New charter school gains $1.56 million grant

This photo shows the former Olde School building, which is where Treasure Valley Classical Academy, a Fruitland-based public charter school will open in August.

Just in time for its opening this fall, an upcoming Fruitland-based public charter school just got a huge kickstart: a $1.56 million startup grant.

“We are grateful to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation for their support of Treasure Valley Classical Academy,” said Stephen Lambert, principal, in a news release from the school.

The charter school, which will offer a classical education devoted to teaching classical liberal arts and sciences, is slated to open in August and will house kindergarten through sixth grades, with the goal of adding a grade each year through 12th grade.

The grant is from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. The grant will support TVCA’s launch and early development as it brings classical liberal arts education to Fruitland area families.

“This grant marks a significant step in helping us reach our goal of bringing classical education to Fruitland, and we are excited by the opportunities it will help us provide to local families,” Lambert said.

The grant supports TVCA’s opening as a K-6 school with an estimated 300 students for the 2019-20 academic year, as well as its goal of growing into a K-12 school with more than 500 students by 2026, states the release. The Academy will serve the Payette, New Plymouth and Fruitland joint school districts. Further, as rural charter schools are still uncommon in Idaho, the grant will be used to help TVCA become a model for other rural communities hoping to establish charter schools in their areas.

TVCA is part of Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative, which provides resources and guidance to community leaders aspiring to bring rigorous, principled education to local students. The first BCSI schools opened in 2012. Today, there are more than 20 schools across the country operating under the Initiative. Each school draws from Hillsdale College’s model of providing quality liberal arts education that also develops students’ civic and moral character.

The tuition-free public charter school will be located in Fruitland’s historic Olde School building, which has been maintained by the community and a local nonprofit foundation. It is undergoing an extensive renovation before it once again opens its doors to local students.


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