Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "Charter School"?
A charter is a independent school which is publicly funded. It is a school which has been established by parents, teachers and/ or community groups under terms created within a charter under a local or national authority. Our local authority is the Utah State School Board.
How much does it cost to go to Terra Academy?
Charter schools are free to the public so the cost is nothing. The only thing that could be charged is a nominal fee of $5 for secondary level students consistent with Utah State Code 53A-12-103.
Does Terra Academy answer to the local school district?
No. Our charter is independent from Uintah School District.
Can students attending Terra Academy still participate in sports with the local school district?
Yes. Terra Academy students can still participate in Uintah School District's sports programs and extracurricular programs. For more specifics on this, you can contact the Terra Academy Director.
Is Terra Academy a private school?
No. Terra Academy is publicly funded and must adhere to rules of the Utah State Office of Education.
How do I enroll my student in Terra Academy?
You must enter your student in the lottery which begins October 15th and runs through March 1st. You can come back to this website to enroll your child or contact us directly for information.
What is a lottery for enrollment?
The lottery is used as a fair way to enroll students in the charter school without preferential treatment. For more detailed information on the lottery that will be used, please click here: Lottery definitions.
Does Terra Academy offer benefits for its employees?
Absolutely...As a matter of fact, our benefits are as good or better than public school benefits, including retirement and insurance.
Does Terra Academy offer competative pay as a charter school?
Again...we absolutely do. We offer competative pay for all staff. Our first priority is to use money wisely so that we can put as much money as possible into the classroom and our teachers.
Do you follow the Common Core standards?
Yes. As a publicly funded school, Terra Academy must use the Common Core and the Utah Core as guidelines for education. Any school which recieves federal funds, including virtual academies, private schools or charter schools must use the Utah Core and the Common Core standards. There is a lot of misinformation out there about the Utah Core and the Common Core. Please research it with VALID sources so that you have a true picture of what these are. ONLY MATH and ENGLISH are common core standards. SCIENCE and HISTORY are not common. They are still Utah based standards. Keep in mind that the Core standards are used only as benchmarks to determine student progress on an individual basis. These core standards help us to know that our children can compete successfully not just in Utah but in other states as well when they go out to gain employment, go to colleges in Utah and outside of Utah. Something to keep in mind........................
"By law, the Utah State Board of Education must establish the standards in core subjects for public schools. This is an important distinction from the curriculum and the instructional methods. Local schools and teachers control the curriculum and instruction. The core standards do not dictate the curriculum or delivery of content. Utah’s core standards and the curricula are not the same. The curriculum includes content, instructional elements, methods, pedagogy, materials and resources that are used to teach the high standards Utah has adopted. The standards help teachers organize and prepare for instruction just like building codes help an architect prepare a blueprint. Homes built using building standards or codes are not identical. They are built based on the individual needs and values of the owner but still use the code. The curricula used to implement the core standards vary according to district or charter and the individual needs of students. Locally-selected textbooks are used as tools in implementing the core. At a state level, research-based strategies and materials are recommended, not mandated, leaving the final instructional decisions to districts, charter schools, and classroom teachers. Local stakeholders will continue to innovate and make improvements to their curriculum over time. Teachers are not restricted to a specific grade level or timeline of standards. If children need to review or move slower, the teacher is in command. If students need to go faster or further the same applies" (http://www.utahpublicschools.org/)
What is the difference between the Utah Core and the Common Core?
The Utah Core are the standards that Utah has put out for Science, History, Art, Educational Technology etc. We have had these standards for decades. The only ones that have changed are the standards for English an Math which are "common" standards to 45 other states in the United States. For a specific description of these standards please see the following link: http://www.schools.utah.gov/core/Parents.aspx
What standards are really adopted in the Utah Standards?
Only English and Math are common with 45 other states in the United States. The other standards are unique to Utah. Science and History are NOT being looked at to be common with other states.
It gives a more level playing field for our students out in the world. The following link is a great place to start on what the Utah Core is and what its intended purpose is.
Does the Charter School have a Board?
Yes, the charter school does have a board of 5-8 members which make policy for the charter school. 1-2 members of the board will always be voted in by parents each year so there will always be parent representation on that board.
Does the Terra Academy serve lunch?
Yes, the school will serve lunches for students. We will be involved in unique programs including "Edible Schoolyard" and "Farms to Schools" to help provide nutritious lunches for students at the school. It is the belief of Terra's founders that a healthy diet helps improve the education and overall wellness of the students.
What are some of the unique things Terra Acadmey will offer students?
There are numerous things that the school will offer students including but not limited to:
project-based learning, "Edible Schoolyard", outdoor classrooms, individualized education maps (IEM's), student goal sheets, student portfolios, blended learning model, mentors, service learning and environmental stewardship. For more information on these, please see the charter under section 9 "Comprehensive Program of Instruction".