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New School in Town – River Springs Charter School


Last updated 2/12/2019 at 2:51pm

The River Springs Charter School has officially opened their doors to support students and families at the Salton Sea.

Together, they are a team of educators, administrators, and supportive staff following the mission and vision of learning the "Springs" way, by empowering students, engaging parents and promoting optimal learning through personalized learning for each child.

After a long struggle to renew the Juan Bautista de Anza Charter in Salton City, the end result was not successful. On June 30, 2018 the school closed.

Shawna Davis, Director of Student Support Services for Juan Bautista de Anza Charter School, was prepared in advance should the Charter not be renewed. She made sure all students wanting to stay in Charter School were signed up and met all State requirements for online education just before they would have had to go to other schools.

When Juan Bautista closed, students and teachers were left without a school location, so they met at different places that provided WiFi, allowing students to continue their studies until a new Charter location was found.

In her search for funding, Davis contacted Riverside County Charter's, who on her behalf, contacted River Springs Charter School of Ramona. River Springs heard the story about the need for a Charter School at the Salton Sea and contacted Davis.

After seven months of qualifying and paperwork, River Springs opened its Charter school on Jan. 7.

A ribbon cutting ceremony held at the Springs Charter school's new location: 2112 S. Marina Dr., Salton City, was attended by teachers, staff, parents, students, community members, the West Shores Chamber of Commerce's Secretary/Treasurer, Celeste Misch, and our West Shores Honorary Mayor, Carlene Ness.

Ness began the ribbon cutting ceremony by saying: "The opening of this Charter School is a wonderful opportunity for our children today. On behalf of the West Shores Chamber of Commerce representing the West Shores Communities, we would like to extend a great welcome to all of you, and we are looking forward to a great year for everybody."

Davis, Site Facilitator, addressed the crowd giving appreciation and thanks to parents, students, Superintendent Kathleen Hermsmeyer, Assistant Superintendent Amy Podratz, and Assistant Superintendent of Education Vivian Price for making this school possible.

"Its been a long time coming and I am very proud to introduce a school of choice once again for the Salton Sea Community. It was a long haul but we made it and were going bigger and better," Davis said.

A few more short speeches, and the ribbon was cut, everybody was invited in to view the new Charter School classroom, which every student played a hand in its design and set up.

The Springs Charter School is a public school meeting all State required standards. Special needs children are welcome, as the education structure is personalized and custom made for each individual student K – 12.

Students are provided a computer and work books, assignments are online and turned in online.

Classrooms are open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the students can come and do some work, receive tutoring and assignments. Students are also able to experience educational field trips such as the San Diego Zoo, the Salton Sea mud pods with a selection of many other educational trips to choose from. A field trip to Disneyland through California Adventure is scheduled in Feb.

A mom spoke of her son Zeke's success due to Charter school education. Zeke started main stream elementary, where he was non-verbal and struggling with education. His mom then enrolled him in Charter school, and with the help of the school's opportunity program he is now verbal with an educational plan to fit him.

Another mom spoke of her children's success due to Charter school education.

Her daughter, now 32-years-old, went on to become a payroll manager for a Corporation. Her son has gone on to being a vendor of online books.

"Opportunities for our Charter school kids are endless," she stated. "Teachers and staff, along with the Charter school's way of educating helps each child to succeed and become good citizens contributing to society."

Kim, an 11th grade student has been in Charter school since the 7th grade.

"I like my science class and it's really interesting. I get to interact with the lesson," she said.

Kim was asked if she was looking forward to college, and answered "Yes, very much." She will be applying to colleges next year.


Shawna Davis, Site Facilitator for the Springs Charter school is on-site every day. Davis had worked closely with Dr. Thorpe and her Horse Wisdom program, and has since received her certificate in Equine Guided Education in order to continue the program.

The Springs Charter is currently working to obtain a College Technical Education (C.T.E.) course for the Horse Wisdom program.

Kimberly Hooper, Teacher of Records. Hooper is head teacher overseeing and tutoring.

Elena Gonzales, Assistant Class Room Educator is on-site every day.

Erica Worth, Compliance Technician. Worth goes over attendance and reports making sure they are perfect and up to State code.

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