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‘We’re inspired by the immigrant and Latino experience’ – Monarca Academy seeks to give all students high-quality education

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Monarca Academy is pushing to make sure all students are given the education they deserve.

“Many schools do not have high academic standards for all students,” Francisco Valdiosera, the executive director of Monarca Academy, said.

Monarca Academy is a new proposed public charter school for students grades six through 12. Valdiosera says they want to break down barriers and believes there’s an opportunity gap among Latinos.

“It’s really just the opportunity to experience a high-quality, standards-based education,” Valdiosera said. “The statistics show our educators believe that the standards are OK.”

“However, many of our educators do not believe that our students can meet those standards,” Valdiosera added. “At Monarca Academy, we know that all students can meet those standards.”

“In Indianapolis, only 46 percent of high school graduates, Latino high school graduates, are going to college and so we need to do more,” Dr. Henry Fernandez, the chair board member at the school, said.

To help address this issue, their school curriculum would support all learners to understand their cultural heritage.

“These culturally responsive and sustaining practices are research-based and they have proven to have a high academic impact on all students, especially Black and brown students,” said Valdiosera.

It’s also a college and career readiness community school that’s inspired by Latinos.

“We’re inspired by the immigrant and Latino experience to develop leaders with high academic expectations,” Valdiosera said.

Zeferino Casimiro says his son is facing many challenges in school.

“Even though we try our best at home, the school is always calling us to let us know that he’s falling behind,” Casimiro said.

He says Monarca Academy would be a positive step in the community and that he hopes to enroll his son at the school.

Valdiosera says they’re also focusing on celebrating their students’ cultures. It’s something he says many immigrant parents want.

“They feel that a lot of times that at the schools their culture is not represented and they don’t see those mirrors to themselves in the schools, so when they see a school that will be reflective of that for them, they become very excited,” Valdiosera said.

School leaders are hoping to have the school up and running by fall of next year. Monarca Academy is asking parents to show their support by letting school officials know that they’ll be a great addition to the community prior to its meeting with the Office of Education Innovation on Tuesday. The school is asking people in the community to send public comments in support of Monarca Academy.

Some of the organizations that have shown support for Monarca Academy are La Plaza, the Indiana Latino Institute, the Immigrant Welcome Center, Heart of the House Foundation, Shalom Health Care Center, Indianapolis Airport Authority, Mexico Consulate, Notre Dame Latino Studies Institute and the IUPUI Office of School and Community Engagement.

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