Local News

Wednesday, Mar 13 2013 06:33 AM

Bard College departing Delano charter school

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Paramount Bard Academy sixth-grader Ilse Miramontes plays with her earring as she reads her journal to the class during a regular class day at the charter school in January 2012.

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    By Alex Horvath / The Californian

    Mariachi intstructor Juan Morales plays along with his class a cord he just taught in this January 2012 photo. Erica Aispuro plays along with a Guitarron, a base guitar. Paramount Bard Academy charter school in Delano features a music program called El Sistema that's been featured on "60 Minutes."

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BY COURTENAY EDELHART Californian Staff Writer cedelhart@bakersfield.com

Paramount Bard Academy is now Paramount Academy.

On Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Education approved a revision to the school's charter to reflect the departure of one of the partners in the school, which opened in Delano in 2009 as a collaborative effort of the Resnick Foundation, the Delano community, Paramount Agricultural Companies and Bard College.

Bard College's role in the charter school had been to give graduate students an opportunity to earn a master's degree and a teaching credential while working with the school's students.

But Bard was plagued with problems from the start. Its graduate program got in trouble with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in 2011 when the commission learned the program had been operating for more than a year without state accreditation.

At Tuesday's meeting, Superintendent Christine Lizardi Frazier said Bard had not played a significant role in developing the teachers, anyway. After the meeting, Paramount said it would find alternative sources of professional development for staff members.

The board also approved a waiver allowing Paramount to put off, for now, plans to expand to a K-12 school next year, as was outlined in the original charter.

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