A Temple-based charter school group will open the doors of two schools in Killeen and Copperas Cove in the coming school year.

Both the Killeen Charter Academy and the Copperas Cove Charter Academy are enrolling students for 2013-2014. Both schools are publicly funded, open-enrollment charter schools operating under the state’s charter school statutes and regulations.

“We are very excited to come to Killeen and Copperas Cove to serve students,” said Michele Kelsay, the Cove Academy’s campus director. “We want to create a strong academic environment where we can focus on each individual student and help them succeed.”

The Cove campus, housed at the former location of the Cove Christian Academy, will enroll students in prekindergarten through fifth grade. The Killeen Charter Academy will enroll students in prekindergarten through 12th grade at 3209 Atkinson Ave., literally across the street from Killeen High School. The Killeen campus director is Mark Kelsay, Michele’s husband.

Both schools will focus on catering to the individual academic needs of students, according to the directors. Michele Kelsay said all enrolled students are evaluated, and are given an individualized learning program.

“Some students may be accelerated, and others might need to catch up to their grade level,” she said. “They will have a clear plan, and our teachers will be able to give them the attention they need.”

The two campuses are part of five charter schools operating under the Priority Charter network.

Priority Charter Schools began operating in 1999, when it opened the Temple Education Center, a prekindergarten through 12th-grade school it continues to operate. Priority expanded and opened campuses in Georgetown and Belton for the recently completed year.

Priority’s schools had a total enrollment of about 475 students last year, with about 100 students at the Temple campus each year for the past two years.

“We get a lot more support than a stand-alone charter school would get,” Mark Kelsay said. “Priority provides us with the curriculum and they handle the administrative work, so we are able to focus on our students.”

Kelsay said about 50 students had already enrolled at the Killeen campus, and he hopes to see a total enrollment of 150 students for the Killeen Charter Academy’s inaugural school year.

Open enrollment at both campuses will continue through the start of school, which begins Aug. 26.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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