For Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy, The Time is Now

May 20, 2015

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Timing is everything. The co-founders of the first independent charter public school in Vacaville understood this. That's why they named the new TK-8th grade charter school Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy (KPSVA). Kairos is a Greek word, meaning an "opportune moment in time."

Kairos opened this school year by charter school veterans Bob Hampton, Taryn Jones, and Jared Austin and serves elementary and middle school students.

"While educating students at the high school level, parents and community members would constantly ask us to open a charter school for younger students," Austin said. "The desire was there, but we need to determine the time."

Co-founders Hampton, Jones, and Austin know a thing or two about charter schools. Hampton, a superintendent of Guajome Schools in Vista, California, was the co-founder and Principal at Buckingham Charter Magnet High School (BCMHS); Jones served as principal, assistant principal and assessment coordinator at BCMHS; and Austin most recently served as principal for two charter schools in Natomas after having served as the student services coordinator at BCMHS.

After years of discussion, the co-founders decided it was time to move forward with opening an independent charter school, serving elementary and middle school students. Fueled by the school's motto, "The Time is Now;" a grass roots campaign began with a small group of volunteers to help get the word out about the school, resulting in more than 300 parent signatures supporting the charter petition in only 10 days. This was achieved with a strong social media presence and the traditional grass-roots tactic of pounding the pavement.

In November, 2013 the Vacaville Unified School District had the courage to approve the first independent charter school in the city. And in April 2014, the Board of Trustees agreed to a five-year facility use agreement for KPSVA to use a closed elementary school campus. The Board's decision was met with opposition, but educational choice prevailed and Kairos had a home.

Through a series of informational meetings, interest in the school grew and the school opened with 470 students this school year with 300 students on the waitlist. Kairos partnered with Guajome Schools and Natomas Charter School to share best instructional and operational practices.

The timing was right for Kairos, as the school sets out to fulfill its mission to "empower a generation of learners to think critically, analyze and apply knowledge strategically, and utilize relevant tools to interact thoughtfully within a global community.