CHARTER APPROVED! Congratulations Green Valley Charter School, member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.

A few words from Tisha Blackwood-Freitas…

Foundations Public Schools’ mission is to open and operate a network of independent K-8 public charter schools offering the children and families of the San Joaquin Valley developmental, integrated and artistic programs that are inspired by Waldorf education and personalized to each community’s needs.  By addressing the whole child-head, heart and hands-Foundations Public Schools will inspire students to reach their highest potential-academically, socially and artistically-while becoming lifelong learners and compassionate, contributing human beings.

Our Beginnings…

Foundations Public Schools was co-created by a group of 4 courageous mothers: Tisha Blackwood-Freitas, Alexis Neves, Dena Melin and Brandy Rucker, in the fall of 2010. Together, they agreed that creating a network of charter schools inspired by Waldorf education for the San Joaquin Valley would be powerful for the communities that they so love.  They set forth on this vision and mission together , meeting and joining with many more team members along the way, and are currently working on opening  the first school in Los Banos, CA: Green Valley Charter School in Fall of 2012 (with Creekside Charter School in Merced, CA following soon after in fall of 2013.)


Our Progress…

Green Valley Charter School: A Foundations Public School, was approved on the day of the Public Hearing by a unanimous school board vote. Relationship building has always been at the core of this group and they believe that the intention set forth to always stay transparent and communicative resulted in a positive relationship with their authorizer, Los Banos Unified School District.  Green Valley Charter School is the first independent charter school in all of Merced County and the first school to offer education (both public  and private) inspired by Waldorf methods within the San Joaquin Valley.


Our Team…

Tisha Blackwood-Freitas is currently the CEO and Alexis Neves is the CFO of Foundations Public Schools.  Brandy Rucker is the Parent/Community Education Coordinator for Green Valley Charter School and Dena Melin is working hard at developing the planning team for Creekside Charter School; Julia Capocelli, Kindergarten Curriculum Specialist.  They are joined by Megan Soares: Outreach Coordinator; Don Goin, Mark Erreca, Corina Matsuo: Governance; Lori Wilson: Administrative Assistant; Allison Aguilara: Parent Educator; Brooke Lopez: Volunteer Coordinator/Spanish Outreach.



Together at this year’s annual conference we generated $1,000 in our first annual Silent Auction! These funds, coupled with revenue generated by this year’s increase in Alliance membership, will be used for both Mini-Grants and free development services open to all Alliance members.A working group established in collaboration with The Alliance Board of Directors is developing the criteria for these new offerings. Details and opportunities will be found in The Alliance newsletter, set to have its first publication this Spring. Stay tuned!

CHARTER APPROVED! Congratulations Woodland Charter School!

A few words from our colleagues at Woodland Charter….

The Woodland Charter School began its journey in 2009 with a small group of parents seeking educational options for their children. Almost immediately, the group of parents from the rural towns of Williams and Applegate, in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, was drawn to the homelike, nurturing environment offered by a Waldorf-methods education.

With a goal to provide an effective alternative to conventional public school programs and learning environments, this group has developed into the nonprofit Woodland Educational Initiative (WEI), which will house and operate the Woodland Charter School (WCS).

After two years of negotiation with the local school district and a bid for State Board of Education sponsorship, the Woodland Charter School proposal was recently approved on January 9th, 2012 by the Three Rivers School District (TRSD).  In a surprising turn of events, 4 of 5 TRSD Board Members gave conditional approval to the project.  This approval came about, by-and-large, because of a bill passed by the Oregon State Legislature in July 2011 that separates charter school ADM counts from district ADM counts.  This change in legislation helps protect declining enrollment districts from revenue loss upon a charter school’s opening.

WCS will open in September 2012, starting with grades 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6 combination classes. While blending grades is unconventional in traditional Waldorf programs, the small rural population of the Applegate Valley necessitates that children of mixed ages are in the same class.  A maximum of 25 students will be enrolled in each combination class. Each year, a class will be added until Woodland Charter expands to a 1st- to 8th grade school.