LIMA — When the subject of school choice comes up, usually the first thing that comes to people’s minds is the controversial subject involving charter schools.
However, National School Choice Week focuses on the many different options of choices available to educate your children. National School Choice Week will be observed Sunday through Jan. 28.
“National School Choice Week provides a unique opportunity for Americans to join together on an issue that impacts all of us,” said NCSW President Andrew Campanella. “With growth each year, its clear that tens of millions of Americans are excited to celebrate the great education options in their communities and stand up for increased choice and access where it doesn’t yet exist.”
Along with public schools, parents also have the choice to send their children to many other alternatives in the Lima area, including Christian schools, Catholic Schools, charter and community schools and special-needs schools. A total of 17 schools in the area will participate in highlighting the designated week, which even includes some public schools. Danielle Anderson, the lead teacher aide at The Center for Autism and Dyslexia in Lima, said it is important to highlight the choice parents have.
“It is very important that parents have choice with their children’s education,” Anderson said. “Every kid is not the same, and not every child learns the same.”
Anderson said some of the activities in observance of National School Choice Week that they will host include high school students making rap songs saying why they like their school, and flash mob dancing.
Every district wishing to participate develops their events independently and the possibilities are unlimited. Auglaize County Educational Academy Dean of Students Carrie Cubberley said the district will have an active survey released by the school’s Ambassador Club to point out what students like about the school and what can be improved. They will also host a schoolwide open house in February.
Liberty Christian School Administrator Cheryl Jones said it is important to highlight the week because parents need to have a choice in how their children learn.
“We believe in a well-rounded Christian education that starts with the parents,” Jones said. “We partner with the parents in helping the students reach their potential.”
Both the elementary and high schools at St. John The Evangelist Catholic School in Delphos will participate in the event, but they adjoin National School Choice Week’s observance with National Catholic School Week, which is the following week.
“It is extremely important,” said St. John’s High School Principal Adam Lee. “We have a number of choices in society, where we shop, where we eat. We believe it is important to highlight it and let the parents discover what a Catholic education has to offer. It is important for parents to know all of the options.”
Lee said there is a misconception that students need to be Catholic to attend. Highlighting school choice helps defeat such rumors.
“There is no box they have to fit in to attend a Catholic school,” Lee said.
At Golden Bridge Academy in Lima, students will create posters and write letters to state representatives thanking them for passing legislation to allow school choice in Ohio.
National School Choice Week officials said there will be 21,392 independently planned events nationwide to commemorate the week. Students at participating schools receive stickers declaring them as National School Choice Week ambassadors and students also receive a trademark yellow scarf designating the week.
National School Choice Week officials said local districts planning events include Bluffton Middle School, Cridersville Elementary, St. John’s Elementary, St. John’s High School, Golden Bridge Academy in Lima. Heir Force Community School, Liberty Christian, St. Rose Elementary, Temple Christian, Auglaize County Educational Academy, Lima Central Catholic, The Center for Autism and Dyslexia, Lima West, Perry Elementary, Pilgrim Christian School and New Bremen Schools.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.