VIRGINIA BEACH - The first public charter school in Virginia Beach is kicking off back to school with a celebration.

'The idea is to make this a very tight group that works well together,' school spokesperson Jeff Barba said.

Green Run Collegiate is hosting a picnic for staff, teachers, parents and students Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

Earlier this year, the school board approved creating the new public charter school inside Green Run High School. More than 100 freshmen are enrolled in the academically-challenging college prep school. Over the next three years, the school will grow to house sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Green Run Collegiate will house three components of the International Baccalaureate: IB middle years for 9th and 10th graders, the IB diploma program and the IB career related certificate, where students can get technical industry certification.

A public charter school is an independent public school allowed to be more innovative and flexible while still held accountable by the school division for improving student achievement. For example, such flexibility could include offering different curriculum, developing its own school calendar and holding classes outside of the traditional school day. The responsibility for staffing and oversight of day to day operations will be guided by the Green Run Collegiate Governing Board.

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