CLINTON -- Voyage Academy Charter School plans to begin building a 40,000-square-foot facility for 520 students in kindergarten to sixth grade, with the desire to open in fall 2013.
The charter school is currently working with Clinton officials and a developer to determine an exact location.
Voyage Academy Charter School will focus on expeditionary learning, considered a hands-on approach to learning.
"We will focus not as much on textbooks, but more on exploring and learning with our hands and eyes," said April Olson, the charter school's board chairman. "Expeditionary learning has been around for many years, and a few schools in Utah are like this. Engaging the students is what we're most excited about, because not all kids learn the same way."
The school's mission is to explore life skills and personal responsibility, with focuses on thinking and reasoning, social and civic responsibility, aesthetics, communication, employability and system thinking.
"A lot of schools go two inches deep and a mile wide with information," said Jeff Biesinger, the school's business manager. "We won't go as wide, but we'll go very deep, and our students will become experts at quite a few things."
Additionally, the school hopes their students will become an integral part of the community, with a focus on social and civic responsibility.
"We want these kids to do something to benefit the community," said Biesinger, who explained that all of the sixth-graders will be required to spend 40 hours of their own time on a service-oriented project.
Because charter schools can limit class size, the school will keep class sizes to 25 students. The school will be run by a local parent school board. The school also has no boundaries, meaning students from any location can attend the school; however, no bus service will be available to students.
The school year will follow a traditional school year, similar to Davis School District, and uniforms will be required for students. Teachers at the charter school will receive national training from expeditionary learning experts.
Because of the growth in Davis County, Olson said, officials are excited about the charter school. Clinton city officials also look forward to the charter school going up in their city, especially with the small class sizes.
"It is proven an ideal way to teach with lower class sizes," said Councilwoman Joanne Hansen, who was also intrigued by the hands-on approach to learning. She said:
"This way, everything they're learning has to do with core learning, so it becomes real life, and when kids know there is a reason for it, they do better on tests."