UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The Utica Academy of Science Charter School opened its doors to students for the first time Thursday.
It's a public, tuition-free school, but it's different from the other schools in the Utica district.
It focuses on maintaining small class sizes. The school has a total of 176 students and they're at capacity.
They're also different because they have a STEM-based learning program, meaning they emphasize science, technology, engineering and math in the classrooms.
So far, parents are pleased with the addition to the education system.
"The parents are very excited between the gifted students and special-ed families, everyone's really excited to have us here for the one-on-one attention and the team building aspect. We really believe in student-teacher-parent relationships. Our teachers do home visits throughout the year, actually go into the student's home to meet the families on their terms and share with them what's going on with the school, what's going on with their child," said Kelly Gaggin, Director of Public Relations.
The school is currently grades six through nine, but will eventually expand through twelfth grade.