Central Sands Community High School: Different by Design

Nestled in the picturesque countryside between Stevens Point and Amherst, a beautiful, historic school house, the former Fancher School, will soon bustle with student life once again. Central Sands Community High School, a new collaborative, sustainable, and tuition-free public charter high school working out of the core principles of Public Waldorf Education, will open its doors this fall to area students in grades 9-11.

Administrative Director Amy Boelk said, “Free and accessible public education is a big deal. And the students and families of Central Wisconsin haven’t had many options for making a choice.”

Giving parents and students educational options was a driving factor in the formation of the school’s Governance Board and planning team. Over the course of several years, the group worked hard to apply for and obtain a federal charter school grant through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and to obtain authorization through the UW System’s Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO).

“The beauty of this high school is that we had the ability to design it from the ground up,” Boelk said, “taking best practices from schools around the globe, taking input from community members, higher education leaders, workforce development professionals, and, of course, students. Central Sands Community High School is built differently by design to meet the needs of our students, our communities, and our ever-changing world.”

This “Different by Design” philosophy is reflected in the styles of teaching and the school’s daily schedule and routine. Central Sands students will take traditional core subjects of Science, Social Studies, and English Language Arts (ELA) through teacher-led instruction in daily two-hour, Waldorf-style Main Lesson Blocks. Students will rotate through 8 four-week topic blocks per year with their same-grade peers. Additional Math and ELA will be provided daily through direct instruction with Mathematics courses meeting Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and ELA Writing Lab taking place on Wednesdays.

Throughout the entire afternoon, students will have the opportunity to fulfill credits that are suited to their interests and passions by designing a customized Personal Learning Plan (PLP).

To fulfill their elective requirements, students will be able to choose from a variety of in-house elective courses and workshops or create projects to suit their interests and learning styles. Students that wish to can also participate in college courses, professional apprenticeships, work study, and more. The sky really is the limit when it comes to working with an advisor to develop a student’s learning plan and project/course schedule.

For more information or to apply for admission, visit centralsands.org.

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