The federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) supports the creation of new schools and the replication of charter schools that are producing results. In this series, we take a closer look at charter schools across the nation that were able to open their doors and serve unique community needs due to CSP grants.
The DeLaSalle Education Center (DeLaSalle) provides an alternative education option to students ages 14 to 20 living in Kansas City, Missouri. DeLaSalle is the only charter high school in Missouri dedicated exclusively to serving the high-risk, urban core student, and it also offers mental health, addiction recovery, parenting, and concentrated remediation supports within the school. In addition to traditional end-of-course and standardized exams, DeLaSalle measures student success through academic growth, progress toward treatment goals, and attendance rates. Students are allowed to enroll at any time throughout the year, and are empowered to define personal goals and set their own learning pace to complete the required 24 credits and pass exams to earn their high school diploma.
DeLaSalle received $300,000 through the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). Executive Director Mark Williamson explained, “One of the things we know about our students is that they are very tech savvy, and they learn well using technology. When we looked around our school, we were really thread bare in computers and Smart Boards and the technology that we really wanted to have to use in academic instruction. The CSP grant came our way, and literally overnight, that changed. We were able to add laptops and desktops and Smart Boards, and we were able to expand the use of our online learning software because then we had the hardware to support that. It's been a really big plus for us.”
Student K’von said about his experience at DeLaSalle, “I'm a senior. I wasn't supposed to graduate until next year, but yet I'm graduating this year, and I'm nineteen years old. Nobody expected me to graduate at all. I have the statistic kind of neighborhood. Everybody in my neighborhood except for my older brother dropped out of school. Everybody thought that I would be the same way because of my past. I can have a million other accomplishments that people can try to take away from me, but I'm going to have a paper that says I've graduated from DeLaSalle.”
Please click here to learn more about DeLaSalle Education Center and other charter schools that have received CSP funding.