News and Tribune


June 26, 2014

York Academy in Jeffersonville again rejected for charter

Leaders giving it another go this summer

JEFFERSONVILLE — Their charter was again rejected, but the board members of the York Academy of Discovery are working to poise themselves for another shot later this summer.

Eric Schansberg, board president of the school, said York Academy’s application to the Indiana Charter School Board was rejected in May because the state board saw a lack of detail in their ideas. But with the next application deadline approaching in August, he said he hopes his board can make their next pitch a little more convincing to the state board.

“We feel like we can make a lot of changes in the proposal,” Schansberg said. “We’re hoping that the issue is that we just didn’t write the proposal well enough.”

The school — a proposed middle school they hope to locate somewhere in Greater Clark — has been through a couple of iterations and boards leading it. Though the charter has been rejected before, Schansberg said he wants to keep trying.

After meeting with the rest of his board, Schansberg said while they listed ideas such as getting professional development in the school calendar, how innovative they want to make it and other concepts.

Stephen Daeschner, a member of York’s board and former superintendent of Greater Clark County Schools, said he’s still helping in the writing process. He said though he’s sure they can work out the details the charter board — which is run by Ball State University — wants to see, it’s always hard to tell how the actual pitch reception will end up.

“I wish I knew the answer to that,” Daeschner said. “I’m comfortable and confident that what we’re writing about, we know. I hope the charter board will look at what we’re trying to clarify, but I think that’s in the charter board’s hands.”

Schansberg, also an economics professor at IU Southeast, said his board will remain the same for the next round. He said their combined experience in education should help them get through this next hurdle, but he’s staying cautiously optimistic about the results from this application, which he expects in October.

“We’re just hoping we can open the school,” Schansberg said. “I think we can understand the perspective of the accrediting body — they just want to be confident that we’re going to be successful. We’d be handling a lot of taxpayer money as another public school and the board is doing its due diligence.

“It’s not easy to start a school. We hope to grow from the process and put a process together that meets the muster.”

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