The second enrollment period for the 2015/2016 school year runs February 2nd to February 27th . Please apply online or at the district office during that time.
Service Learning has been the focus of the December morning project cycle at OPS. Students have been involved in numerous opportunities to share service not only within the walls of the OPS community but in the Ashland community and globally as well.
Projects include: helping out at the Ashland elementary school; volunteering at the Chequamegon Humane Society; volunteering at the Bargain Hut and Senior Center; running a bake sale and raising money for OPS field trip transportation; collecting food for The Brick; raising money for an animal for a family with Heifer International; writing "love" letters to past teachers; and, sharing holiday greeting cards with Ashland residents.
Northland College students lead OPS sixth, seventh and eighth graders in teambuilding and problem solving activities.
OPS parent-teacher meetings will be held on Tuesday November 11 from 3:30-7:00 at OPS. If you are unable to attend, please contact your student's Advisor to make an appointment. Student reports will be mailed if you are unable to join us on Tuesday evening.
Friday October 17 is our first Community Study Day. Students do not come to school on this day but will spend the day engaged in community exploration activities, honing there skills in self-directed learning. Activity options include a visit to the Ashland Historical Museum where students can explore historical displays, artifact boxes and/or the picture files at the museum. The museum is open especially for Ashland Charter schools for these unique opportunities. Other Study Day activities include a visit to the County Courthouse where students have the opportunity to meet with the mayor and engage in a tour of the County Courthouse. Students interested in more individualized projects may research historical roots closer to home, for example interviewing neighbors, searching out the history of a neighborhood or learning something new about Wisconsin or local history, or, creating a new idea and project of their own. All OPS students will bring home Study Guides with this information on it.
Have a great first Community Study Day!
We're in our fourth week of school! Here are some student quotes to express how it's going:
"It's awesome. Its a funner way of learning. We have more freedom to learn."
"Gucci. Gucci is technically a brand but it's a funner way of saying good. OPS is Gucci."
"It's definitely more free but it also has more responsibility."
"It's epic. It's epic because we can do projects instead of just having to write on projects all day."
"I miss having homework."
That's the cool thing about Charter. You get to do projects instead of just working with paper."
As you can see from the above quotes, students are finding that there is a balance between the freedom that comes with Project Based learning and the responsibility that comes with this freedom. Students are beginning to get a handle on how to work with Project Foundry, adding learning targets into the projects that they are working on this week. Student projects vary considerably right now: researching and making models similar to Leonardo DaVinci, learning about and building robots, discovering historical facts based off the years shown in the rings of a tree, exploring the art and history of origami, and even writing a book!
As projects wax and wane throughout the day, students diligently work on math, silent reading and other mini-projects that have interested them. Early morning and late afternoon Advisory Circles are supporting the overall culture of the school as students get to know each other better and begin to understand the significance of their voice within this school learning environment.
Overall, we're having success, students and teachers are learning and everyday there is progress in the unfolding of this new school in it's first year!
The teaching team has been working this summer, planning and prepping for the year. Earlier in June, we had a wonderful turnout of parents and students who helped set up the school garden. Within this last week, we've been able to get back into the middle school and are working from OPS. The classrooms are beginning to come together and look great. Walls have been removed for the three open classrooms, fresh paint has been added and furniture is beginning to show up. We're excited to see students in just over a month!
Please note that a pencil case was added to the School Supply List!
As you imagine your child attending a highly-individualized school next year, where subjects aren’t generally taught in traditional “classes,” have any of the following questions crossed your mind?
How will teachers keep track of student work if every student is on an individual path?
How will parents know what their children are learning at school, and what they need to do at home, if traditional-looking homework isn’t assigned?
How will students know what to do each day?
How will students earn credit and get a report card that makes sense?
How do you stop the whole thing from turning into chaos?
The answer to all of these questions is Project Foundry. Project Foundry is an online project management and communication software specifically designed for Project-Based schools.
On Wednesday, May 14th, Shane Krukowski, the founder of Project Foundry will be at the AMS library from 6:30-7:30pm to give an introduction to the parent portal.
He will take your questions and show how you will be able to view and keep track of your child’s schedule and progress in real time.
Shane originally designed Project Foundry for the Minnesota New Country School, one of the oldest and most-successful Project-Based schools in the country. Since then, it has been adopted by top Project-Based schools in Wisconsin and nationwide. Those of you who attended the April OPS Parent Listening Session had a chance to glimpse Project Foundry at Minnesota New Country in this online video:
If you haven’t seen the video, it’s worth the twelve minutes it takes to watch. It is truly Project-Based Learning in action. Otherwise, we hope to see you on May 14th. Feel free to contact us with any questions.