Beacon Academy fights for continued certification under unique circumstances


Beacon Academy of Nevada, the charter school dedicated to serving at-risk high school students, will plead its case for continued certification before the State Public Charter School Authority Board at 9 a.m. Friday at the Grant Sawyer Building.

A lot rides on the meeting’s outcome. Beacon is unlike most other charter schools. It not only accepts disabled students and those who have failed in a conventional public school setting, but it embraces them. That’s a thing to be encouraged and celebrated, in my mind, but it also means that its graduation rate trails conventional high schools.

It will be interesting to see if the charter board appreciates the reality many of Beacon’s students face. The school serves teens with a variety of challenges that prevent them from attending school in a traditional classroom setting.

As a matter of disclosure, my daughter Amelia is a Beacon student. That proximity to the program gives me perspective on the effort teachers and administrators make on behalf of students with disabilities and young mothers attempting to achieve a high school diploma. Beacon also makes it possible for aspiring athletes, entertainers and actors to pursue their dreams and still graduate from high school.