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NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

New Charter School Newspaper

T (Northfield School of Arts and Technology) Originally published November 2003

Welcome to the premier issue of Charter Vision, a quarterly newspaper by and for the students, families, staff, and friends of charter schools. Spearheaded by the ARTech Charter School in Northfield, Minnesota, this first run has a circulation of 50,000 and may soon be available in a monthly edition online. This newspaper is supported by private foundation grants and the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools (MACS).

In these pages, you will find news, information, perspectives, and literary art from charter schools around Minnesota. As many of you know, charter schools are an incredibly diverse bunch, in both the students they serve and the programs they offer. There are charter schools for Somalis, Hmong, Native Americans, African Americans and those seeking Spanish immersion. Programs vary as well, from traditional, back-to-basics, core knowledge, business, college prep, direct instruction, project-based, special needs, and charter schools for at-risk students. It is the mission of this newspaper to provide a common forum for charter schools of all kinds, to celebrate our diversity, and to rejuvenate our collective commitment to the ideal of educational choice.

This issue of Charter Vision is only the beginning, a template for grander ambitions. The stories in these pages only hint at the enormous potential for dialogue this newspaper presents. In terms of news, we hope to build this quarterly into a clearing house for timely and useful information on charter schools throughout the region.

We also want Charter Vision to be a place for students, parents, and staff to articulate what charter schools mean to them, their educational passions, and their larger goals. In this edition, an ARTech student articulates his concerns about bullying; a parent/board member of Great Expectations Charter School (Grand Marais) expresses her admiration for a school community in transition; a student from the Minnesota New Country School (Henderson) describes his part-time job on a dairy farm. As we move forward, we hope that anyone connected to the charter school community will feel encouraged to share their charter school experience(s).

Community service and “real world” applications of what we teach and learn together is a cornerstone of the charter movement. We expect Charter Vision to chronicle the interaction between charter schools and their wider communities, the mutual exchange of time, resources, and experiences that enriches all our lives. In this issue, we learn of a two-week partnership between the award-winning Community of Peace Academy (St. Paul) and Habitat for Humanity.

Further, we hope to provide a calendar of significant goings-on at charter schools, along with contact information. Avalon’s first theatrical production and Hanska’s winter program are advertised in this issue. And last but not least, throughout these pages you will find poetry submitted by charter school students of all ages. As we grow, we hope to publish a broader variety of both student literature and visual art.

The mystic and poet Kahlil Gibran said that “to understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” In that spirit, we hope you enjoy Charter Vision — and that you will help us make it as dynamic, celebratory, and relevant as our charter schools themselves.

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