HOPE – The reluctance of the Arkansas Department of Education Charter Authorizing Panel to embrace the innovation of the Hope Collegiate and Professions Academy as a conversion charter school resulted Thursday in the Hope Public School District withdrawing its application for the charter.
The action came as the ADE panel met in Little Rock on Thursday.
Hope Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said that, while he was disappointed by the panel’s reticence, the unique concept would be pursued by the HPSD.
“We are appreciative of the panel’s interest and questions around the Academy concept, and are looking forward to a strong and vibrant partnership with UAHT moving forward,” Dr. Hart said.
Meanwhile, the University of Arkansas-Hope, which has been in partnership with the HPSD in the development of the proposed grades 10-12 academy, issued a statement about the development, which read in part:
“That withdrawal was based on the panel’s suggestion that the mission of the Collegiate Academy could be more efficiently achieved as a school within a school instead of a conversion charter campus. The development of the project will continue to move forward under the panel’s suggested design.”
Both Dr. Hart and UAH Chancellor Chris Thomason told the Hope School Board on Monday that educational the innovation within the model makes the HCP Academy a unique educational concept in Arkansas.
“This is a very innovative model; it is not even like the Arkansas School for Math and Sciences in Hot Springs,” Thomason explained to the Hope board.
A tenth grade pilot cohort of the Hope Collegiate and Professions Academy for the proposed grades 10-12 academy is already housed in the Rapert Library Center at UAH.
Hart said the pilot class of 23 students includes eight students who moved to the HPSD in order to attend the academy. The model adheres to a collegiate level semester class schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Tuesday, Thursday classes as found at any college or university, and the high-school level classes are taught by UAH faculty, but with the rigor of college-level study.