It started with a vision almost 12 years ago amongst a group of motivated MCPASD employees. Their idea was to create a community school where all students could learn deeply together.
Clark Street Principal Jill Gurtner has been with the school since their inception. During a sit-down interview with our Dir. of Information and PR, Shannon Valladolid, she mentioned how hard the first few years of the launch were. But Gurtner and others were determined to make their dreams a reality.
"We had over a year of planning with staff, students and the community trying to imagine what a restructure would look like," said Gurtner." We made huge moves right from the start. We took away grading and credits and transitioned into all interdisciplinary learning, competency-based and project-based curricula."
Now, she sits back and is amazed at all the work they were able to do. Work that has been life-changing for students. Many of them are so grateful for what Clark Street Community School has been able to provide for them that they've come back to work at the school.
"To now be in a space where we have connections all around the country with other schools doing this type of work and many are coming to us saying 'How did you design it and what have you done,'" she said. "The thing I love most about this school is that we are truly, by design, serving all students. There are no categories of students that aren't able to be successful here."
Gurtner also thanked all the staff members who helped with the school's launch and those still with them today.
For the 2022-23 school year, Clark Street will be moving into a wing at the newly renovated MCPASD High School building.
A big congratulations to all the employees at CSCS who continue to make great strides and prioritize the fantastic students at the school!