“Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”

Helen Blue-Redner, Director, ECHO Charter School

I always try to ignore rumors; I follow the dictum that one doesn’t answer a question until the question has been asked. However, it’s time to put some things to rest. ECHO Charter School is NOT CLOSING. Declining student enrollment, not unlike other local school districts, has affected our budget, which has required us to be very intentional about how we deploy our resources. However, ECHO Charter School is NOT CLOSING.

Whether families have been with us for one year or ten years, they know that our school is very special. They count on us to reach kids “where they are”, and to offer an inclusive, flexible, and rigorous learning environment. Likewise, they count on having good relationships and easy access to school staff so that the needs of their students can be fulfilled. Now in our 22nd year, we have a proven track record of helping kids gain educational parity, practicing curiosity, and preparing for college and the work force. (The majority of our graduating class of 2018 is now at university or learning a trade in tech school) We have no intention of abandoning these important values in order to accommodate the baseless rumor that ECHO Charter is closing. ECHO Charter School is NOT CLOSING.

Many of the students who attend ECHO Charter are town kids. Even though we are in a time when rural Minnesota’s population is shrinking, this does not mean that local families want to give up their neighborhood school; in fact, if anything, it means they want to keep it. Other students who come to ECHO have tried other schools and don’t feel they fit in, or they haven’t gained the feeling of security and acceptance that are necessary for their academic and social success. Therefore, so that we may continue to meet the needs and wants of these students and their families, ECHO Charter School is NOT CLOSING. We will continue to work toward our goals, which is the equitable education of all our students.

Helen Blue-Redner, Director

Ed.S./Principal Licensure Candidate, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Ed.M., Harvard University

A.B., Princeton University