New charter school in Vacaville brings in students

By From page A4 | March 08, 2014

VACAVILLE — A new public charter school scheduled to open this fall will offer its last set of informational meetings Saturday for the upcoming school year.

Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy is a free public school for kindergarten through eighth grade. The two meetings will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at Valley Church, 5063 Maple Road in Vacaville, and at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Vacaville Town Square Library, 1 Town Square.

Information given to prospective parents will include an overview of Kairos plus an opportunity to meet the founding team and ask questions. Families interested in enrollment should download an intent-to-enroll form available at www.kairospublicschools.org. More information about the school can also be obtained on the website. The deadline for Phase 1 registration is 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

While this ends Phase 1, and the last chance to be in an as-needed lottery dependent upon the number of applicants, applications will continue to be accepted, said co-founders Bob Hampton and Jared Austin.

Hampton and Austin were key players at Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, with Hampton as the founder who also served as its principal for several years. The vision, when discussed before the Vacaville School District governing board in November, was for Kairos charter school to act as a feeder school for Buckingham.

There are currently 320 children registered with dozens of applications coming in every day, Austin said. About 70 percent of those currently registered are within the Vacaville School District. The remaining are in surrounding Solano County, including Fairfield. Hampton said that when they finally announce a facility location, he believes there will be waiting lists for some grades.

“We projected over 400 and we’re over three-quarters there without even having a facility,” he said.

The charter school is still negotiating with the school district for use of former school facilities, but it’s also negotiating with other parties for private locations. Initially, the former Sierra Vista Elementary School site was in the equation, but Austin said that the former Elm Elementary School site is “the main talking point now” if the charter school was to partner with the district.

“We have to have a home so we’re making sure we cover all our bases,” Austin said. “It would be great to work out something with the district but if it doesn’t we have other options as well.”

Attempts to reach district officials Friday afternoon were not successful.

Hampton said progress is being made to procure a location and there should be news “by the end of the month, if not sooner,” he said.

Hampton from the outset said that Kairos’ curriculum will be centered on a classical education model, with a strong focus on critical thinking, history and analysis. There will also be an emphasis on technology, similar to that of Buckingham’s visual media arts program. He said the school will also be guided by the new Common Core state standards, which the district’s other schools are also implementing.

“I’m just so happy that the community at large has been supportive,” Hampton said. “It’s a fantastic community to serve and support.”

Those interested in attending the Saturday event or in registration after Saturday are asked to email [email protected] or call 356-9210.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.


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