Frequently Asked Questions
With education today you have options. You have a choice. Find out answers to some commonly asked questions to learn who Spectrum is, what we offer, and what sets us apart.
A charter school is a public school that provides a choice for parents and students seeking a quality education within the public school system. Charter schools are staffed by licensed teachers and FREE to attend. A charter school operates under a legally binding contract called a “charter” that is issued by an authorizer. Depending on the charter, the focus of the charter school can vary. Spectrum is a 6th-12th grade school. Spectrum’s authorizer is Volunteers of America. Community outreach is part of our school’s mission, along with a college preparatory and technology integrated focus.
Spectrum is not part of the Elk River School District, so our school calendar is different as well as our daily schedule. Our calendar at a glance can be found HERE. Our school day goes from 7:55am-3:05pm. The complete bell schedule can be found HERE.
Note: we have a number of Early Release dates, which are days students are released from school early so teachers can participate in Professional Development.
Average class size is around 22-27 students with the exception of band and choir. They can be as low as 18. If a class size exceeds 30 students, we review the schedule to see if an additional section can be added. Student/teacher ratio is 20:1 at the high school and 17:1 at the middle school.
Spectrum offers many different class options to receive college credit. We call it our C@SH (College @ Spectrum High School) program. The fantastic thing about Spectrum is that students have the ability to earn college credit (even an AA degree!) yet still participate in all of the great memorable events that happen during high school.
For more details about our C@SH program, click HERE. If you have questions after that, contact the school counseling department.
Spectrum is a small school with a BIG extracurricular program. Our robust sports program is one of the biggest available for a charter school. At the high school, we have over 17 varsity sports options to choose from! In addition, there is the opportunity to participate in theatre, Quiz Bowl, Student Council and National Honor Society.
Grade 7/8 students can try out for MSHL teams. The middle school has quarterly after-school clubs available for all 6-8th grade students. Typically clubs meet 1 day per week for about 1 hour after school for <10 weeks. There are about 4 clubs offered 3 times a year (fall, winter, spring) So many options for students to participate and build connections.
Yes! We have great special ed and 504 plan teams to help students who are on an IEP or 504 plan. For more information, you can contact our Special Ed Coordinator, Nikki Woken.
Spectrum does offer a 1:1 Chromebook take-home program for students in grade 7-12 and a modified version for students in grade 6 which allows them to use a Chromebook during the school day.
Chromebooks make it possible for students to access online digital resources including Schoology which is the learning management system used by all Spectrum teachers. In addition, we have Mac and Windows computers for some courses such as Digital Photography and IT Tech Support.
That’s a good question but difficult to answer! Teachers assign homework based on the requirements of the course. That means some subjects will have more homework than others. Spectrum intends for homework to be purposeful and aligned to the goal of delivering a college preparatory education. For students who may need assistance with homework, Spectrum provides the option of a Directed Study program after school FREE of charge. Directed Study is designed to provide students with additional structured time to work on homework, receive math support, and aid them in their organizational skills.
Spectrum has transportation services through North Star Bus Lines. Bus routes run within the ISD 728 district boundaries only. Because families elect to attend Spectrum and are therefore spread out in many different locations, bussing provides a unique challenge and route times may be longer than a regular district route. We do facilitate a shared carpooling list and open the schools early (7:00am) to allow for parent drop-off. For specific bus questions, please contact Kurt at North Star Bus Lines for more information.
For more details, visit our Transportation page HERE.
We believe in empowering students to be leaders who are actively involved in serving their communities. Service Learning is a pass/fail course focused on connecting in some way to meet a need of the community. Students have new service learning experiences each quarter to explore different ways to help and discover what is most meaningful to them. Senior Capstone is the culminating project of the service learning. Students get to be personally involved in a project that impacts the community and allows them to develop their own voice on something that matters. Senior Capstone is a graduation requirement at Spectrum.
For more details about our Community Outreach mission, click HERE.
Who do I ask if I have more questions?
If you have not yet done so, we suggest attending the Tour and Information Event as a great way to get many of your questions answered as well as experiencing the school first-hand.
Any additional questions can also be directed to Christy Siegel, registrar, at email@example.com.