FLORIDA -- This week – May 3-9, 2015 students, parents, teachers and administrators across the country are celebrating National Charter Schools Week. Throughout Florida, public charter schools will be hosting activities that highlight their academic accomplishments and celebrate the contributions charter schools have made to the state’s public education system during the past nineteen years.

“National Charter Schools week gives us an opportunity to highlight the schools that are doing it right, and celebrate the collaboration and commitment that exists between parents, teachers, and students at charter schools. Parents have been the true driving force behind the growth of quality charter schools, but it’s the collaborative partnership between parents, teachers, and students that is really impressive. It has driven up academic performance -- especially in underserved communities, increased graduation rates, and created the charter school models that are leaders among schools and catalysts for change,” Robert Haag, President, Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools (FCPCS).

Charter schools across the state are hosting celebratory events this week. On Monday, May 3, the 7th grade Civics class at Somerset Pines Academy in Broward County used speeches, artwork, raps, and video segments to celebrate the accomplishments of their school and share their charter school success stories. Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher, Broward School Board Member Nora Rupert, and FCPCS Community Liaison Ruth Lynch were among the guest speakers in attendance.

There are now nearly 3 million students attending public charter schools across the country. In Florida, charter school enrollment has grown to more than 260,000 in less than two decades. Earlier this year, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released a report that shows U.S. charter schools are serving almost 348,000 new students in 2014-15. This shows that parents continue to demand high-quality educational options for their children – and charter schools are meeting that demand. # # #

The 7th grade students at  Somerset Pines in Pompano Beach.  held a #CharterSchoolsWeek rally in the cafeteria.  They used painting, raps, video, and oral presentations to tell their charter school success stories.