New charter school to open next fall in Blackfoot

New charter school to open next fall in Blackfoot

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - Southeast Idaho will be home to a new charter school next fall, thanks to a $600,000 federal grant.

In the fall of 2013, Blackfoot students will have another option to consider when going to high school -- Bingham Academy.

"Any time we have an opportunity to help prepare students for what's coming is beneficial to not only us as an educational facility, not only to our students, but to the community and the state as a whole," said Greg Sigerson, chairman of the Bingham Academy board.

Blackfoot is already home to two other charter schools -- one for K-5 and another for 6-8. Both have been around for years, and school administrators said they hope Bingham Academy will enjoy that same success.

"They (students) have the opportunity, through the programs we're going to be putting in place, to actually graduate high school with an associate's degree," said Sigerson. "That's two years of a college education already completed."

Bingham Academy plans to lease space in Riverside Plaza by the old Twins Theater. The space will also be remodeled to create nearly 17,000 square feet for the school. The school will start out slow -- small classroom sizes and an inaugural class of around 75 students.

"Education is like ice cream. Not everybody is going to want vanilla, and some people just aren't going to want Rocky Road," said Sigerson. "What we're doing is providing an opportunity, so that people can make those choices."

Bingham Academy said it was one of 18 schools across the country to receive this grant.

Enrollment for the school has not yet started. School administrators said it should take a couple of months before parents can begin signing their students up.

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