"We'll never move towards a model where there will not be that traditional option," said Dan Cravens whose a chair on the Bingham Academy Board of Directors. "There's many, many students that benefit from that and want that, and many families want that."
This year, Bingham Academy is looking forward to the start of the school year. But there will be one big challenge - creating a well rounded learning environment in the midst of a pandemic.
Bingham Academy is also known for being the first Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high school in the state of Idaho.
Students who attend the academy have the opportunity to gain college credit through duel enrollment courses offered through Idaho State University, University of Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho as well as other universities and colleges. This opportunity will continue to be offered online.
As far as the pandemic goes, the public charter high school is more than aware of the situation but still wants to offer options to everyone involved for the beginning of school.
"What our goal would be is to be as flexible as possible," said Bingham Academy's Chief Administrator, Mark Fisk, "and to provide as many choices to our students and their families as possible."
During the fourth quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, Bingham Academy made the transition to online immediately. But the online remedy doesn't always work for everyone.
"A lot of that basically comes down to the fact that 'one size fits all' just doesn't work," said Fisk.
Fisk mentioned that a majority of parents would like to see their kids back in school, in person where they can get that experience of being around their teachers and fellow classmates.
Parents also had a part to play in what they believed was best for the kids' educational needs - whether it be online or in the classroom.
"We reached out to our parents," said Cravens. "We asked them and a part of this is in response to what they felt and what they thought and what they'd like to see."
Bingham Academy would like to expand past their Blackfoot location virtually, said Cravens, stating that students from across the state are welcome to enroll to take advantage of the opportunities they offer.
But again, as Fisk said, the options for flexibility are there. Students can also learn from home while going to school.
In addition, parents, teachers, and students will be educated on what to look for when it comes to CDC guidelines, COVID-19 symptoms and basic knowledge of how to social distance and stay clean and healthy.
"We're educators. We want not only the parents and the faculty to know but we would really like our students to be able to know," stated Fisk.
The school's first orientation will take place the Thursday before the first day of school.
Cravens mentioned that Bingham Academy is still looking for applicants ahead of the school year.
Registration is on Tuesday, August 4 from 1 - 4 PM or Wednesday, August 5 from 4 – 7 PM. Your choice. Those interested in enrolling their student should fill out the form found here: https://forms.gle/Sxk9kpmE2A1nmqPHA