How do I get information about PRA?
PRA holds regularly scheduled informational meetings for prospective parents. During these meetings, PRA’s history, organization and curriculum are discussed. Attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the School Administration and will be given a tour of Platte River Academy. For upcoming Prospective Parent Information Meeting dates and times, check the PRA Calendar page.
How do I get my child into the school?
The first step in gaining admission to PRA is to
complete the online enrollment form. Note: a
separate form must be completed for each child you intend to enroll.
Once the school receives this form, your child will be:
a) Immediately given the option to complete the enrollment process if current openings exist in their grade, or
b) Placed on a wait list for their grade level or the year that the child will begin kindergarten.
When openings occur in any grade level, children of board members, staff members and siblings of currently enrolled students are given first priority to enroll. Any remaining openings are filled through a lottery system from the existing wait list.
How does the lottery work?
When a lottery draw is required, the school’s principal or assistant principal randomly chooses a number; i.e., if there are 150 children on the first grade wait list, a random number between 1 and 150 is drawn. The registrar then offers enrollment to the child whose application corresponds with that number. A new lottery is held every time an opening occurs thereby giving each child an equal opportunity at being chosen. Lotteries are held throughout the year as spaces become available and mid-year enrollment may be offered on occasion.
My child has an IEP; does PRA provide Special Education services?
There is a lot of misinformation about charter schools and their ability to serve students with special needs, including whether charter schools automatically exclude students with special needs. This is not the case.
As public schools, charter schools are required to serve students with special needs, just like any neighborhood public school. However, as with any other neighborhood public school, the charter school must be able to accommodate the student with special needs in order to provide an educational environment that will enable the student to thrive and be successful . It is important to remember that the needs of the student are paramount in selecting the school best suited to meet those needs.
What about availability for the coming year?
Lotteries for subsequent school years are held after currently enrolled students and children on the priority list secure enrollment. For grades with spaces still available, a lottery is held in February for the following school year. If your child’s name is drawn, you will be contacted and offered enrollment. Typically, only a short timeframe is given to accept this offer. If enrollment has not been confirmed and completed within this timeframe, the lottery number will be redrawn and the opening will be offered to another child. Even if you are not contacted in February, enrollment is dynamic and spaces may continue to open throughout the Spring and Summer.
Why is the wait list not ”first-come, first-served?”
The federal government mandated a lottery in 1997 for any charter school accepting federal money including grant money. PRA has received numerous federal grants. In the future, PRA may revert back to a “first-come, first-served” system for admission if we are no longer eligible for federal funds. This is why it is beneficial for parents to submit the “Enrollment Form” at their earliest opportunity.
How is Middle School different from K-5?
PRA’s middle school program begins in 6th grade. Classes are departmentalized and students change teachers for all subjects such as math, science and language arts. Middle School is housed in a separate section of our facility which contains lockers and larger classrooms. Sixth graders experience Outdoor Education each year in the mountains and 8th graders make a trek to Washington D.C. each spring. Students, teachers and parents enjoy the smaller setting (approximately 140 students as opposed to 1000 in traditional middle schools) and the individualized attention that only a small school can offer.
Where will my child go to high school?
PRA graduates attend public high schools in their neighborhood, open enroll at other public schools (based on space available) or attend private or parochial schools. Recent graduates have been accepted into local International Baccalaureate programs. Because we are a relatively new school, we are closely monitoring our graduates’ progress in high schools. Statistics show other Core Knowledge graduates in the area have been well-prepared for honors classes and the more rigorous academic programs available in high schools.
What is your cut-off date for Kindergarten?
Students must be 5 years old by October 1 of the year they are to start kindergarten.
What days do kindergartners go to school?
PRA has three kindergarten classes, each with 17 or 18 students. Morning (AM) class attends school from 8:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., five days per week; afternoon (PM) class attends school from 12:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., five days per week; and full-day class attends school from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., five days per week. There is a fee for the full-day kindergarten class, as district funding allows only for 1/2 day kindergarten students.
What extra curricular activities are offered?
PRA offers an after-school music program for band students in 5th – 8th grades, orchestra for 2nd – 8th grades and choir for 6th – 8th grades. Other after-school activities include boys’ and girls’ scout troops, chess club, Science Adventures, art class, and team sports (soccer, basketball, cross country, etc.).
Is before and after school care available?