Central Sands Community High School to open in Fancher Schoolhouse

Central Sands Community High School Board members include (left, top to bottom) Amy Boelk, Stephen Schmidt, and Rubina Martini and (right, top to bottom) Jill Wozniak, Chamomile Nusz, and Jeanne Ryan. Not pictured: Nora Tompkins and Aaron Kadoch.

By Chamomile Nusz

The Central Sands Community High School, a charter school working out of the educational philosophy of public Waldorf education and educational sustainability, will be located at the Fancher Schoolhouse, 3995 County Road K, Amherst. This beautiful historic school is the perfect place for this innovative charter high school.

The St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church was home to the school, which was built in 1912. It opened with an enrollment of 150 students. An addition was built in 1922, allowing some students to board at the school. In 1934, the school was destroyed by a fire and was rebuilt as it stands today. The school was very popular and remained open as a parochial and Polish school until 1970. The charter school intends to develop a strong and healthy site relationship with the active church next door while maintaining clear boundaries that distinguish the school as non-sectarian.

The Town of Fancher is a great central location, halfway between Stevens Point and Amherst just south of Highway 10. These two cities are home to 75% of the students who attend the on-site Tomorrow River Community Charter School (TRCCS). The school is just down the road from the Tomorrow River State Trail, which will be utilized by the students for physical education class and nature exploration activities.

In addition to its rural location, the new charter high school will maintain a strong relationship with the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station (CWES), the home of the TRCCS. CWES is about 10 miles from the charter school building in Fancher. The students will have numerous opportunities for environmental learning at CWES, which is a field station of UWSP. CWES encompasses 200 acres with two lakes on the property.

Central Sands Community High School’s philosophy of public Waldorf education offers a holistic approach, recognizing the individuality of each student and fostering their growth in the distinct yet overlapping faculties of thinking, feeling, and willing. Central Sands seeks to meet each student where they are and allows them to grow and actualize their fullest human potential.

The school will increase educational equity by meeting the needs of diverse students through this individualized and holistic approach. Learning through projects and experience helps students to develop intrinsic motivation, allowing them to engage in learning that is personally meaningful and deepening understanding of subjects learned in class. Operating through a trauma-informed lens, teachers and staff recognize and support the emotional needs of all students. Central Sands seeks to honor the individuality and potential of all students while building a transformative learning community. To learn more, visit the school’s website at centralsands.org.

The Central Sands Governance Board will hold an informational session for potential students April 29 at 6:30 pm. The organizers will share information about the school, but the main goal is to ask students questions and find out what they are looking for in a high school. From this initial meeting, a student committee will be formed to help in the development of Central Sands. Please join us and spread the word! For more details, visit the Facebook event page at https://fb.me/e/hVlRGIol8.

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