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Local school districts exploring regional health charter school

Aurora, ProHealth and Medical College of Wisconsin would partner with schools

Dec. 19, 2012

Oconomowoc Area Schools - The Oconomowoc Area School District is collaborating with the Kettle Moraine School to explore the possibility of starting a charter school to serve students in the region.

The focus of the proposed charter would be the health care industry and Aurora Summit, ProHealth Care and the Medical College of Wisconsin have agreed to partner with the districts to provide unique opportunities for students.

Superintendent Dr. Pat Neudecker said she was approached about the possibility last summer by KM Superintendent Pat DeKlotz.

"Through a series of meetings, the possibility of a collaborative partnership with health care providers in our area was also discussed. After much discussion, the group was excited about the possibility of a new model which would enlist the collaboration of two school districts as well as three health care institutions. This is a unique project indeed," Neudecker said.

Organizers from both districts are in the process of doing the work involved to apply to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for a planning grant application to be submitted in April 2013.

If awarded, the planning grant would fund the work of the committee for the 2013-14 school year.

A final charter school application, approved by both district school boards could then be submitted for the creation of the regional health charter school.

 Along with OASD Superintendent Neudecker, OHS Principal Joseph Moylan and Assistant Principal Melissa Anders have represented OASD on the initial design committee.

Anders told the School Board at its meeting Tuesday night that the charter, currently referred to as The Community Health Care and Research Academy, will provide a "distinctive interdisciplinary learning curriculum that prepares students for postsecondary readiness and success."

Anders said that the purpose of a charter school is "to be different; to be innovative."

To that end, the rigorous curriculum will provide seven essential design components. An interdisciplinary learning curriculum will offer instructional design of seminars, workshops, symposiums, courses and conferences.

An emphasis on research and inquiry will allow students to choose a wide range of industry and practice topics of interest.

Mastery learning will include capstone projects in every year, leading to a senior capstone project.

A personal learning plan will be created for every student and a faculty member adviser will be provided for four years.

Adjunct faculty will allow for health care professionals from medical staff to work with high school faculty in building the rigorous curriculum.

In addition, the design components include the acknowledgment that there are many places in the community to learn in and from, and that area health care facilities provide powerful places of learning.

This collaboration will benefit students, families and the communities, Anders explained.

"This is a huge step," Neudecker said, adding that she believes the collaboration between school districts, along with the partnership with the three health care providers, will strengthen the chances of the grant being approved.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Delafield Block Party: 5 p.m.-12 a.m. July 10, 11, Downtown Delafield. Festival features food and music plus specialty brews and wine. Friday entertainment is The Orphans and The Toys. Saturday hear Up All Night and Rhythm Method. www.chamber.visitdelafield.org

Lake Country Art Festival: 9 a.m. July 11, Naga-Waukee Park, 651 State Road 83, Delafield. The Lake Country Art Festival features more than 100 juried artists from jewelry, paintings, photography, fiber crafts and metal artists. Children’s activities tent, silent auction, entertainment and food services provided by Delafield Brewhaus. There is a $5 donation per carload for parking with all money raised going to local charities and scholarships to graduating seniors.

Sussex Lions Days: July 10-12, Sussex Village Park. Annual event features carnival rides, live music, sport tournaments, sheepshead tournament, bingo, food and beverage booths, pony and camel rides and tractor pull. Fireworks Friday night. Parade at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. www.sussexlions.org

Annual Oconomowoc Arts Center Open House: 6 p.m. July 11, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. Tom Klubertanz and Andy Zietlow will entertain visitors. Free brats, burgers and hot dogs. Local dance and community service groups will be on hand in the lobby with informational tables. Check out the 2015-16 season line up and take advantage of discounts for early ticket purchases.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

All weekend happenings

 

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