August 2, 2008

Foothill School to Be Green

By Ryan McCarthy, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Aug. 2--One of the school colors will be green, a frog or a hummingbird is expected to be the school mascot and more than 100 students will attend classes Aug. 18 when the new Yuba Environmental Science Charter Academy opens in Dobbins.

"This is the next generation that's going to look after the planet," Paul McGovern, chief financial officer for the charter school in the Sierra foothills, said of the students.

Five teachers were selected from 65 applicants, said Bruce Helft, executive director of the school whose proposed motto is "Respect and care for others, ourselves and the planet."

Prospective teachers applied from all over California as well as Alaska and New York, Helft said.

While the job listing was on a Web site, the school asked teaching applicants to mail materials.

"People had to write a cover letter," he said. "It's easy to just click buttons."

The charter academy is ready with textbooks that have cost nearly $50,000.

The site of the new school on Texas Hill Road may be fitting for the educational effort focusing on the environment.

"They call this the hidden Sierra," Helft said. "There's no direct route."

While remote, the school will be wired into the world.

A new T1 computer line has been installed at the school that will provide faster Internet access than DSL, Helft said.

The executive director of the new school said he's very impressed with the Marysville Joint Unified School District staff.

"They really want us to succeed," Helft said.

Charter schools are public and supported by taxes. California law provides for charters, an educational reform intended to allow school choices for parent and students.

Contact Appeal reporter Ryan McCarthy at 749-4707 or [email protected]


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