Increasing student enrollment and community outreach are key goals of the Cannon Beach Academy, director Amy Fredrickson said in an update on the charter school to the Seaside School District’s board of directors on Feb. 19.
Increased enrollment has an impact on how much funding the charter school receives from the district, Fredickson said.
A portion of the $180,000 grant from Oregon’s Department of Education, the second state education grant awarded to the academy since its opening, will address enrollment numbers.
While state grant dollars cannot pay staff salaries, funds can also go to staff development and support through the purchase of upgraded technology.
Another focus of the academy, Fredrickson said, will be “enriching and improving our curriculum.”
For instance, the academy is attempting to add a new grade level each school year, which requires purchasing new curriculum to serve the older students. The school uses direct instruction curriculum for reading and math, which has led to positive results.
“It’s helping to fill the gaps for many students who were behind in reading and math,” she said. “It’s also helping our students to excel, in terms of students reading above grade level.
The academy also received a Cannon Beach Community Grant for $9,146 to augment the school nutrition program with fresh fruits and vegetables and improve emergency preparedness through obtaining food and water storage barrels.
Additionally, the school’s $1,250 grant from U.S. Bank helped finance the installation of a new playground, which also was supported by academy board member Barb Knop.
Staff and volunteers
The academy, which started operating in 2017, is serving 34 students — from Nehalem to Warrenton — in the 2018-19 school year. About 20 percent of the students come from Spanish-speaking homes and 52 percent are from households self-disclosed as economically disadvantaged, Fredrickson said.
The academy’s core teaching staff includes Dawn Jay, the kindergarten and first-grade teacher; Ryan Hull, the second- and third-grade teacher; and Leticia Campos, the Spanish, English Language Development, and co-kindergarten/first-grade teacher. Fredrickson also provides teaching support part-time.
The school heavily relies on help from community members and parents, Fredrickson said, adding those volunteers “are critical for our school to run.” They serve breakfast and lunch — which are offered free of charge to all students, regardless of income — and help with cleaning and maintenance each week.
Fredrickson said they also have a dozen local college students who provide instructional assistance in the classroom each day. The young students “love having them there,” she said.
“They also love having our family members, parents, and community members come into the classroom as well,” she said.