Topic: Teachers College

December 29, 2008

Ball State University will open another charter school door  literally  as well as windows of opportunity for many Hoosier children who will attend a new charter school in Columbus, Ind., beginning in fall 2009.

President Jo Ann M. Gora has approved the sponsorship of the International School of Columbus after receiving a recommendation from the Office of Charter Schools and community input at a public meeting.

Larry Gabbert, director of Ball State's Office of Charter Schools, says the new facility will open with students in grades 7-9 and have an initial enrollment of 240-300 students.  The school will use a curriculum that includes the International Baccalaureate program,, a proven concept that has been adopted by more than 1,000 schools in the United States as well as 128 countries around the world.

Earlier this year, Ball State approved the sponsorship of five other charter schools, Imagine Indiana Life Sciences Academy-West, Imagine Bridge Academy, Cardinal Academy of Muncie, Xavier School of Excellence and the Project School, all of which are also scheduled to open in fall 2009.

In 2001, the Indiana General Assembly approved legislation allowing four-year public universities, public school districts and the mayor of Indianapolis to sponsor charter schools. Ball State is the only university authorizing charter schools in Indiana, with 29 in operation and six more to open within roughly a year.

As a public charter schools authorizer, Ball State does not run the schools but reserves the right to rescind a charter if a school fails to meet performance standards.