Planning for new Janesville high school to go forward

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, August 1, 2013

JANESVILLE—The Janesville School District has received approval for a grant that will lead to the establishment of a high school at UW-Rock County.

The new Rock University High School would have an international focus and ties in to the district's long-range plans to attract tuition-paying students from China and other countries.

The new school would replace the current charter school known as Janesville Academy for International Studies, also located at UW-Rock.

The academy has been a part-time, project-based school with an international focus whose students were enrolled at Craig or Parker high schools. The academy did not award its own diplomas.

Rock University High School would be a full-time school that awards its own diplomas. The district is considering ways that foreign students could get diplomas both in Janesville and at schools in their own countries.

The state charter school planning grant is for $200,000 a year over three years. The coming school year will be a time to plan the school, said Superintendent Karen Schulte.

The money for the second two years typically is used for start-up costs such as materials and furnishings but not ongoing costs such as personnel or utilities.

As The Gazette reported in April, preliminary ideas for the school included an enrollment of 50 students in the first year in grades 10-12, expanding to 90 students by 2018.

Dual-credit courses, for which students could earn credit for high school and college simultaneously, would be offered.

Schulte said Thursday that plans could change, however, as the planning process goes forward.

Other preliminary ideas included an emphasis on closing the achievement gap for poor and minority students, self-paced courses, and an emphasis on “STEAM” education, which involves science, arts, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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