Leadership magazine Sept/Oct 2017 V47 No. 1 - Page 20

Flexible and personalized, nonclassroom-based education is on the rise The Anderson UHSD v. Shasta Secondary Home School case underscored the prominence of nonclassroom-based education, a school choice option attorneys with Lozano Smith say is often not what it is perceived to be. 20 Leadership In January 2017, nonclassroom- based education took center stage, when the California Supreme Court declined to re- view a lower court ruling confirming the lo- cation requirements of the Charter Schools Act apply to all charter schools, including “nonclassroom-based” programs. Interest in the Anderson Union High School District v. Shasta Secondary Home School case underscores the prominent place of nonclassroom-based education in California’s public school system in an era of school-choice. These programs take many forms that are often wildly different from what one might consider when hearing the term “nonclassroom-based.” In California, an estimated 140,000 stu- dents attend nonclassroom-based charter schools – many of which operate in a physi- cal facility, where classes are offered. Fol- lowing Anderson, school leaders are keenly aware of the need to compete in this area to meet the heightened demand for alternatives to traditional seat-based education. With the rise in popularity of these programs, school leaders are reimagining nonclass- room-based education, what it will be in the future, and how they can play a role in delivering it. Among the many models of choice avail- able, nonclassroom-based education has emerged as a popular model. Chameleon- like in its qualities, no two nonclassroom- based programs are alike, and no two pro- grams may be appropriate for the same student. For these reasons, nonclassroom- based education is an innovative and in- triguing school choice option. What is nonclassroom-based education? Nonclassroom-based education occupies a unique niche in the school choice landscape. Somewhat of a misnomer, it is not limited to independent study or homeschooling in the traditional sense. Rather, in California, these programs may operate seat-based in- struction up to four days per week and are By Megan Macy and Erin M. Hamor