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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:  

The Art of the Bicycle: 11 a.m. Nov. 21, 26, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. first and third Saturdays and by appointment, Free www.delafieldartscenter.org.

Organ Concert: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc Music Club is hosting a concert by renowned organist Dr. Simone Gheller. Refreshments will be served after the concert. Free.

Yuletide Faire: 5-9 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22, Prairie Hill Waldorf School, N14-W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee. $4 in advance or $5 at the door for adults and $1 in advance or $2 at the door for children under 15. Features strolling minstrels and costumed characters, puppet shows, storytelling, candle dipping, face painting, children’s craft workshops, children’s holiday shopping, live music, silent auction, children’s book sale, natural toys, 35 vendors, warm food, homemade desserts, candies, nuts and other treats. 

Fashionable Tidings Gala Luncheon: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 22, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Holiday fashions of local clothiers Paul Bruce Goodman and Liebling Leather. Music by Brusubardis String Ensemble. Lunch includes shrimp scamp and angel hair pasta with vegetables provencale. Wine tasting  and auction. Benefits Waukesha Choral Union. $35. Call (414) 297-9310 for tickets. www.choralunion.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.