AASD should expand McAuliffe program

As a parent, I’ve always wanted my children to be successful, and have tried to provide many opportunities for them to grow in the best academic environment.

When my oldest child was born, I investigated schools in the Altoona Area School District and discovered McAuliffe Heights.

After visiting the school, I wrote an application letter, and, fortunately, when she was of kindergarten age, she was admitted to the school.

When my second daughter was born, I also wrote an application letter and she was accepted, in part because the policy is that subsequent siblings would automatically be enrolled at McAuliffe Heights.

There are innumerable reasons for having children in the same family attend the same elementary school (transportation, after-school care, fundraising).

When my third daughter, now age 1, was born, I wrote an application letter for her to attend the school, and have already received confirmation from the district that she is on the list to attend.

However, the new school principal and district superintendent want to change the McAuliffe Heights acceptance policy and put all applications in a lottery.

The current policy of subsequent siblings automatically attending wouldn’t stand. What does not seem fair is that parents who have already done due diligence and researched their options years in advance are now resigned to wait for chance alone to be the admission factor.

Education is one of the most decisive factors for success in life. I think the AASD should realize that since McAuliffe Heights has been so positive, successful, and coveted, the district should expand the program and make it available at other locations. This way, many more children could experience the advantages that a charter school offers.

The AASD should capitalize on a successful school program and organize to offer it in multiple locations to allow many more children this positive educational opportunity.

Liva R. Marasco