ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud charter school Stride Academy is looking forward to the new school year, after a summer of work trying to make sure the school stays open.

In April, Stride Academy was denied a renewal of their license and forced to announce their closure. In June, the school was given a one year extension.

Recently hired Executive Director Eric Williams says the work this summer has been intense.

"We brought our teachers in and provided some intentional training around developing the curriculum maps and testing tied to the standards. There was quite a bit of intense work going on, and I think that the teachers feel better prepared than they ever have been."

The school's enrollment for the year is at 312 students, down from 740 last year, and School Board President Sara Fromm says having smaller class sizes will be beneficial.

"We're actually really excited about having a smaller school to work with this year, I think that best suits us to meet the needs of all of our students."

Because of this change, the school is adopting a kindergarten - 6th grade model, instead of their former kindergarten - 8th grade set-up.

Williams says once the school gets a new three-five year contract from it's authorizer Friends of Education, they will decide whether or not to re-add 7th and 8th Grade.

They have an open house Thursday from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The school officially starts class next Tuesday.

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