The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 22, 2013

Tight timeline for Technical Academies

Waldorf Technical Academy is supposed to open in the fall

(Continued)

WALDORF —

Less has been released regarding the plan for the Fairmont school except that it will open this fall. Little said she couldn’t comment on whether the $250,000 fundraising goal this spring also included needed funding for the Fairmont school. Nor could she comment yet on whether a building site had been determined in Fairmont, stating that negotiations are in process.

The school will aim to serve the Jackson, St. James, Blue Earth, Madelia and Truman areas.

Bob Wedl of Innovative Quality Schools said the board will have to prove to IQS that the schools are ready to open before they will be allowed to begin operations. Wedl said the timeline for the Waldorf and Fairmont schools is on a “fast track.”

“If we say they’re not ready, they cannot open,” Wedl said. “More than likely, it would be next year (for Fairmont).”

Typically, Wedl said IQS would make that final approval to open six months in advance. In this case, the time allowance for hiring teachers, writing curriculum and recruiting students is tight.

“Because of this fast-track, we’re watching that very closely,” Wedl said.

As a charter school, both schools’ per-pupil funding would come from the state, following those students from whatever district they are currently in.

Little said she’s hoping for about 100 students this fall.

JWP’s Adams said he’s not concerned about Waldorf Technical Academy taking students away from his district.

“Our kids are functioning very well in our district,” he said.

At the same time, Adams said those behind Technical Academies have strong backgrounds in business and education and are capable of opening the schools in such a short time frame.

“I think if they’ve got EdVisions working on it, and (Little) working together, that’s really a good team of knowledgeable folks,” he said. “They’ll get it done.”

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