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.