What is a Charter School?
Inspiring Collaboration, Innovation & Empowerment
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818.994.2904
Campus 1
6555 Sylmar Avenue - Van Nuys, CA 91401
Phone: (818) 994-2904   Fax: (818) 994-8096
Campus 2
13400 Erwin Street - Van Nuys, CA 91401
Phone: (818) 787-8521   Fax: (818) 786-3627
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What are charter schools?
Charter schools are public schools open to all California residents. They are accountable for clear, successful, measurable student outcomes and must comply with all state and federal mandates - including California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program, state API levels, and the federal "No Child Left Behind" program.

California's charter schools were created in 1992 to provide expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system. Their purpose is to:
Improve student learning.
Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.
Create new professional opportunities for teachers.
Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.
There are over 800 charter schools serving over 340,000 charter school students in California. For more information, please see the California Charter Schools Association website.
How does Ararat Charter School fit into the area?
Ararat Charter School (ACS), is a small, independent public school, and is able to bring a choice in public education to families in the Van Nuys area and surrounding communities. State education authorities have stated that choice in public schools creates healthy competition, which stimulates continual improvements in all public schools.  ACS is a school of choice and not a school of residence.

How does a charter school respond to students' needs?
At Ararat Charter School, every child is embraced as a multi-talented individual with unique learning styles and needs. ACS guides students in the process of learning, developing creative thinkers and problem solvers with a life-long love of learning. Because ACS is a charter school, there is freedom to innovate beyond the rules required of public school districts, yet there is strict accountability to meet or exceed state standards. For instance, the school's small size gives it the flexibility to develop and use the most effective teaching practices available, including a longer school day to allow time for enhanced programs.
What are the backgrounds of the teaching staff?
Ararat Charter School has hired outstanding, multi-credentialed teachers who share the school’s passion for individualized learning and hands-on instruction for all students. Every classroom teacher is certificated, and thus highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind Act.

What are the class sizes?
Classes in kindergarten and 1st grade have 24 students.   Grades 2 through 4 have 26 students.  ACS is committed to maintaining a small school because research shows that "smaller learning environments create happier, safer, and higher achieving students.
What makes Ararat Charter School different from other public schools?
ACS is the first public school that teaches both Armenian and Spanish to all its students.
ACS is smaller than most public schools, fostering a strong sense of community.
ACS has smaller class sizes and thus a lower student-teacher ratio.
ACS employs certificated grade-level teachers.
ACS has a longer school day allowing time for additional subjects:
O
Two lanuguages other than English
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Art
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Music
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Dance
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Drama
As a charter school, ACS has more freedom to focus on the “whole child”.
Ararat Charter School’s character development program is integrated throughout the school in order to strengthen students’ self-esteem, personal responsibility, and decision-making skills, and to develop the moral convictions to withstand undesirable peer pressure.
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