New private school opening in Roseville

Hawthorne Academy of Arts and Sciences staffed with laid-off Horizon teachers
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Open enrollment for the 2013-14 school year for the Hawthorne Academy of Arts and Sciences takes place in late February. For more information, visit

New Year’s Eve marked the last day of employment for teachers at the Accelerated Learning Academy in Lincoln and Rocklin, operated by Horizon Charter Schools until the programs abruptly closed.

But for teacher Janel Catalano, and several of her colleagues, the day marked a new beginning. Instead of bemoaning the loss of her job at Accelerated Learning Academy, she focused her attention on another endeavor: the formation of the Hawthorne Academy of Arts and Sciences in Roseville.

“We’re taking a closed door and making one open,” Catalano said.

The private, nonprofit K-8 school will open in fall 2013, and a high school grade level will be added each of the following four years. The campus is named for American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, who wrote “The Scarlet Letter.”

The group has secured a facility at 333 Sunrise Ave. in a building that previously housed a culinary academy. The building’s owner has agreed to build a fenced play yard, Catalano said, and the space already has classrooms, a kitchen and lunchroom.

“Everything is falling into place,” she said.

The idea for the school formed as Catalano and a fellow teacher lamented the end of the education offered at the Accelerated Learning Academy. They wanted to continue the program, but outside of what they considered the binds of the public school system.

The Hawthorne Academy will provide advanced project-based, literature-rich learning opportunities in all content areas, according to its founders. Students in all grade levels will learn a foreign language on a daily basis and Fridays will be filled with enrichment classes in arts and sciences such as guitar, engineering drama and more.

The majority of the staff — displaced Horizon teachers — has been hired. The founders have budgeted for fewer than 20 students per class.

“We’re going to make this a small school,” Catalano said. “Parents seem to really appreciate that and sometimes that’s difficult to get in a public school setting.”