Spectrum walks down memory lane

Spectrum Charter School took a walk down memory lane this past week at its annual meeting.

This year has been a big year with the opening of a permanent facility and an expansion of the high school program to a middle- and high-school one.

Dave Lucas, the chairman of the School Board, led those in attendance through an historical look back that started way back in the 1970s when the concept of a charter school was originated.

In 1991, Minnesota became the first state to pass a charter school law.

The first charter school in the United States was City Academy, which opened in St. Paul in 1992 and is still in operation today. Forty-two states now have charter school laws.

Spectrum’s roots can be traced to Kaliedoscope Charter School when a decision was made to add a nine through 12th grade charter school. The first meeting was Aug. 18, 2005. Spectrum opened its doors in 2006 to 66 ninth- and 10th-grade students out of the Elk River Boys & Girls Club. Modular units were constructed in 2007 and carried the school up until this year.

Spectrum has built its reputation on being a small school with big results, including service learning that has brought students out into the community. One example is the upcoming “Way 2 Go” walk for autism planned for April 14 at Lions Park in Elk River.