Charter application explored by Kerr-Vance Academy

May. 11, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

Kerr-Vance Academy, an independent, non-sectarian, co-educational college preparatory day school in Henderson, has confirmed its board of trustees is exploring the application process of becoming a charter school.

The potential change would not take place until 2015.

“We’re exploring the application process to convert to a charter school, and the next round of applications would be due to the state this coming fall,” said Paul Villatico, headmaster at Kerr- Vance.

“It’s an enormous amount of work. It really is a two-year process.”

Villatico did not confirm whether an application would in fact be submitted in the fall, and said the board was in, “the infancy state of exploring.”

According to Villatico, the state Department of Public Instruction requires a letter of intent due prior to an application being submitted, and for charter schools wishing to open in 2015, that letter would be due in September of this year.

While Villatico did not provide reason for the potential change, he did say changing to a charter school would allow Kerr-Vance to better serve the community.

“We need to make sure we can offer what the community is asking for so they are exploring if we can better serve the community by being a charter school,” Villatico said. “We would be able to serve more students within the community.”

Villatico also said enrollment numbers at Kerr-Vance have gone down.

“Our enrollment numbers have definitely gone down,” Villatico said. “There’s no question about that.”

Currently there are 365 students that attend Kerr-Vance in grades four through 12, and another 25 in the Little Spartans K2 and K3.

Kerr-Vance was founded in 1968 as Vance Academy. The academy became Kerr-Vance Academy after merging with Kerr Lake School in 1986.

“This was Vance Academy, it opened first,” Villatico said. “Kerr Lake opened a few years after that, and in the mid-80s the two schools merged.”

The application deadline for charter schools wishing to open in 2014 has passed, and as Kerr-Vance does not currently have an application submitted to the DPI, the soonest they could potentially become charter would be in the fall of 2015.

While charter schools are publicly funded, private schools must generate their own funding, much of which comes from tuition fees.

The annual cost of a child in the Little Spartans K2 and K3 program is $6,600, plus a $300 contract deposit.

For a student in grades four through six the cost of attendance at Kerr-Vance would be $8,472 annually, plus a $300 contract deposit, and a student in grades seven through 12 would pay $9,162 annually plus a $300 contract deposit.

Contact the writer at abentely@hendersondispatch.com