The Saratoga Academy for Leadership and Maritime Programs is launching a new private middle school at the Capital Region Maritime Center, officials announced today.
A total of 21 students will be enrolled in the new middle school, which will open in the fall of 2013 and serve students in grades 5 and 6.
These students are coming from the existing pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school in Clifton Park called the Saratoga Academy for the Arts and Sciences.
The school can accommodate up to 50 students in its first year and hopes to grow from there, according to Michael Christensen, founder and headmaster.
Christensen said he was motivated to start the elementary school five years ago because he said parents need choices in educating their children. “I don’t believe education should be a one-size-fits-all model,” he said.
The curriculum would focus on interdisciplinary projects with small class sizes. An important focus would be learning about the Erie Canal and maritime technologies.
The Maritime Center formerly housed a vocational training program for at-risk youths from 2000 until 2011, when Capital Region BOCES decided to move the program to Draper Middle School.
The academy is leasing the space for a little more than $90,000 a year — not including utilities and other costs that remain to be worked out, according to Deborah Rausch, executive director of the Capital Region Maritime Center.