After hearing some questions about the status of the charter school idea, I contacted several of our board members, and one sent me to Nancy Gagnon, who provided an update about the concept.
Is the charter school idea dead?
No. There is a steering committee working for the what is called the Monona Grove School for Health and Environmental Sciences (a working title), or MG Science for short.
Here is the basic concept:
- MG Science will be a public charter school located in vacant space within an MG building (precise location not yet determined)
- The charter school can be attended by any middle school student in our district.
- The school will neither increase nor decrease total state student aid paid within the district; the school receives the state aid amount per capita for each child who enrolls in the school.
- The school will provide hands-on science instruction in a small school setting.
Where are they at in the process:
The committee is in the early stages of drafting its planning grant application to be submitted to DPI. If the grant application is approved, grant funds can be used to, among other things, reimburse a teacher(s) for drafting a detailed curriculum for the school.
Leaders in the process include the following:
BUDGETING/FUNDRAISING: Harvey Potter/Stephanie Ramer
CURRICULUM: Larry Miller/Patti McGinnis (both retired principals)
GOVERNANCE/LEGAL: Nancy Gagnon
OUTREACH: Kathy Thomas/Heidi Sigmund
PLANNING: Steph Ramer/Mike Meulemans
The Governance/Legal draft should be ready in November.
Other draft sections will be done by January, and a submission of the entire draft will be made to the MG School Board in February, 2010.
The end goal is to open the school for the 2012/2013 school year.
While this is the basics, it looks like the charter school people have been quietly chugging along with things. Kudos to them. While we whine and complain and blame, they are at least trying to do something. A lot more details are needed to find out if this is any kind of real option, but it’s nice to hear there is some thought being put into it.
If you are interested in more information, or have questions, please contact Nancy Gagnon at Nancy.Gagnon@wisconsin.gov.
Thanks to Nancy for replying to my emails, and thanks to Susan Manning of the Monona Grove School Board for getting me in touch with Nancy.
What do people think of the idea?