Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula County parents now have more alternatives for their children’s educations, after two new Charter Schools were established on Friday.

I spoke with MCPS (Missoula County Public Schools) Communications Director Tyler Christensen about the new charter schools, which are now accepting applications and will begin admitting students next fall.

Starting in the Fall Missoula will Have Two New Public Charter Schools

“The Montana Legislature passed a bill; I believe it was House Bill 549 that went into effect just this past July,” began Christensen. “Many schools across Montana got to work on putting together an application that was then submitted to the Board of Education. Missoula County Public Schools submitted two charter school applications, which would be schools that would be overseen and operated by MCPS, and those were both approved.”

Christensen said the online learning option is called the Missoula Connect Academy.

The 'Connect Academy' will be for Older Students

“What we're calling our Missoula Connect Academy is for students entering grades six through 12 in the fall of the (upcoming) school year,” she said. “That is the virtual remote option with some in-person support also available, and that is designed to provide a high-quality personalized online learning experience that allows students to take ownership of their education so they're able to prepare for college and career success after graduation.”

Christensen then described the new Charter School for younger students that will also open in the fall.

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The Missoula 'Teach Academy' will be for Younger Students

“That is called our Missoula ‘Teach Academy’,” she said. “That is for younger learners for early literacy up through third-grade elementary students that are designed to provide a high-quality arts-integrated learning experience. That would ensure that they had access to a variety of arts experience, such as theater and physical motion and visual arts and music, arts and all of those things designed with to incorporate daily lessons that guarantee innovative and high impact engagements.”

Christensen said this past Friday was the day MCPS began taking registrations for the two new charter schools.

“We're in the introductory period of just enrolling and registering students right now and finding out just what those classrooms will look like when it comes to how many students are enrolled and staffing them up,” she said. “They will start with the beginning of the school year this fall. I can tell you that a lot more information about our charter schools is on our website. Of course, there's a MCPS mt.org/teach Academy and Connect Academy that has all the details.”

Click here to get more details about Missoula’s new Charter Schools.

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