Hello SNACS Visitors!
Welcome to the SNACS online community. Your SNACS online website experience should provide you with a glimpse of what SNACS is about and what we offer. We hope you find your website experience as a priceless introduction (for new users) or a useful tool (for our enrolled families) that provides insight to our small school community. Of course if you don’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us for more information!
Charter schools lead the nation in educational hot topics. Charters provide a voice to people through choice, regardless of socioeconomic status. Throughout history, parents not satisfied within the traditional school in which they were zoned, may have sought to move or elect a private or home-school option. However, this has not been the case for people who cannot afford such choices. In some neighborhoods across America, parents had to remain in schools that were less than adequate. The notion of charter schools sparked school reformers to provide choice in public education. By their very nature, charter schools provide a voice to all parents in the 40 American states and the District of Columbia now establishing charter school legislation. Whether parents choose to send their children to attend a charter school, a traditional public school, private, or home school, they exercise the right to choose.
Charter schools are public schools established through individual state legislation. The charter movement began in 1991 when the first law was passed in Minnesota. The Center for Education Reform reports there are 40 states and the District of Columbia with charter legislation accounting for more than 4100 schools serving more than 1.2 million students. Nevada passed legislation allowing charter schools in 1997. Currently, there are 22 charters and one University sponsored school in Nevada.
SNACS was granted a charter April 7, 1998 by the Washoe County School District as the first elementary/middle charter school serving grades K-8 in Nevada. At that point we had seven students/families interested in enrollment (most of those seven being from members of the founding committee). At that point, the committee had to determine whether we should take a year to plan and develop the school or if we were to being operation in the fall. The committee decided to pursue operation in the Fall 1999.
We worked all summer to plan, develop, and implement all components related to starting a charter school, including assessing every student in a personalized 1:1 situation. When school first started we rented two churches as our facility in the North Valleys was not complete. We held K-3 in one building and 4-7 in a building approximately 5 miles away. Teachers taught out of backpacks each day as they had to carry in/out their teaching materials. In addition, several classes were held in the church’s sanctuary. This meant that on Sunday nights, all staff would report to set up classrooms and take them down again on Friday after school. This lasted through Thanksgiving when we were able to obtain our current facilities. And so began our journey in being a charter school.
While we provide a choice for parents and students, we recognize charters are not for every student. In Nevada, each charter school has a unique model or niche they fulfill for students/families. We at Sierra Nevada Academy Charter School (SNACS) pride ourselves in providing an alternative to the Washoe County School District.
Thank you for taking the time to read and review our charter school. We welcome folks to tour and see our great school!