DALLAS -- After facing the seemingly eternal prospect of closing its doors Pedee School will start a new phase in its 138-year history this fall.
When Pedee reopens for the new school year, it will be a charter school, a public school with a contract, or charter, with the Dallas School District.
The school board and the Pedee School board of directors both expressed satisfaction with the school's contract, approving the charter in a July 23 school board meeting.
"We negotiated an agreement that is very fair to both sides," said charter developer Dave Sherman. "Every part of this document has been drafted to help the children of Pedee."
Dallas Superintendent Dave Novotney offered a "big congratulations" to the Pedee team, noting "I'm confident this will be a very workable situation."
Pedee School will accept students from grades four through six. The school must follow state and district requirements for its curriculum, but will have flexibility in how it teaches its students.
Pedee's mission is "to help children hear the stories in numbers, in art, in literature, in history and in science, and tell those stories in factual and compelling ways to a wide audience using a variety of methods and media."
As a charter school, Pedee will get 80 percent of the money per student the district receives from the state. Pedee may also receive help from state and federal grants and donations.
The Dallas School Board agreed to lease the Pedee School building -- in operation since 1927 -- to the charter school for $1 per year. Dollar in hand, Sherman reflected on the tumult of the last few months, from the time Pedee faced closure to its new incarnation.
"It's a significant milestone," Sherman said. The school has made the voyage "from dream to reality.
"A lot of parents wondered if we could do this at all," he said. "Now we have -- in 3 1/2 months."
The work Dave Sherman, Kim Sherman and Pedee supporters put in will prove beneficial for the school's students, Novotney said. "The Pedee board of directors has done an exceptional job," he said. "They have worked tirelessly for the last many weeks."
Novotney praised the charter itself, calling it "some of the finest documentation that exists in the state.
"It has a wonderful opportunity to be good for not just the Pedee kids but perhaps as a model for other charter schools."
Students interested in attending Pedee School can visit www.pedeeschool.org or call Dave Sherman at 503-623-4648. Now that its charter has been approved the school can accept up to 55 students. Target areas for enrollment include the Pedee and Bridgeport communities along with Central School District and the Kings Valley community.