How much is the tuition to attend RCA?
Charter schools are public schools - no tuition for parents to pay. Charter schools are subject to the same standardized testing, student safety, civil rights and special education rules as other public schools.
What makes RCA different from traditional public schools?
We believe smaller schools are better. We believe that students get more individualized attention when class sizes are small. We believe that when an adult can instill self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence in a child, life-long learning begins. To show our commitment to education, we have made the following accomplishments:
Ø First public rural charter school in the state of Indiana
Ø First public school to extend school year past the required 180 days to 185 days
Ø First public school in Sullivan County to offer full-day kindergarten to all students
Ø First public school to offer Spanish to all students K-8
Ø First public school to use Northwest Evaluation Association testing to help guide curriculum on a more individualized basis
Ø First public school in state to teach State Standards using a "Place-Based Curriculum"
Ø First and only public school in an eight county area of the Wabash Valley to offer a Junior Achievement program at all grade levels K-8
Ø First public school to limit classroom size to 19 students
How do I know if my child is eligible to attend RCA?
Any student in grades K-8 that resides in the state of Indiana is eligible to attend a charter school in Indiana.
How do I enroll my student at RCA?
Enrollment at RCA is limited to maintain small class size. You may enroll your student anytime during the school year if there is a place available in that grade. An application can be downloaded from the link "Enrollment". Even if there is not a space available, we encourage enrollment as soon as possible as occasionally an opening becomes available due to a move, etc. Applications are time stamped and the next available spot is guaranteed to the first application submitted by date.
Every spring, usually for the month of March, there is an open enrollment period for the next school year. This will be well advertised; contact the school at 812-382-4500 with any questions you might have.
What is a charter and a charter school?
A charter is a written contract between a school and a sponsoring entity, in our case Ball State University. Charter schools were approved in 2001 by the Indiana legislature to improve education in Indiana. Charter schools are allowed more freedom in education in exchange for more accountability to its sponsor in addition to the accountability of all public schools to the state of Indiana. Each charter is different based upon the market it serves. There are over 50 charter schools in Indiana and the numbers continue to rise.
Where can I find information on charter schools in Indiana?
The Indiana Department of Education website (www.doe.in.us) contains information about all of the Charter Schools presently in operation in the state of Indiana. Also, the Ball State University website discusses schools such as RCA that are sponsored by BSU. In fact, you can visit the BSU website and learn what they think of RCA.
When is a lottery established for selecting students for RCA?
All returning RCA students are automatically enrolled in the proper grade level class. Sibling of returning RCA students will automatically be enrolled in their own grade level class. After returning students and siblings are enrolled, new applications from the open enrollment period in the Spring will be considered. If applications exceed class size limits in any grade, a lottery will be held to see who will be enrolled in the class. All others waiting to be enrolled will have their name placed in a box with others waiting to enroll and the names will be drawn at random. After all available spots in a grade level are filled, the remaining names will be drawn and put on a waiting list in the order drawn. These students on the waiting list will be contacted should a vacancy occur.
What is the difference between RCA and RCSI?
RCSI (Rural Community Schools, Inc.) is the non-profit corporation that established and created our school, Rural Community Academy. Just as all public school corporations in Indiana have different schools, Rural Community Academy is a school in the RCSI Corporation. In the future, RCSI could establish other schools under its non-profit umbrella.
How many students are there at RCA?
The maximum number of students if every classroom of 19 was filled would be 171. Numbers range from 91 students in the 2004-05 school year to 123 in the 2007-08 school year.
What about transportation?
RCA has made gigantic strides in the area of transportation. RCA receives only one of the six major funds that traditional public schools receive from state and local taxes. One of the areas that is not financially supported by the state is transportation. Once the legislature passes equal funding for charters, transportation will be an option just like in all other traditional public schools in the state.
RCA will offer limited transportation until more funds are secured. Because students can come from anywhere, transportation directly to homes will not be available. However, centralized transportation in geographical areas of high student concentration is available. Call the office to determine the transportation points available.
What are Rural Community Academy's feelings about parental involvement?
Parents are encouraged and even expected to be actively involved. Each family is expected to volunteer a minimum of twenty hours per year. Hours donated by grandparents and other family members count toward family's volunteer hours. There are many opportunities to volunteer during, before, and after the school day. Parents serve on many committees and a minimum of two parents serve on the five-member Board of Directors to ensure that parents are represented.