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image Scholar Academy has been approved to open during the 2014-2015 school year. photo courtesy of State Charter School Board

October 29, 2013
Director, location for charter school announced

A new charter school slated to open in Tooele City for the 2014-15 school year has selected a director and the location of the new school building.

Scholar Academy, which was approved by the State Charter School Board in March 2013, announced that it has selected property at 1000 North and 100 East, directly east of Macey’s Food and Drug in Tooele City for the new school.

Jed Stevenson, president of Academica West, a Kaysville-based education consulting service retained by the Scholar Academy Board, announced the location at an information meeting held Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Tooele County Health Department meeting.

An architect’s rendering of the building was displayed at the meeting. While details of the interior of the building were not available, the Scholar Academy charter application describes a 43,000-square foot building with 24 classrooms, office space, a kitchen and cafeteria, media center, computer lab, and a student commons area.

The Scholar Academy Board of Directors has hired Academica West  to be the school’s financial consultant. Academica West will provide accounting, human resources, business management and construction finance and management services for the new school.

Stevenson vowed that the new building will be completed in time for the opening of the 2014-15 school year.

“We’ve built 28 school buildings. Five just last year,” he said. “They were all completed on time.”

The Scholar Academy Board of Directors also announced the selection of Sandra Shepard as the director of the school.

Shepard is the founding president of the board of directors of Scholar Academy.

Shepard was selected following a national search because of her experience, according to a news release from the school’s board of directors.

“Mrs. Shepard’s track record as a fiscally responsible director, having overseen budgets on many levels, as well as her grant writing skills to help fill funding gaps currently in education, was one of many attributes the Scholar Board acknowledged in their search for a highly-motivated and experienced educator and leader,” stated the news release.

Shepard served as the principal of Tooele High School and was the Tooele County School District’s director of elementary education for two years before becoming the principal of Wasatch Peak Academy, a charter school in North Salt Lake, in 2007.

There will be several things that will make Scholar Academy unique, Shepard said.

“We will use Love and Logic and leveled learning,” she said. “Service learning will be integrated into the curriculum. We will use Destination Imagination [a program that involves teams of students working on science, technology, engineering, and math challenges] to teach problem solving, and we will teach Spanish as a second language.”

The school wall open in the fall of 2014 and has a capacity of 534 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, Shepard said.

Charter schools are publicly funded independent schools authorized by the Utah State Office of Education. They are public and open to all students, charge no tuition and have no geographic boundaries for attendance. They receive monthly funding from the state based upon enrollment.

If more students apply to attend a charter school than its capacity allows, selection of students is done by lottery. The capacity of a charter school is set by the state Charter School Board.

Scholar Academy will hold open enrollment on Jan. 1, 2014 through Jan. 17. If more students apply for enrollment than capacity will allow, a lottery will be held on Jan. 17.

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