January – March, 2013
- The Bubble Event was held as an introduction to Project Based Learning and AECS.
- The first enrollment period was open for current in-district students. We had 91 students apply. Those 91 are in.
- The lead teacher attended a 3-day PBL training.
- The second enrollment period opened for in-district students as well as students outside of the district. (It closes on April 30, 2013.)
- Two additional teachers were hired – Mary Zoesch and Julie McKuen (both currently teaching 2nd grade at LSP).
- The lead teacher met with an educational consultant to design a professional development plan for the teachers (for spring and summer work).
- The initial implementation grant was written. This grant is for next year – our first year of operation.
- The performance contract between the AECS Governance Council and the School District of Ashland School Board was written and signed.
- The governance council became 501(c)(3) incorporated organization with Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.
- The governance council also wrote a planning grant for a 6-8 project based learning, multiage charter school (which would open in the fall of 2014).
- The three teachers attended a conference sponsored by the Wisconsin Innovative Schools Network (WISN) where they collaborated with colleagues from around the state on PBL, multiage learning, and being innovative.
- The teachers began their work with the educational consultant. They are learning about PBL by using it to design some of the components of the school. The teachers have been meeting weekly to collaborate and plan.
- Other items that have been worked on by the teachers and governance council are: the encore schedule (encore = music, art, phy. ed., library, & guidance), the facilities (where will be located), and the budget.
April and May, 2013:
- A parent information night was held at LSI.
- The grant and contract were submitted to DPI (Department of Public Instruction) for approval.
- Governance council members and teachers will participate in the Youth and Family Open House on Wednesday, April 24, at the Bad River Lodge and Casino from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. (This event is open to all ages.)
- Teachers are working with our consultant to design the school – what will our facilities look & feel like, how will math and English language arts instruction be delivered, how can we get students outside on a regular basis, how can we connect with the community, what will our daily schedule be, how will a democratic school culture be established, etc.
- AECS teachers, governance council members, and encore teachers will visit the Hartland School of Community Learning (a multiage, PBL school) on May 6 & 7.
- Two additional teachers will be hired and join the existing PLC (Professional Learning Community) of the teachers and consultant.
June – August, 2013
- AECS teachers will attend the PBL World Conference to gain a better understanding of project based learning.
- Teachers will work with the educational consultant to develop the school design (the daily schedule, technology plan, curriculum resources, multiage advisory program, a curriculum map, democratic leadership structure, assessment system, etc.), create a 60-day plan for the start of the school year, and develop 2-3 projects.
- Technology, curriculum resources, and supplies will be purchased.
- Family events will be held (2-3 in the summer). Goals: Acquaint students and parents with PBL. Provide an opportunity for students and parents to get to know the teachers, the governance council, and other families.
- AECS classrooms will be designed and furnished to provide an innovative space for learning.