Posted: 6:38 p.m. MST
Harvest Preparatory Academy participated in National School Choice Week on Wednesday; this yearly event is meant to bring attention to parents that if they are not happy with the current school system their child is in, they have a choice of where to send them.
"Everyone here is so nice; they're accepting. I suppose it's just the atmosphere in this place," said Pamela Pircaro, a 10th grade student at Harvest Prep.
Pamela speaks fondly of her school because before attending Harvest Prep., she went to two other schools, where she says she was not thriving socially and did not feel academically challenged.
"I noticed a lot of difference. I mean I was learning a lot more, things made more sense, I actually had friends again," Pircaro said.
That's why Pircaro is happy she is not confined to whatever school is in her neighborhood.
Harvest Prep. was one of thousands of schools around the nation that participated in National School Choice Week.
Mario Ybarra, the Chief School Official at Harvest Prep., said events like these bring opportunity for parents and educators to talk about the many problematic issues in education.
"There's still a crisis in education when it comes to the economy, funding, graduation rates," Ybarra said.
Arizona was recently named as the state with the highest dropout rate.
Educators say parents need to take their child's education into their own hands.
"If they're not happy with the system that their child is in, they have another choice," said Leah Norton, K-12 instructional coordinator at Harvest Prep.
Those choices are not limited to charter schools.--there also other public schools, magnet schools, homeschooling, and what is called cyber classes, where an online instructor teaches a student.
"It' really important for parents to have a choice because not all students thrive in the same educational environment," Norton said.
Thursday, legislators at the state capitol will be talking about a proposed bill that would make it necessary for parents to have an instructional guide on school options.