A charter school that plans to have 50 minutes a day in physical education and alternative teaching programs has submitted plans to open on U.S. 1.
“Our students study the core subjects like all other students. They also have hands-on experience with subjects such as gardening and fish farming,” said Kendall Artusi, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Bright Futures Academy Charter School Inc, which has campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.
School officials hope to open this summer with about 700 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Plans call for Bright Futures to be in the Seminole Plaza Shopping Center, on the west side of U.S. 1 about 1 mile south of Donald Ross Road.
Enrollment could increase to include high school students, depending on demand, Artusi said.
The two Bright Futures campuses in North Palm Beach, with about 400 students from kindergarten to fourth grade, would be closed when the Juno Beach campus opens. The students would attend the Juno Beach campus. The Bright Futures school on Riverside Drive in Palm Beach Gardens will remain open, Artusi said.
Batt Private School, which has been in Seminole Plaza for about 25 years, will remain, said Judie Batt-Yarnell, owner/founder of the school.
County records show the 5-acre Seminole Plaza parcel is owned by Green Island Investors, who bought the property in 1994 for $1.7 million. Bright Futures is negotiating to buy the property, Artusi said.
Bright Futures is the third charter school to apply to open recently in north county. Renaissance Charter School applied to open on Hiatt Drive, and Franklin Academy applied to open on Hood Road. Both are in Palm Beach Gardens.
Nationally, the number of charter schools has grown from about 1,540 in 1999 to about 5,600. In Florida, there are now more than 570 charter schools. The number of students attending charters has increased by six times in the past decade. In 2012, more than 200,000 Florida students — about one in 17 — attended a charter school, according to the Florida Department of Education.
“Charter schools offer an alternative many parents and students are seeking,” said Tom Rogers, board representative for Franklin Academy.