North Star Charter opens, makes agreement with district leaders

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) - Just hours before the first bell rang Thursday at North Star Charter School, the board reached an agreement with the Meridian School District that would keep their doors open this year.

Over the summer, the Meridian School District had threatened to revoke the school's charter, because they felt the school wasn't financially stable enough to get itself through the school year.

Thursday morning, the district agreed to give the school more time to make some changes and adjust its plan. District leaders now believe the school has enough funding to make it through this year, and gave them the green light.

The new agreement will also give North Charter a chance to work out a long-term agreement with the district.

School started as normal Thursday. Nearly 1,000 students are back in the classroom, or on the playground, at North Star.

"There's a lot of excitement in the air and you can feel it from the teachers, you can feel it from the students from the parents and its going to be a great year," parent Ellen Bates said.

Ellen's daughter Margerie is starting 6th grade today. It's her fifth year at North Star Charter, and she's glad to be back.

"She's thrilled!" Bates said. "She's been driving me crazy. She actually made a little thing and put it on her calendar ripping off the days until school started, she's just so excited."

That first bell was a sign of relief for parents who may have been uncertain about the school's future.

"Today's action just took that all away and everyone's just breathing a sigh of relief because the hearing's been cancelled," board chairman Jim Miller said.

Bates said she was confident in the board's capabilities all along, and that today's decision was no surprise to her.

"The school has had some challenges, but our board works really really hard and they told us they would fight this and do everything they could and took that face value," Bates said.

All this, makes Thursday one extra special first day of school.

"You definitely feel it," Bates said. "The's been lifted, so now we can just go on with the school year and let the kids do their best."

And sure enough, Margeries first day went off without a hitch.

"I don't want her anywhere else," Bates said. "You know, she feels like she belongs here."