If a group of High Desert educators have their way, the next high school to open in Hesperia will be a school of choice.

"The concept of the school is to bring the performing and visual arts back into the school system," John Griffin, the future dean of activities for Encore High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.

The proposal for Encore -- a charter school hoping to serve students from grades 7 through 12 -- will be made to the Hesperia Unified School District tonight. The founders hope to open the school with 600 students in fall 2008, in time for the 2008-2009 school year.

And among those presenting will be Griffin, who also works as a teacher at Hesperia High School. And he's not alone: Other Encore founders also work in public education, in contrast to the antipathy many in public education have traditionally felt toward the charter school system.

"We don't think the [public school] system is broke, it's just taxed," Griffin said. "There's just so many people moving to the High Desert, it's hard to make sure that things go well. ... Our goal is to make sure that the High Desert as a whole doesn't lose the performing or visual arts."

In addition to performing and visual arts classes, an arts-centered education will be integrated into many other classes as well, he said.

"Most of the people that are involved are either teachers that have specific degrees in performing or visual arts ... or have a love for the arts, as well," Griffin said. "They might be studying Shakespeare in English, but that same class will tie that into performing arts and perform that play."

Although no location has yet been decided upon for Encore, Griffin said the founding group is currently looking at several spots in Hesperia.

"We're not treating this as a charter school, we're treating this more as a school of choice," Griffin said. "Where some charter schools that might have one teacher who teaches multiple subjects, we're hiring teachers that hire specific subjects, just like a public school.

"Being educators, we know what it takes to run a school; we've been doing it for years."

But first, the new school has to get the collective thumbs-up from the school board. To get ready, the founders have worked closely with the California Charter School Association, polishing and repolishing their proposal.

"Our gut feeling is that it's going to go extremely positive," Griffin said.

The Hesperia Unified School District school board meets tonight at 6 p.m. at the AESC building at 15576 Main Street.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.