Minnetonka Welcomes First Russian Charter School
Minnesota has the fourth largest Russian population in the United States; with a community of about 40,000 in the Twin Cities.
It's a perfect place for a new Russian charter school, and the only one in the Midwest.
It's called, Nashka Shkola, which means "our school" in Russian.
These students will learn about their Russian heritage and the language.
The students will take 45 minutes of Russian class every day to either learn or practice the language.
There are 95 kids enrolled at Nashka Shkola; some traveled as far as an hour to get here. But to their parents teaching their kids Russian and learning about their cultures is a top priority.
This charter school has been in the works for six years.
The Russian community gathered signatures from hundreds of interested families, and worked with the Minnesota Department of Education to ensure federal and state funding.
Some of these students were born in Russia, others have Russian parents, and some were adopted from Russia into American homes.
"Quite often parents adopt kids from Russia and they want their kids to retain their culture. But since they don't know it, it's very difficult to do," said Eugene Kharam, Lead Teacher.
Nashka Shkola shares the building with Minnetonka Christian School.
Kindergarten through sixth grade are taught here, but they hope to someday expand to include seventh through twelveth grade.