Fresno school hopes to change way students learn

FRESNO, Calif.

As they adjust to the return to class, one new valley school is hoping to change the way students learn in Southwest Fresno.

Excitement is growing at Anchor Academy Charter School in West Fresno. This was the first week of classes at the brand new school for kids who enrolled from all over Fresno the County.

"My mom wants me to come to this school because she thinks it will be better for me science and so do I," Anchor Academy Student Isaiah Cardenas said.

With smaller class sizes-- teachers say they are able to work one-on- one with students not only on academics, "Math, science, multiplication," Adam Gonzalez said. But leadership training and personal development as well.

"Academics are important, but we're trying to make the overall experience good for students so they want to come to school and try harder," Anchor Academy Teacher Allison Hopkins said.

This is one of two charter schools located in the West Fresno Elementary School District.

In December--the West Fresno District was taken over by the state for a second time and is now under the control of a state appointed administrator.

Fresno County Superintendent Larry Powell says he is pleased with the turnaround and progress of test scores in the district but it will take board members nearly 2 years to get the district back.

Anchor Academy Administrator Kehli Berry says they decided to open a charter school in this area because students need it.

"It had nothing to do with the district it had more so to do with needs that the community has. This community was in need of a school that could focus on the whole child," Berry said.

With just over one hundred students-- Berry says a key component to student success is parents who are required to meet with teachers once a week.

"Parents have to be willing and able...bench marks," Berry said. "If parents are actively involved children will do better."

Educators say their goal is to help children become better students and productive members of society.

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