By Jacob Mathias
In order to accommodate all new applicants, an increase of five students for the new Point of Discovery charter school was approved by the Stevens Point School Board last night.
“Because we had 55 students who applied we didn’t want to turn away five,” said Jen Zach, governing board president of PODS. “It seemed like a reasonable amount of students to accommodate in our first year.”
The total enrollment of PODS was initially set at 50 students for the first year. The increase of 5 students will also apply to the future attendance limits.
“I think that this stretched the rules a little bit and in a really good way,” said Board Member Trish Baker. “I’m very glad you’re able to bring the rest of those kids into the fold and stretch your curriculum a little bit to do that.”
|Changes In PODS Enrollment Limits|
Zach said the PODS applicants include 32 boys and 23 girls, with 38 sixth graders and 17 seventh grade student. Seven of those students are from outside of the Stevens Point School District.
“All of the elementary schools are represented…they come from all over our district,” said Zach, who added the charter school has also seen a “great outpouring of support from the community who are very supportive of PODS.”
Some furniture for the school was donated by the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and Ellis Stone. A sign originally donated to Jackson Environmental Discovery Center by Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve has been remodeled to fit the new school.
Superintendent Attila Weninger said Woodlands Church in Plover plans to devote “a lion’s share” of volunteer work to help clean and remodel the school.
The Point of Discovery School is a public charter school within the existing district using the principles of Expeditionary Learning. It operates without scheduled class periods and focuses on project-based learning. The model, according to charter school officials, challenges students to think critically and take active roles in their classrooms and communities- which they say results in higher achievement and greater engagement in school.
The School Board approved Jackson Elementary School as the location of PODS in March. An open-house at the school is scheduled for later this summer.