Local News

New charter school approved for Woodland

By February 24, 2011

A new charter school serving high school students was given the green light Tuesday by the Yolo County Board of Education.

The board unanimously approved a petition for Woodland Polytechnic Academy. The board’s action finalized the conditional approval given to Woodland Poly in January.

“Thanks to the county Board of Education’s action, our families have more options to help their children reach their fullest potential,” said Steve Marks Jr., a Woodland Poly founder.

Proponents of Woodland Poly campaigned for a year to develop community interest in the school, building a list with the names of more than 550 supporters.

Now that a charter has been granted, Woodland Poly’s next step will be to identify a campus somewhere in Woodland. According to Marks, Woodland Poly is seeking a facility with enough room for 10 to 12 classrooms and a bit of office space. Woodland Poly has two months to identify a site.

Marks added that Woodland Poly plans to open this fall — “on the Tuesday after Labor Day” — with a projected initial enrollment of about 250 students. Woodland Poly is now enrolling freshmen, sophomores and juniors for the 2011-12 school year. Pre-enrollment applications are available on the school’s website, http://www.woodlandpoly.org. The school plans to expand to grade 12 in fall 2012.

Marks said Woodland Poly’s program will be modeled to a degree on the Da Vinci High School program in Davis. Da Vinci began in 2004 as a small learning community, housed on the Davis High School campus. Later, it moved to the Valley Oak campus (formerly an elementary school) and was granted charter school status by the Davis school board.

The Yolo County Board of Education’s decision to grant a charter reversed a unanimous decision in November by the Woodland school board to deny it. Woodland Poly will operate under the supervision of the county board, which will review the school’s performance and periodically consider renewal of the charter.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or (530) 747-8055. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Jeff Hudson

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