Temecula-based charter school receives national award


Springs Charter Schools, headquartered in Temecula, is one of 10 charter schools nationwide that is receiving an Above and Beyond award from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

During National Charter Schools Week, May 10-16, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is honoring “charter schools that are doing exceptional work during the coronavirus pandemic to serve not only their own students, but people outside their school community,” according to a statement by Debbie Veney, the organization’s senior vice president, in a news release.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and advocates on behalf of public school students either attending or wishing to attend a charter school. The organization is involved in government advocacy efforts, research and raising national awareness for the charter school movement, according to the news release.

Springs Charter Schools serves 9,660 school children, including 6,800 in Riverside County, in a variety of programs.

In addition to serving its own students through distance learning, Springs began offering a free online OPEN Classroom program in March for non-Springs students from kindergarten through 12th grade and teachers, which includes curriculum in subjects such as math, science, language arts and reading.

More than 5,000 non-Springs students are using the curriculum. Those students are from all over the United States and from the United Kingdom, France, Australia, India, Japan, Canada, Poland and Afghanistan.

“As the state’s classrooms were closing in March, parents contacted us seeking advice on how to continue their children’s learning at home or even wishing to enroll in our homeschool programs,” Kathleen Hermsmeyer, Springs superintendent, said in the news release. “While the pandemic prevents us from accepting any new students until the fall, we were able to share our expertise with distance learning by launching OPEN Classroom.”

“There are many public schools that served their students well in the face of COVID-19, but the exceptional work of our Above and Beyond Award winners embodies compassion and caring for people outside theirschool community who also needed help,” Nina Rees, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said in the news release.

For information about Springs Charter Schools’ OPEN Classroom program, go to www.SpringsCS.org/OPEN-Classroom.

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