Classical-based charter school receives initial approval to open in Ogden

Friday , January 13, 2017 - 5:49 PM

ANNA BURLESON, Standard-Examiner Staff

SALT LAKE CITY — A new charter school is one step closer to opening in Ogden.

Pending approval from the Utah State Board of Education in February, Capstone Classical Academy plans to open August 2018 in Weber School District. The school will be located in either Pleasant View or Ogden and serve students in grades six through 12.

The Utah State Charter School Board approved the school’s application at a meeting Thursday.

The school will have a classical curriculum, teaching ethics, philosophy, rhetoric and logic, said Susan Goers, Capstone’s director and founder. Students will not only be expected to learn concepts, but apply them to their lives.

“We’re not just going to teach them about great people, we’re going to expect them to use those virtues,” Goers said.

Class time will be broken into intervals of small-group instruction with students moving from one hub to another, learning several skill sets before applying them to a hands-on group project.

Other school offerings include Latin, a history of the Bible in literature class and a world religion class.

“As the U.S. becomes more diverse religiously, it’s our job to educate our students on how to property and professionally communicate and work side by side with people who have a different belief system,” Goers said.

School Board Chairman Christopher Gurnee said the school’s vision is to empower gifted scholars.

“We as a board plan to lead by example in the community,” he said.

As a public, open-enrollment institution, Goers said students won’t have to meet specific requirements to enroll but they will take an entrance exam to see where they will succeed. 

According to the Capstone application presented to the board, the school expects to have 360 students during year one, 505 students for year two and 700 students by year three. Capstone will also partner with Brigham Young University to offer credit recovery, blended, dual enrollment and online courses.

Those interested in attending the school can visit capstoneclassical.org.

The motion to approve Capstone’s application passed with one dissenting vote from board member DeLaina Tonks, who said the school is facing an “uphill battle.”

Other business

The charter school board also approved the application for Advantage Arts Academy, which will be located within the Jordan School District in Herriman and operate with an arts integration curriculum for grades K-6. It is slated to open August 2018.

The board denied an application from Mountain Sunrise Academy, which, according to board documents, was slated to be in the “North Utah County Lehi/Saratoga Springs/Eagle Mountain area.” The school would have followed the Steiner-Waldorf Education educational model.

The board also voted to terminate Ignite Entrepreneurial Academy’s charter. The school was supposed to open this fall in the Traverse Mountain area of Utah. The school has a chance to request a hearing to refute the board’s decision.

Contact education reporter Anna Burleson at aburleson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnagatorB or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BurlesonReports.

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