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The Opportunity to Do More

“The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more. “

Jonas Salk

The Clark Street Community School Mission is to democratically cultivate a community of engaged learners, serve as a resource for educators, and a catalyst for reform in education throughout our region and our nation.

When we began planning what would become Clark Street Community School eight years ago, we imagined being able to redesign high school in a way that would deeply engage all learners. We were driven by a belief that all humans are natural learners and that the current design of the educational system caused this natural drive to learn to be diminished the longer students stayed in school. We also believed that every learner had inherent gifts and it was again the design of the system which caused some students to come to believe over time that there was no personal or societal benefit to them taking the risk necessary to engage and learn deeply. Finally, we believed that learning is a social event and that creating a community that celebrated and embraced all members, even through conflict, would result in greater success for all.

Now in year six, we have undeniable evidence that we are onto something and that by redesigning the system, we can indeed create deep, meaningful learning opportunities for all students and, that in doing so, we help students become empowered to use their gifts for their own personal gain and the greater good.

It has always been our goal to design this system and to share our learning with others in order to support the larger educational system in making a shift toward a design that truly supports the development of empowered, independent learners. For the past few years, I have had the great opportunity to meet with other educational leaders within and beyond our district to share what we have been learning and to dream what the future could hold for all high school students in our district.

With continued increases in student enrollments in the district, the district is

now preparing for a referendum to both increase the capacity of the high school and to create a facility which will support our vision for the high school of the future. Our lessons learned and great successes at CSCS now have very tangible value as we work with our instructional leaders to envision the implementation of empowering programming on a larger scale and with our architectural team to design a facility which can amplify and enhance our programmatic design.

While the facilities won’t be a reality for a few years, the work of engaging our community in this visioning work begins now. We hope that all of you will join us in sharing your thoughts, ideas, dreams and worries of the future, as your personal experiences carry tremendous lesson which will help us continue to improve.

Our first opportunity to begin this conversation takes place next Tuesday. Please join me and the CSCS governance board to hear about the key lessons learned at CSCS and the current vision for high school programming in the future. We will also take some time to dream together and hope you will come ready to share your experiences and your big ideas.

We will meet at CSCS from 6:30-8:00pm on April 24. We hope you can join us!

Jill and the CSCS Governance Board


(608) 829-9640

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2429 Clark St, Middleton, WI 53562, USA

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