Community Foundation fund set up to help pay for programs beyond what district can afford
By Brandi Makuski
Officials from the Point of Discover School- a new charter school in the district- say they’re gearing up for the 2015-16 school year with more student applicants and are now in need of additional funding.
The school, which employs an expeditionary learning model, had been approved to accept 55 students by the Stevens Point School Board last year, with an increase in students permitted each year thereafter. Students are chosen through an application process.
Jen Zach, governing board president for PODS, said the school held a meet and greet last week, and that event yielded six new applicants.
“We now have 56 applicants, so we’ll see what happens with that over the summer, we may lose a couple or gain a couple, but I might have to come back and ask if we can take one more student,” Zach told the board on Monday. “I’d hate to have to turn one student away.”
Zach said families in attendance at the meet and greet were impressed with the layout of the program, which is being housed in the former Jackson Elementary School building on West Zinda Drive.
“I heard one student, as they were leaving, say, ‘Oh this is going to be torture- we have to wait until September to come back here’, which is just the kind of torture we want to hear about,” Zach said, laughing. “We had a lot of our students who already applied and their families come see us. It was nice for them to get a feel for the grounds.”
Zach also said the school has set up a donation fund through the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin to help offset costs of the school’s field trips- which Zach said couldn’t be funded by the district.
“We realized some of the field work will be above and beyond what the district will be able to provide for us, as are many field trips in the district,” she said.
Zach called the PODS field trips “more extensive” than typical activities in the district. The first planned trip, she said, would be held at the Lions Club in Rosholt the first week of the 2015-16 school year and will include parent involvement.
The entire staff- to include the school’s teachers, secretary and janitorial staff- will also be present for the field trip, something Zach said was “incredibly important community that is going to make Point of Discovery School so successful.”
Building the positive relationships and a network of support is a key element of the learning process, she said.
Zach said five core values- compassion, courage, curiosity, grit and joy- will be the focus of the school’s first trip, which is themed “Habits of Success”.
The trip focuses on successful community members and the habits and emotional tools they used to become so. Zach said the school is compiling a list of candidates to work with on the project.
Chosen community members will be interviewed by students, who will complete their project with a written story and hand-drawn portrait on chosen individuals. The artwork and stories will be placed on public display in a currently undetermined location.
Students will also be using elements of history to place the stories into greater context, as well as their grammar skills, for the project, Zach added.
For more information on PODS, call Jen Zach at (715) 252-8903 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here.
To donate to the Point of Discovery School through the Community Foundation fund, click here.