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FCUSD's hidden gem: Folsom Cordova Community Charter School

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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While the majority of students in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District attend traditional schools such as Folsom and Sutter Middle School, there is a hidden gem that could be more suitable for your not-so-traditional student.

The Folsom Cordova Community Charter School offers home school support for families wishing to pursue an alternative form of education for grades K-8.

The school started its unique techniques of learning in 2004 with only 40 students and a staff of five. Currently, the school has a staff of 12 and an enrollment around 150.

The school recently relocated to the Kitty Hawk campus located near Mather Airfield.

The new site boasts a beautiful campus with a library, full computer lab, basketball courts, a family room and a student and staff-maintained garden.

“For several years, we were located on the Sutter Middle School campus,” said Jim Cagney, director of the charter school. “Because of the renovations at Sutter Middle School, we moved to the Kitty Hawk campus.”

The original location at Sutter Middle School was very tight for the charter school with not many gathering places for students and families, he said. Now, the school has more room to make everyone feel comfortable.

In the past, there was a waiting list to enroll in the school, but since their relocation, the school no longer has to turn away eager-to-learn students as they have a larger capacity, Cagney said.

Charter and alternative schools are growing in popularity. Folsom Community Charter School is different in that personalized support is offered every 10 school days from credentialed teachers who are well-versed in a variety of mainstream and alternative curricula options. Teachers work closely with students and families to devise the best education plans possible.

Aside from the academic program, a sense of community and belonging is one of the most important goals of the school, Cagney said. The school offers a variety of weekly onsite STEAM-based workshops that put the art into science, technology, engineering and math, for an integrated, holistic and creative approach to learning.
This new category of classes will engage the student in deep learning across areas and through multiple learning styles.

“Our families are able to have a lot more flexibility in their daily schedule, which gives students the opportunity to have more family time,” he said. “Our families also have tremendous control over what kind of curriculum they want to use.”

Local resident, Katrina Szczerba, recently chose the charter school for her son, Spencer. She said her son was getting bored in traditional school; he wasn’t paying attention and he would get in trouble.

“It turned out to be the best decision for us,” she said. “We have the flexibility during the day and he can wake up when he’s ready to learn. If there is something he is interested in learning, we can focus on it. We can go deeper than the normal classes do.”
Szczerba said her 10-year-old son’s attitude and personality has changed for the better.

“Something I really love about the school is that it isn’t the traditional home school, it is unique,” she said. “There are teachers there that help us a lot, and there are all kinds of books to choose from for curriculum. For example, Spencer had a hard time with common-core math, so we chose a different math path and now he is up to speed on math.”

The school recently updated its program to double its discretionary funds from $600 to $1,200 per school year, per student. These funds can be used to support additional homeschooling endeavors. The program also simplified its record-keeping process in order to ease the administrative load on families.

The community charter school is located at 4420 Mohegan Way and serves the following counties: Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo, and Sutter counties.

Cagney said they are currently enrolling students and encourages parents to check out the website and videos at fcusd.org/charter.