FAQ
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QUESTIONS - MEMPHIS

How do I file a concern/complaint?

Aspire Public Schools values the concerns of our parents, students and members of the community.

Complaints are respected and honored; there are no negative consequences for filing a complaint.  Every attempt is made to resolve complaints informally and at the lowest level possible.  The procedures outlined below should be followed for any concerns about a teacher or staff member.

STEP 1: During non-instructional time make an appointment to meet with the teacher or staff member to share your concerns.
STEP 2: Meet with the individual and develop a plan to resolve your concerns.
STEP 3: If you are unsatisfied with the results of the meeting, call the school in order to schedule an appointment with the principal.
STEP 4: Meet with the principal to make a plan to address your concerns.
STEP 5: After concerns have been addressed, if you are still unsatisfied, meet with the principal again.
STEP 6: If you are still unsatisfied, contact the Memphis Executive Director via email at Allison.Leslie@aspirepublicschools.org to schedule an appointment.

The Uniform Complaint Procedures shall be used to address all complaints that allege that Aspire has violated Federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs.  Compliance officers shall maintain a record of each complaint as required.

What grades does Aspire serve in Memphis?

Currently, Aspire Memphis schools serves students in grades PreK-6 at our 3 campuses.

As a community member, how do I get involved?

We'd love your input and partnership! Please reach out to us at memphis@aspirepublicschools.org.

How do I learn more about opportunities to work for Aspire Memphis?

Look for new opportunities as Aspire's careers page. We will likely begin hiring teaching staff for the 2012-13 school year in late winter/early spring.

GENERAL FAQs

What is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school that has been given freedom from state education regulation and bureaucracy. In exchange, the school must be accountable for student achievement and fiscal solvency. The “charter,” a license to operate, is granted by the local school district, county office of education, or state department of education.

Are charter schools private schools?

No. Charter schools are public schools. Many aspects of Aspire’s education design (e.g. small schools) sometimes remind people of the quality of education in many private schools. Unlike private schools, Aspire public charter schools do not charge tuition or have admission requirements.

Do charter schools take money away from public school districts?

Charter schools are funded by state, local and federal funds at the same level and in the same way that non-charter public schools are. In general, both revenues and expenses follow the student. When a student attends a charter school, the charter school is now responsible for providing that student’s education, and therefore incurs the expenses of the teacher, facility, textbooks and supplies. Funding for that student therefore goes to the entity that is providing the education: namely, the charter school rather than to the non-charter public school that student would otherwise have attended.

How is Aspire different from other charter schools?

In the decade since the first charter legislation, most charter schools were founded and run by a small group of parents or teachers who wanted to serve a particular neighborhood in a particular way. These stand-alone schools created by brave, determined and sometimes seemingly super-human individuals. Because it’s so hard to start a charter school, it makes sense for mere mortals to work together with others who have complementary areas of expertise. Increasingly, many of the new charter schools are being started by “charter management organizations” (CMO’s): organizations that establish and run multiple schools. Aspire is widely considered the leading not-for-profit CMO.

Are there any admission requirements?

Aspire Public Schools has NO admission requirements. Any student who is a California state resident is eligible to enroll.

Does Aspire charge tuition?

As public schools, Aspire does not charge tuition.

How big are Aspire schools?

Aspire schools are small, so that individual students are personally known and students do not “slip through the cracks.” Elementary schools (grades K-5) are about 360 students; secondary schools (grades 6-12) are about 400 students.

What are the average class sizes at Aspire campuses?

Aspire schools have a student: teacher ratio of approximately 22:1 in grades K-3, and 29:1 in grades 4-12. In addition, secondary students spend part of their day in classes with ratios as small as 17:1.

Does Aspire have a school uniform policy?

Each school community determines whether a uniform policy is appropriate for their school. Most Aspire campuses do have uniforms.