When Robb MacDonald, the chairman of the board of trustees for the school, came into Heritage Community Charter
half-way through its first year in 2010, the word he used was "disarray," according to the Idaho Press-Tribune
. The Caldwell school hovered around a disappointing two-star rating, out of the state's five-star rating system.
When Javier Castaneda took over the school as the administrative executive director in 2011, things started to turn around. Now it's a four-star rated school and it received accreditation status this month under AdvancED—which includes the Northwest Accreditation Commission.
"Within one year, we grew to a four-star school, which just doesn't happen very often," Castaneda told the Idaho Press-Tribune.
The accreditation will last for the next five years. Elementary schools in the state aren't required to be accredited—in fact, there are only a few accredited elementary schools in Idaho.
The school is a public charter serving kids in grades kindergarden through eighth grade. It's a "two-way immersion" model, where students in kindergarden through fifth grade spend half the day in Spanish-speaking-only classes and half the day in English-only classes. The school has 503 students enrolled this fall, with hopes of adding grades nine through 12.