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What to choose a charter STEM HS or Early College HS?


mehana January 12, 2013

Hello there, my daughter is starting HS this year and we are undecided to continue her at current charter school or transfer to an early college HS. She is a straight A student with HS credits. She is doing great from A-Z and we talked about it and researched a lot. We are willing to go for ECHS but little reluctant to try and risk her education. Any input from parents, students and educators is greatly appreciated Thanks

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MagnetMom January 14, 2013

Hi mehana, and welcome to the GreatSchools Parent Community.

What is your concern in particular? Your daughter is doing well in middle school. It sounds like she's just started high school. If she's been in HS more than a year or two, she might not be able to transfer to the Early College option anyway. Assuming it's still an option here are some things to think about.

It seems your choices are either a charter STEM high school or an Early College high school. STEM programs are highly regarded, and even more so for girls--especially if that is something she considers pursuing in college. Early College programs are rigorous and allow students to graduate high school with a high school diploma and a number of college credits depending on the child's ability and ambition.

Here are the things I'd consider. Are both programs established? Occasionally new schools spring open, but don't have adequate financing and close. This is an issue if you're there and it happens midyear. Your daughter might not have a place to go.

Are both programs comparable? What is the track record? What colleges do the kids attend when they graduate? These questions will help you understand what colleges your daughter might attend.

If you want to make sure she has college courses at her disposal, you can always encourage her to take a class at her community college even if she stays at the STEM school.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.


jaksbackpack January 15, 2013

Hi Mehana,

I'm an editor here at GreatSchools, and I worked on articles about both school types recently. Here they are and I hope they help a bit! Would love to hear what you decide and why!

Early College:



mehana January 15, 2013

Thanks MagnetMom & Jessica for your postings. It's a big help and we'll sure let you know about the final decision :)

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