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Charter vs. Traditional School

by Ascent Blog

Posted on May 16, 2022

What’s the Difference?

Did you know that Ascent Academy was recently voted School of the Year? There is a lot to learn in regards to our growing school and incredible students, but maybe one of the most important questions to have answered before sending your child to study at Ascent Academy are: what is a charter school? And how can I know if a charter school is the right fit for my family?

With many forms of schooling and alternative schools appearing, it has become difficult to understand what the best fit for children will be. Each form of education has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here at Ascent Academy, we offer a personalized and unique way of learning and are proud to be an award winning charter school here in Utah, but how can you know what type of school is best for your student?

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools, sometimes referred to as charter academies, are public schools that are under a contract to produce and meet certain goals, like academic progress. In exchange they are allowed more educational freedoms than traditional schools. Depending on the school, charter schools can provide education levels from kindergarten and elementary all the way to middle school and high school! Charter schools are free to attend and are accountable to the county school district they reside in. This means that they are required to participate in state and district testing. 

Charter vs Traditional School

Charter Schools

Traditional Schools

Non-traditional ways of learning and more academic choice.

Standard teaching requirements chosen by the school, district, and state. 

Smaller class sizes and fewer students overall.

Class and school sizes depend on the enrollment.

Fewer discipline problems due to smaller class sizes and community feel.

High enrollment can lead to more disciplinary problems

More parental involvement is wanted, and sometimes required.

Parents are not required, and sometimes not allowed, to be as involved

Smaller classes allow for a larger number of students to participate in sports, drama, and music extracurricular activities.

Greater number of options for extracurricular activities, like band, choir, and sports

Limited transportation options.

Transportation provided if needed.

Additional requirements, such as school uniforms and volunteering, are common.

No additional requirements are needed by most traditional schools.

Is a Charter School the Right Fit?

Charter schools provide a close-knit community where students can learn in a way that suits them. At Ascent Academy, we understand that the “one-size-fits-all” education model does not work for all students. With our small class sizes and family atmosphere, students and teachers have more freedom to try new learning experiences and receive individualized attention. We seek to provide this personalized and tight community via our five campuses across Utah: Farmington, West Valley, West Jordan, Saratoga Springs and Lehi! Here, Parents are encouraged to be more involved and the classroom works to meet the needs of the students.  

Charter schools, however, are not a good fit for everyone, and that’s okay. Many require extra parental involvement and most provide no transportation. Students are also accepted under a lottery system when capacity is reached, so it’s not guaranteed that everyone who applied will be able to attend. 

How to Attend a Ascent Academy

Due to the high demand to attend charter schools, most schools select their students under a lottery system. Our award-winning program is no different in regards to its growing popularity. 

The best way to attend Ascent Academy is to submit your application and documents early. All paperwork must be submitted by the deadline, so make sure to touch bases with our admissions office to become familiar with our deadlines and to make sure that you have submitted everything correctly. 

Still considering whether a charter school like Ascent Academy is the best fit for your student? We invite you to schedule a tour school and speak with the friendly parents that have students here. We would love to answer any questions while walking the halls of one of our five campuses here in Utah.

Ready to place your student in a school that cares? Enroll Now


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Ascent Academies of Utah
5662 W 8200 S
West Jordan, Utah 84081
Phone: 801-939-4414
Fax: 801-417-3300