AUSTIN, Texas—Community representatives have been named to an advisory council for the new University of Texas Elementary Charter School that will open in August with the goals of providing an excellent education foundation for a diverse group of students in East Austin and serving as a demonstration school for The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education.
The council members will advise the school administration at the charter school that has been encouraging parents from the area to enroll their children for pre-kindergarten through first-grade classes. A reception and information meeting will be held 6-8 p.m. April 10 in the Conley-Guerrero Activity Center, 808 Nile St., to better acquaint East Austin parents with the new school and the application process.
The charter school council members are:
- Dr. June Brewer, director of Borders Learning Community and professor emerta at Huston Tillotson College.
- Marcos de Leon, El Concilio, a coalition of Mexican American neighborhoods in east and southeast Austin.
- Dr. Sylvia Herrera, co-founder of People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources (PODER).
- Herman Lessard, president and chief executive officer of the Austin Area Urban League.
- Johnny Limon, St. Julia Catholic Church.
- Dr. Sylvia Hawkins Little, partner, Associates for Educational Excellence.
- Rev. Anthony Mays, pastor of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.
- Richard Mendoza, R. Mendoza and Company, P.C.
- Art Ramirez, site supervisor, Oswaldo A. B. Cantu Pan American Recreation Center.
- Stella Roland, first vice president, East Side Social Action Coalition.
- Cathy Vasquez, publisher of La Prensa in Austin.
- Tommy Wyatt, editor and publisher of the Villager.
The school in the 2200 block of East 6th Street will operate as an open-enrollment charter school campus and will not discriminate in any manner on the basis of sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, or academic, artistic or athletic ability. The charter school will serve students living in the area east of Interstate 35, south of U.S. Highway 290, west of U.S. Highway 183 and north of State Highway 71.
The charter school will serve pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students during its first year of operation. Second grade will be added the following year, with another grade added each year until the school includes grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. This fall, the school is projected to have 18 to 20 students in each pre-kindergarten section and 20 to 22 students per section in kindergarten and first grade. The school is expected to open with about 120 students and eventually serve 300 students.
The school’s community awareness and student enrollment effort is led by Dr. Robert Galvan, assistant vice president for the Office of School Relations at The University of Texas at Austin.
At the information meeting on April 10 parents will have the opportunity to complete a general information sheet and student names will be placed in the applicant pool. The admissions process for the charter school is prescribed by state law. If more students apply for a grade level than there is capacity, a lottery will be held on April 28 to determine which students are admitted to that grade. Those individuals not selected will be placed on a waiting list. If fewer students apply for a grade than there is capacity, all applicants for the grade will be admitted on April 28 and recruitment for additional students will continue.
The charter school will serve a diverse population of elementary students in East Austin. It will establish a young children’s reading program grounded in the scientific research conducted by the Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts. The school also will adopt a math instructional program based on the groundbreaking study of the National Center for Educational Accountability to identify characteristics of math programs in high-performing schools serving disadvantaged students.
For more information contact: Dr. Robert Galvan, Office of School Relations, 512-475-6064, or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.