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Yee credits swelling enrollment to faculty, staff at Bowman Charter

Student population has increased for last five years
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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At Bowman Charter School, Principal Gary Yee is happy to see that both his enrollment and the amount of programs offered there are on the rise.

Yee said he has a population of 541 students this year, which is up from last year, marking five years of enrollment increases at the transitional kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school. During that five-year span, Yee's school has grown from 340 students.

"I'd say first and foremost our program is nothing without our staff," Yee said.

Yee maintains that when parents start looking into sending their children to Bowman, it's primarily because they're looking for an alternative to other schools. He also said most parents are surprised by the programs offered at the school.

"Because of our fiscal maintenance we haven't had to eliminate any programs over the years," he said. "Most parents come in here and say, ‘Gosh, you still have a full-time PE coach, or a band and choir teacher,' because in some other areas they don't have that anymore."

Like some other schools, Bowman added a transitional kindergarten this year. Transitional kindergarten teaches the youngest of students classroom routines so they can be ready to hit the books academically when they reach the regular classroom.

"It's kind of a bonus year that makes sure they're adjusted to working in groups," Yee said.

Yee also touts the relationship Bowman has with the Placer County Office of Education. If a student needs a program that isn't offered at the school, they can be sent to another site that offers it.

This is also the second year for the Bowman Educational Foundation, which acts as an independent fundraising body for the school.

Yee said the foundation will be holding its first major fundraiser, called Octo-BEF-Fest on Sept. 28. Since it is an independent body, teachers at the school can apply to the foundation for grants after the event.

The event will include dinner and music and ticket information can be obtained by calling the school.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.