It is the start of a new school year and I am so excited to feel the energy that comes from having our scholars and families back at The Lincoln Academy bringing the joy and focused on new academic growth, hands-on career exploration and continuing to build a strong community. As we push forward into year two, it feels like a good time to reflect on what we were able to accomplish for our founding year and how that experience guides us in this new school year.
The Building Blocks
We built a new facility from the ground up, hired over 70 staff and enrolled over 400 scholars in a brand new K-12 charter school within a year - all in the middle of a national pandemic in a community unfamiliar with charter schools. We like a good challenge at TLA and we simply could not have done it without the incredible support we received from the Beloit community!
Accomplishments & Activities
In our first year, and with the guidance of our talented Governing Board and our dedicated staff, The Lincoln Academy team maintained the vision of putting children first in every decision made and showed what is possible for all children. Our three pillars of academic rigor, character development and career exploration came to life and the vision for TLA became reality.
During our founding year:
Scholars achieved strong academic growth as evidenced by Spring MAP results
673 Character Awards were received by scholars
98% of K5-2 and 6-9 grade scholars completed Xello career curriculum lessons
100% of scholars in 8th grade presented their Individualized Learning Plan
Two dual credit and 130+business partnerships supported career exploration
1300 Service Learning hours were logged by scholars
Parent and scholar feedback indicated strong satisfaction related to learning, friendships and safety
Opportunities for career exploration also received high marks from both parents and middle/high school scholars.
Ensuring scholars lead a happy, choice-filled life is at the center of all we do. To learn in more detail about The Lincoln Academy's founding year scholars, activities and survey feedback, I encourage you to take a look at our 2021-2022 Year in Review.
The Work Continues
Experience from the past year guides us as we continue to strive for excellence. We have work to do in all three pillars as well as focusing on communication and connectivity of staff, families and scholars. We will continue to push ourselves in these areas and to always be our best in serving the Beloit community and making The Lincoln Academy the premier school in the state for our scholars.
I know we also still have some work to do to help our community continue to develop an accurate understanding of charter schools. Like everything else in life, we are not all the same and that can create some confusion. In my next post, I hope to clarify some of the confusion and provide information that helps foster greater understanding of charter schools.
Dr. Kristi Cole is the Chief Education Officer at The Lincoln Academy in Beloit, Wisconsin.