Myth: The staff at Soldier Hollow Charter School are not certified/licensed educators.
Truth: All of the educators are certified and Highly Qualified for the subjects they teach. We have a document provided by the State Charter School Office showing the state data. Soldier Hollow Charter School is 1 of 12 charter schools out of 107 in the state where 100% of our teaching and administrative assignments are filled with certified, highly qualified teachers. Your children will have some of the finest teachers in the state at our school, as many have multiple degrees and a love for working with students.
Myth: Charter schools do not require college degrees to teach.
Truth: All public schools in Utah have the same requirements and to be a certified teacher, you must have a college degree. All teachers have college degrees in the field they are teaching, and even additional specialty degrees such as reading endorsements and environmental education. We are required by the US Department of Education’s Title IIa to post our teachers certification and experience, which you can find at: http://www.mysoldierhollow.com/about/meet-our-teachers/new-faculty-information/
Myth: Soldier Hollow Charter School is a private school
Truth: We are a free public school, just as the other public schools in Wasatch County. We abide by the same laws and regulations in which all public schools abide. Public charter schools are funded by our state legislature at 90% of what traditional public schools receive and we cannot bond our tax payers to fund our facilities, unlike the local school district. Because of this, we do ask for parent time and monetary donations if they are able, to help us meet all of the needs of our students.
Myth: Our parents must volunteer many hours a week
Truth: We LOVE our parents. Our school was created by parents and we will gladly accept any volunteering that they may offer. There is no requirement for volunteering and we do ask that you record it so that we may recognize our parents many efforts. Your logged hours for volunteering help us secure grants. Because we do not receive the same funding as other public schools, we appreciate all that parents provide, to make our vision of the school become a reality. If you have not signed up for a volunteer opportunity, please consider it as it is a great way to meet other SHCS families, understand our programs and become a part of our community.
Myth: Soldier Hollow Charter School students are not as academically prepared as other students and may have difficulty transitioning
Truth: Transitioning is going to vary from child to child, but academically, we are in the top 20% of the state. Visit our School Performance web page under the Our School tab to see how we compare to local schools and the state.
Myth: Charter schools have a negative impact and “drain money” from local public schools.
Truth: When money is allocated to public charter schools, there is no loss of funding for public education because charter schools are local public schools. While they exist within the same boundaries as other public schools, there is NO REASON why schools cannot enhance other schools and work together. The sharing of facilities and communication with other schools only benefits our valley’s children. With the Heber Valley growing so quickly and the fact that new schools may need to be built, Soldier Hollow Charter School fills a need for families and the community and we can all coexist amicably and support each other.
Charter schools are the only public schools that don’t receive any public funding for facilities. They must pay for their buildings from their operating budgets.
Myth: The way charter schools are funded is unfair to districts.
Truth: Charters receive funding only when parents choose to enroll their children in them; the funds move with the students.
Myth: Charter Schools select only the finest academic students
Truth: Charter schools are public schools open to any child, free of charge. If more children want to enroll in a school than it has space for, a random lottery determines who is accepted. Siblings of current students are given a priority to keep families together.
Myth: Public charter schools are part of an agenda to privatize public education.
Truth: Again, charter schools are public schools. We are open to all students and admission is determined by random lottery—no entrance exams, no admission requirements. We are managed by public boards of trustees, abide by all the same laws and rules that district schools do, and are overseen by the Utah State Office of Education.
Myth: Local communities do not have a say in the charter school process.
Truth: Public charter schools were established to operate independently from the local school district, but they certainly are a part of the local community. We were founded by local parents and we are a local school. During the initial chartering process, there are many opportunities for dialogue between community officials, other community members, and state education officials. In addition, the local government, school district, and teachers’ unions all have a voice during the chartering process.
Charter schools reject the notion of one-size-fits-all when it comes to education; rather, they are designed to fill the needs as determined by members of the community. If enough people in the community decide they want a charter school, then the law gives them an opportunity to start a public school as long as they can prove a need.
Myth: Public charter schools cost the state money it does not have.
Truth: When students transfer from district schools to attend charter schools, the money earmarked for their education simply moves with them at the beginning of each year—it would be spent anyway. In fact, K-6 charter schools receive 90% of the Weighted Pupil Unit (WPU) for each child while district schools receive 99% for the same aged students.
Myth: Public charter schools are not held accountable for performance.
Truth: Charter school students must take all the same standardized tests as district students and follow the new state core curriculum.
We hope you take the time to bust the local Myths, and give Soldier Hollow Charter School the opportunity to answer your questions. Call us to schedule a tour of our school, ask questions about our programs and let the data and facts speak for itself. We are a nationally award winning school that produces scholars, as evidenced by the local senior awards night