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Medical charter school eyes building in Hamburg

By Melissa Fullerton, Reporter, melissa.fullerton@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 18 2011 03:34:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 18 2011 07:11:39 PM CDT

Medical charter school coming to Hamburg?

HAMBURG, Pa. -

Drive by the old Hamburg Elementary in Berks County and it seems the school, which closed in 2008, will reopen as a charter school.

Signs outside the building say the Medical Academy Charter School is "opening soon."  

Head to the website listed on those signs and students can pre-enroll.  And a representative from the school says they hope to open in the fall of next year.

"Right now, it's in its infancy stage.  It's something new to us.  It's something new to Berks County," said Mayor Roy Del Rosario, R-Hamburg, of the school.

Del Rosario says he's been approached about joining the founders of the Medical Academy Charter School.  But so far, he's just been trying to learn more about the program.

A spokesperson for the school says it will offer pre-med courses for students planning to go on to college.

It will also offer a technical track for students who want to get their certification and head straight to the work force.

"This is like if you want to work in the nursing homes or in a hospital setting," Del Rosario explained.  "They may expand and maybe go into the LPN or RN business as well."

The Hamburg Area School District has to give its approval before the charter school can open.  But so far, district officials tell 69 News they've not received any official proposal about the charter school.

According to the district's business manager, 44 Hamburg students are already enrolled in charter schools.

For each student that goes to a charter school, the district must pay $9,568.75 per year and $17,950.33 for each special needs student.

Should the Medical Academy receive its charter, the district would pay that rate for any student enrolled.

For now, the official proposal on the school is anticipated at next month's school board meeting.

The plans already have the backing of the mayor.

"I'd rather see a vacant building become a school than a halfway house," Del Rosario said.