This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Update From Those Fun-Loving Charter School Folks.

Dear Board Members:

I am a member of the citizen group that is drafting an MG charter middle school planning grant application for submission to DPI. It has been suggested that we provide the Board with brief updates on our activities. Hence, this email. If any of you do not wish to receive this email, let me know, and I will not bother you further.

The Monona Grove School for Health and Environmental Sciences (MG Science for short) will be a public charter school located in vacant space within an MG building. Although the location is ultimately the Board’s decision, our group does have a preference for the Winnequah building. That preference is based on (1) availability of space, (2) no need for renovation, and (3) proximity to outdoor environmental studies locations. However, if the Board decides that some other building makes more sense in the grand scheme of things, we will work with what is available.

MG Science can be attended by any middle school student in our district. It is our belief that the school will neither increase nor decrease total state student aid paid within the district; the school receives the state aid amount per capital for each child who enrolls in the school. The school will provide hands-on science instruction in a small school setting. Science programming can be performed with more flexibility (e.g., a 4-hour lab on a specific day) than is available in the necessarily more regimented big school program at Glacial Drumlin.

The group is currently drafting a planning grant application that must be submitted to DPI. If the grant application is approved, grant funds can be used to, among other things, reimburse a teacher(s) for drafting a detailed curriculum for the school. Drafting leader assignments for portions for the lengthy application are as follows:

BUDGETING/FUNDRAISING: Harvey Potter/Stephanie Ramer, CURRICULUM: Larry Miller/Patti McGinnis, GOVERNANCE/LEGAL: Nancy Gagnon, OUTREACH; Kathy Thomas/Heidi Sigmund, PLANNING: Stephanie Ramer/Mike Meulemans. The draft sections will be done by January, and a submission of the entire draft will be made to the MG School Board in February, 2010.

Of particular interest this week: Nancy Gagnon and Patti McGinnis are meeting with a UW Medical School grant coordinator to discuss possible grant money to supplement the school’s operating budget. UW Medical School has an interest in promoting more in-depth health education. This meeting was arranged by Dr. Jim Shropshire, for which we are grateful.
Nancy Gagnon


  1. And hard-working!

  2. WOW – I did not realize this was all going on. Thank you for sharing this update. I am excited about the prospect of my children being able to attend this school so I am crossing my fingers that the stars align and this dream school becomes a reality.

  3. It's great people are so interested in this and this group is volunteering so much, but I think it's a little early for anyone to think this school is a good choice for their child or our school district. There's too much unknown. For instance, what will be given up in order to focus on science? The focus itself seems a little fuzzy so won't parents want to know more about that before signing up? The instructional methods are also not defined, no curriculum has been written and so forth. For now, I think it wise to wish this group well, welcome their efforts, but hold off on whether or not this will be a good thing for any particular child.

    As for stars aligning, it won't happen because of that. It will happen if a group of committed people care enough to make it happen. If you want this school and and want to have a hand in shaping it, get involved!!!

  4. I hope she means Feb 2011...Pretty sure Feb 2010 already happened although I may have missed it.