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Public hearing on proposed charter high school this Thursday

7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, Loomis Grammar School
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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A new independent charter school may become a part of the Loomis Union School District. A public hearing will be held this week on the application for the John Adams Academy, which is expected to be located in the vicinity of Highway 65 and Sunset Boulevard between Rocklin and Roseville. “Whenever you’re doing a petition you want to go where people would be in favor of it. Loomis has an outstanding IB (International Baccalaureate) school, it would be a good fit,” said Dean Forman, of Roseville, who is the academy’s founder. Forman and Mark Uhler, of Granite Bay, presented their charter application to the Loomis district at the December school board meeting. Paul Johnson, Loomis district superintendent, said that according to the State Education Code Section 47605-47608, charter school petitions must adequately address 16 issues. Johnson said attorneys for the district are currently reviewing the application and their analysis will be presented at the February school board meeting. He said those legal fees will be reimbursed by the state. Section 47605 of the Education Code states, the governing board of the school district shall not deny a charter petition unless it can factually prove that it “presents an unsound educational program,” the petitioners are “demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program,” or that the petition doesn’t contain the required number of signatures, affirmations or required descriptions. The Code also states “the chartering authority shall be guided by the intent of the Legislature that charter schools are and should become an integral part of the California educational system and that establishment of charter schools should be encouraged.” Johnson said that if the district finds reason to deny the charter, the academy can appeal it to the offices of education for the county then to the state. Forman said the new school would begin with grades seven to 10 and eventually be a kindergarten through 12th-grade school. He said the grammar school portion may be “independent, non-classroom learning.” According to the academy’s Web site, their plan is to offer a classical education using the philosophy of the country’s Founding Fathers and classical books supplemented with text books. They would also have mentors from the community to assist students. Forman said they chose the proposed location because it is centrally located for South Placer County and would be able to draw mentors from the Sun City residents. Forman is a financial planner, served as a trustee for the Roseville Joint Union School District, and is board president for CORE Placer Charter School. Forman said his children attend the CORE school in Loomis. CORE was chartered through the Colfax School District and operates one facility on Taylor Road. Forman is the academy president and said he has been working on the classical education concept for 10 years. He recently teamed up with Uhler, who will serve as executive director. “Charter schools are a movement whose time has come. The academy would integrate well for the district and show great leadership and vision,” he said. Johnson said the school board will receive the attorney review of the proposed school at their Feb. 4 meeting and is expected to make a decision at that time. The February meeting will be held at Loomis Basin Charter School. Public hearing on charter petition for John Adams Academy 7 p.m., Thursday Jan. 14 Loomis Grammar School Full petition available at: www.loomis-usd.k12.ca.us