New charter school set to open for fall semester

MONDOVI, Wis. (WEAU) -- Soon, there will be activity at the Anthony Acres Charter School between Eau Claire and Mondovi.

Amy Traynor was hired to be the Anthony Acres lead teacher. Traynor was formerly of the Eau Claire Area School District.

“It will be focused on place-based learning,” she said. “Place-based learning the idea of getting students out into the region they live and helping to solve problems or issues that arise or needs of that region or area.”

"The Anthony School" was being used by the Mondovi School District as a 4K facility until 2017. But now, the facility along Highway 37 will have new life as "Anthony Acres,” with project-based learning and education of the outdoors as its main focus.

Enter INDE, which stands for the Initiative for New Directions in Education. The Eau Claire-based organization stepped in to offer a new approach for a school. INDE's website states the goal for Anthony Acres as using, "The unique qualities of the natural environment as a basis of instruction and a backdrop for project-based, authentic, and genuine learning."

“It's a great opportunity to get a school like this off the ground, without the burden falling on the school district,” Traynor said.

The school is a public charter school, created through an $800,000 grant from the State Department of Public Instruction.

“I think the biggest difference that we will be able to do here is we will have more flexibility with our students,” Traynor said. “Because it will be a smaller school, there will be more one on one time and it will be pretty much student-owned and student-run.”

Sitting on 34 acres in southwestern Eau Claire County, Traynor said the school will offer a unique perspective for its students.

“We have a creek and we have woods and we are going to rely on other expertise coming in to teach out students how to be good citizens in this region,” she said.

Traynor said it will be a growing environment, for growing minds.

“We will still have to reach the same Wisconsin academic standards, but we won't necessarily have "classes,” Traynor said. “Students will be learning their Math, English, Social Studies and Science through their projects.”

Traynor said her goal is to get Anthony Acres at 105 students over the next four years. If you are interested in enrolling your child in the school, there will be open houses held February 12th and 18th at 6:30 p.m., March 12th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., and April 5th from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the Anthony Acres website by clicking, click here.