An Update

The Studio School Charter School:
In a couple of years I hope to take another try at leading a charter school initiative. I continue to read so much educational research and literature that strongly supports The Studio School concepts. As you know, we spent some time looking into ways to create TSS as a private school but just couldn’t see how it could be affordable to everyone and be sustainable. Even as a sliding-scale-tuition cooperative, there would have to be some tuition paid and that leaves out so many children. It still looks as though a charter school is the best alternative. So maybe there will be some changes in our school district and administrators/ board members will become more actively supportive of charter schools, innovation, and the Studio School concept. Am I overly optimistic?
Programs in my home:
Currently, I’m working with some people to piece together a rather eclectic “menu” of educational programs (art, Spanish, yoga, tutoring, early childhood, etc.) in my home that is licensed for child care for ages 4 – 17. The programs being offered are philosophically aligned with the Reggio Approach – experiential, child-centered, multi-modal learning. I don’t have a final name for this yet but the concept is that of a “learning studio” that offers a variety of enriching programs that will provide children with a variety of “languages” for learning and expressing their ideas. (This summer I am offering an Art & Architecture program for 5-8 year old children on Wednesday mornings and we will be working with recycled materials.) If the “eclectic” studio concept is successful, the plan is to move the program out of my house into a public space in the next year or so. I recently met with someone involved in the Hilldale Mall redevelopment project and a location there might be a possibility down the road. And/or it could be offered through community centers or other neighborhood organizations. It’s also my hope that if I could somehow provide real life examples of the Reggio Approach to teaching and learning, people might be better able to envision the amazing positive impact it could have in an elementary school.
Community Partnerships:
I intend to continue meeting with people who are interested in new educational initiatives and who might want to work together to create programs and schools that include the arts & technology for all Madison children. So I want to keep reaching out to neighborhood groups and community members. Please let me know if you run into any folks who might be interested in talking with me about this and I will be happy to contact them. Thanks
Nancy Donahue