There are 31 charter schools opening this fall in the state of Michigan, and one found a home in Farmington Hills.
Faxon Academy is the city's first elementary charter school, offering an international education that includes a foreign language immersion program. By the time children graduate from the school, they will be fluent in English and possess the ability to write, read and speak in at least one other language, possibly more.
Buddy Moorehouse, vice president of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, confirms that the charter is a public school that is tuition free. “(Charter schools) are set up to fill an educational need based on the community they are located," he said.
“The great thing about charter schools is it gives parents a quality choice. It gives parents a choice and the power to decide on the best education for their child. The power is in their hands,” Moorehouse said. “If traditional public school is good then that’s good. If parents are looking for a smaller school, smaller class sizes; a specialty school, then Faxon Academy offers that.”
According to the Faxon Academy website, their vision is to “teach tolerance, understanding and sensitivity to other cultures, peoples and countries”. This, along with being bilingual, will provide the student with a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
Faxon Academy must meet the same requirements as a traditional public school, which includes taking the M.E.A.P. test as well as other standardized test. Their primary language focus is on Spanish or Chinese beginning at the kindergarten level. Other languages are offered if a parent wishes for their child to learn more than two.
The next closest charter school is located in West Bloomfield and specializes in the arts. Whether deciding between a traditional public school or charter school, Moorehouse recommends, “shopping around to find the best quality school for your child in the area”.
So far, Faxon Academy has enrolled students as far away as Southfield and Redford; enrollment is open throughout the year to any student in Michigan.
For more information, visit www.faxonacademy.com.