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DR. BOBBY LOPEZ: Why select a charter school? Bob Hope has answers

As we get to this point in the year at Bob Hope School, we begin fielding many questions from parents about enrollment for the upcoming year.

At Bob Hope School, we have a lottery system in place, which is a random selection process by which students are admitted to our school. Our lottery system takes all the students who have applied or who are on the waiting list on April 1 and places them in a lottery.

On April 15, we then share the outcome of the lottery with our campuses. This lottery system is compiled by grade level, and all the students are placed from the first spot to the last according to how they were randomly selected in the lottery.

I emphasize the word, random. The lottery system does not select students based on academic grades or conduct, but does a random selection process for all students. This is an important point to note.

Let me take you through a couple of scenarios.

Let’s say that you have a student going into 7th grade in your household next year. This student is then randomly placed on the 7th grade waiting list. For the purposes of our explanation, we will say the student was selected on spot number 4.

If our 7th grade class needed six new students, this student would have an opportunity to come into the 7th grade class. However, if we only had three slots available for 7th grade, then in this case the student would not be able to join the 7th grade class, but would be first on the waiting list.

The lottery is a fair system for all students. At the Bob Hope School, we often hear that we only take the best of the best or that we take the cream of the crop. This is not the case. As a matter of fact, most students who come into our schools are grade levels behind academically.

Through our district model and programs, including a longer instructional day, students are able to close gaps, build their skills and increase overall achievement.

So why would you, as a parent, want to select a charter school? First and foremost, charters provide parents an option. Charters are not meant to be competitive with any other school, but only to offer parents a choice when it comes to their children’s education.

I like to use the example of buying a car. When you go out to buy a car, you research and look at many different types of makes and models before you decide on which one suits you best. When you buy clothes, you do the same. So why not take a similar approach when it comes to the education of your child?

The Texas Public Charter School Association published a report, “Texas’ Hidden Achievement GAPS,” which notes public charter schools typically open in neighborhoods where parents ask for more educational opportunities.

It also notes public schools which earned an A or B on their report cards failed the children of color in their schools. Many of these students are from 24 to 48 points behind in meeting grade level standards.

At Texas charters, students have more time to spend on instruction, they have a lower student-to-teacher ratio and have more assistance from teachers and aides.

For example, at our Bob Hope elementary campuses, all PK-5th grade classrooms have a teacher and an aide. This further lowers the student-to-teacher ratio, meaning more time and individualized attention devoted to your child enhances opportunities for learning.

Hopefully, I have provided you with the process of selecting a quality school for your child. Keep in mind that we often hear parents stating that our school is a very strict school. It is only strict because our teachers are there to teach and education is very important to us. Call the Bob Hope School and enroll now.

Dr. Bobby Lopez, CEO, has served as superintendent of the Bob Hope School since 2010. Contact him at bobby.lopez@bobhopeschool.org or 409-983-3244.