a teacher and have had experience teaching in an EL school. My qualifications are admittedly limited as far as creating a charter school...just a desire to create a new choice. I am working very hard to build a team of people who have the expertise to make this school great.

    In NO WAY am I implying that students going to the public schools in this area are getting a bad education. I have children at QVE and also think that they are getting a great education and that the staff at QVE is phenomenal. I have always been a public school teacher and always will be.

    What I am trying to do is add MORE choices to this district. All children learn differently. EL is a style of teaching that reaches many kids that don't succeed in the traditional classroom. I am not trying to denounce the current schools, I am only trying to enhance the district with more options.

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  25. I would like to comment on Robyn's polite and informative answers to the comments written here-we have too many citizens complaining and whining and few doing. Its nice to see that she is. I have been considering Nuview in Nuevo for my daughter but its so far and I would love to see some choice as she notes in Menifee general area. Keep up the work!

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  26. Thanks Jana. Make sure you come to the informational meeting and see if the charter school I'm trying to start would be right for your kids.

    Update for all...I now have the backing of the Expeditionary Learning Schools program (a national professional development organization) and am in the process of joining the California Charter School Association Charter Launch Program. It's gonna happen!

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  27. I forgot to respond to the gentleman inquiring about the Romoland area.

    I need to look into how the district boundaries will be affected by the new city but my guess is that it will not necessarily change just because you were annexed into the city of Menifee.

    With charter schools, you can petition to come from out of district, but then are only accepted into the school if there is space after all students from within the district who want to go have been counted. My son went to a charter school in Oregon (the one that I taught at) and he was in a different district. We just had to make sure that there was room for all the kids who were in-district first.

    I'll let you know if I find out anything about boundary changes.

    See you at the meeting on the 18th?

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  28. If you check the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing web site, you will see that Ms Rogers, under that name, does not hold a teaching credential from the state of California. States set their own requirements for those responsible for teaching our children, and this charter is being formed by someone who does not meet out state's requirements. If you happen to visit this proposed school's website you will also notice that they will be asking for public funding (your property tax dollars for one) but they are meeting in private...the names of their formation members are hidden from the public. So ask yourself, what are they trying to hide? Also in an 2008 annual report by the Ed Source elementary charter schools perform worse than regular elementary schools. The report is available for purchase from the Ed Source website.

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  29. It is clear that you do not have a thorough understanding of what qualifications are necessary to create a charter school. I would be happy to point you to several resources on school development.

    We welcome anyone to participate in our public meetings. You are welcome to view the minutes of our Development Team meetings. In fact, we post to the ACS Blog about what our team is doing to keep the public involved.

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  30. This would be a very welcome addition to our community. Rather than adhering to the state curriculum, I encourage you to consider a curriculum that is a bit more rigorous such as that of The Hillsdale Academy.

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  31. Do charter schools not require state credentialed teachers? I was wondering because I read your blog in which you said that you are a teacher, but I did look on the California Teacher Credentialing website and it doesn't show you as being a credentialed teacher.
    I was just wondering about what qualifications are required to teach in a charter school. If I decided to send my son to your school, I would want to know what college or training that the teachers would possess? Can you let us know how much training the teachers will have on this blog since the meeting will not be soon.
    Thank you

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  32. Check our blog...I will post about the requirements for staffing a charter school there (just in case there are other people interested in the same information).

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