On April 18 the Minnesota Department of Education announced an award of Federal Charter School Program funding to Grove Elementary: A Marine Area Community School for the kindergarten through sixth-grade charter school in Marine on St. Croix opening fall 2017. The $175,000 award will support necessary start-up activities to open the school.
Placed-based learning at Grove Elementary will include the environment, arts, history and civic involvement. And, the teacher powered school will rely on teacher expertise to select and implement curriculum, as well as assess overall effectiveness. This model supports student achievement and teachers as leaders and decision-makers in the implementation of the school.
“We are very excited about the grant announcement. These funds will allow for the purchase of curriculum materials, hiring of school startup technical advisors, and professional development for new staff,” stated Lisa White, founding board member.
As a non-district public school, charter schools benefit from state general education funding but cannot levy or bond for taxes. “These resources are critical to the school’s ability to continue on a positive path to be ready to open as the school is starting from scratch,” stated Kristina Smitten, founding board member.
“The amount of support from MDE, the School Authorizer, and the community has been amazing. With this funding there is no insurmountable hurdle to our opening in the Fall. We are so excited for the future school,” stated Lisa White.
Founding team members include Jon Dettmann, Lisa Dochniak, Mayor Glen Mills, Kristina Smitten and Lisa White. The authorizer for the Marine Area Community School is the Minnesota Guild.
A community open house is planned on Sunday, May 7, from 1:00 – 4:00 at Wilder Forest: 14189 Ostlund Trail North, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047. Parents will be able to meet the teachers and school administrator; facility tours, enrollment help, and refreshments will be available. This is also a drop site for our Book Donation Drive (gently used, quality children’s books).
Board meetings are held the third Saturday of the month.