Different Approaches that Yield Results


New Hampshire charter schools are mission-driven, open enrollment, public schools of choice. Many of the students choosing to enroll in a charter school do so because they have found that the charter school mission, philosophy or teaching methods best serve their individual learning needs.

New Hampshire charter schools offer a wide array of exciting options to choose from. For example, the Academy for Science and Design in Nashua (the state’s highest performing high school) offers students a public education focusing on advanced courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Seacoast Charter School in Dover specializes in an Arts & Music integrated education where every student that graduates plays an instrument. Nine charter high schools have opened around the state offering alternative education programs serving educationally disadvantaged and underserved students. Many of the students attending these programs (as many as 40%) have returned to school after dropping out because they have found that the charter program works better for them.

Other exciting options include the Founders Academy Charter School in Manchester which offers its students a curriculum focusing on a classical education including studies in history, leadership, ethics, debate, business and finance. There is also a new charter high school opening on the campus of Manchester Community College, the Spark Academy of Advanced Technologies which will empower its students with opportunities to master technical skills in the trades in high school and early college programs.

New Hampshire also has one “Online” charter school, the Virtual Learning Academy. VLACS serves approximately 250 full-time students while simultaneously supplementing the course offerings for thousands of students around the state who take one or more classes while attending their traditional public school.

These are just a few examples of the public options available to New Hampshire students as public charters endeavor to fill their role within our public education system.

Matt Southerton

President, New Hampshire Alliance for Public Charter Schools