CSCS receives $225,000 implementation grant
Clark Street Community School, the district's newest charter school, received a $225,000 federal grant, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced on Monday.
CSCS received one of 20 implementation grants, which are given to charter schools in their first year of operations. Those 20 grants were worth more than $3.8 million this year.
The school will replace Middleton Alternative Senior High School (MASH), which opened in 1995 and was one of the first charter schools in the state.
The district also received a $225,000 planning grant last year. CSCS is eligible for a implementation renewal grant next year. There were 32 implementation renewal grants issued this year worth more than $6.3 million. The smallest was for $150,000, while the three school districts received $250,000 apiece.
The Board of Education formally approved the CSCS charter in January. There are currently 110 students in grades 9-12 enrolled in the school. Approximately 10 more spots are still available. The first day of school at CSCS is Sept. 4.
The school’s vision is to be the leader in democratic, place-based and project-based education, facilitating inspirational and authentic learning experiences that engage students, families, educators and the community.
Project-based learning allows students to engage in comprehensive, research-based learning experiences that are evaluated on the quality and breadth of the students’ work. Projects are tied to educational standards and graduation requirements.
Community-based learning provides the context for learning as student work focuses on local traditions, needs, and interests. This approach increases academic achievement and fosters student investment in their communities and education as students see what they are learning has practical application and impact on their world.
Democratic participation encourages all members of the learning community to participate in planning and creating learning experiences, and problem-solving.
In all, Wisconsin charter schools were awarded $16.1 million in federal grants this year, the DPI said.
The state had 232 charter schools operating last year, with 20 more planning to open in the upcoming year. The funds come from a five-year $86 million federal grant awarded in 2009.
Charter schools are public schools, typically authorized by school districts, with freedom from certain state and local regulations in exchange for proven results.