Selected readings on US charter schools
Southeastern Idaho Technical Charter School, or SEITec, is a professional technical charter school that does not have a central building. Instead, it will work out of Preston, West Side and Malad high schools.
“The thing about SEITec is it’s very different than most charter schools. There is not a separate location. We function as our own school, but it’s a combination of students from Preston, West Side and Malad high schools that are part of the professional technical classes,” said Rachel Madsen, the administrator for SEITec. “They will continue to go to classes in their home high schools.”
The school will start in the fall, but the superintendents of all three school districts have been trying to get SEITec off the ground for several years.
“It’s just that there have been a lot of details to work out and different processes to go through, both through people at the state over charter schools and the professional technical education department,” Madsen said. “We’ve had to work with both of those and do a lot of paperwork and a lot of meetings to make sure it was going to fly and there would be funding for this. “
Students enrolled in SEITec will continue to take classes at their home high schools but will also be enrolled in professional technical classes as part of SEITec’s curriculum. The purpose of SEITec is to have students graduate with a certification in a technical field.
“The goal is when students leave SEITec, they will have an industry certification that they can take out and show to a potential employer and get a job. So they’ve got the skills and the training and the certifications,” Madsen said. “Not only that, they will have the soft skills, the job-readiness skills, how to communicate and how to work as a team. Things like that.”
The school doesn’t have any students enrolled yet because the school year hasn’t started, but Madsen said they expect most students already taking professional technical classes at their home high schools will be enrolling.
SEITec has a handful of programs set up and ready to go, including health occupations at all three schools, business at Malad and West Side, electronics at Preston and auto and information technology at Malad. The board of trustees has approved adding agricultural science, millworking and teaching assistance to the list of programs.
One of the benefits of having SEITec is it brings in more funding for professional technical classes.
“This is a way to generate more funding, and that funding will flow into those professional technical classes because professional technical classes are expensive. They cost more money than math or English classes do because there’s technology and equipment,” Madsen said. “So this is a way to kind of ensure those programs get the funding they need to provide the training students need to be successful.”
Source: Idaho State Journal – by Kelly Cannon