Children’s Shelter Officials Discuss Opening Charter School in NWA


A local children’s shelter is aiming to build a better learning experience for kids who have endured trauma.

The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter held a public hearing at the Bentonville Community Center Wednesday to discuss it’s goal of establishing an open-enrollment charter school.

The hope is to expand education services to children throughout Northwest Arkansas who have experienced traumatic events, and adverse childhood experiences that have led to significant setbacks in the classroom.

“So many children have experienced a traumatic event – it’s really one in four children – and we see first hand the impact of child abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences on the children,” said Maury Peterson, executive director of the Children’s Shelter. “So, many of the children fall behind academically, and so we really wanna use the best practices that we’ve had over the last two decades at the school we’re currently running at the shelter.”

In 1998, the shelter established an on-site school to meet the specific educational needs of the children who live there.

The trauma charter school would be a first of its kind in Northwest Arkansas, according to Peterson.

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