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School board votes for Midway charter school

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By Alice Du Pont

 

 The Gadsden County School Board unanimously approved during a special meeting Nov. 14 a charter school for the city of Midway.

 

“We are so happy; it’s a special day in the city of Midway and for its citizens. This opens the way for us to submit our application and begin the process that will change our history,” said City Manager Auburn Ford Jr. from Orlando, where he attended a statewide conference on charter schools.

 

The school, which will enroll 250 students from kindergarten to fifth grade, is a traditional school with emphasis on high technology and the arts and sciences. Ford said the school will be based on the same concept as Crossroad Academy, but only operated by the city of Midway.

 

The curriculum will be based on the state’s Common Core standards and must have all academics approved by the state. The school will operate the same as other charter schools with only state-approved classes.

 

“We have already begun negotiations with the United States Department of Agriculture for a $4 million grant/loan to construct the facility off High Bridge Road in Midway near the Hilltop East development, just behind the new fire 

station. 

 

“We hope to get everything worked out with USDA by 2013 so that construction can begin and open the door for the 2014-2015 school year,” Ford said.

 

“The population in that area deserves a school. At first I was only in favor of a traditional public school, but when we found out we couldn’t get one, I supported the charter school,” said School Board Member Eric Hinson, who represents the Midway area.