Grove Elementary receives $175,000 start-up grant, schedules open house

Grove Elementary, a K-6 charter school planned to open this fall near Marine on St. Croix, will receive a $175,000 start-up grant through the Federal Charter School Program.

The award will support activities necessary to open the school.

“We are very excited about the grant announcement,” founding board member Lisa White said in a written statement. “These funds will allow for the purchase of curriculum materials, hiring of school startup technical advisers, and professional development for new staff.”

As a non-district public school, charter schools benefit from state general education funding but cannot levy or bond for taxes.

“These resources are critical to the school’s ability to continue on a positive path to be ready to open as the school is starting from scratch,” founding board member Kristina Smitten said of the grant.

“The amount of support from MDE [Minnesota Department of Education], the school authorizer, and the community has been amazing,” White said. “With this funding there is no insurmountable hurdle to our opening in the fall. We are so excited for the future school.”

Founding team members include Jon Dettmann, Lisa Dochniak, Marine on St. Croix Mayor Glen Mills, Kristina Smitten and Lisa White. The authorizer for the Marine Area Community School is the Minnesota Guild.

A community open house is planned 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at Wilder Forest: 14189 Ostlund Trail N., Marine on St Croix. Parents will be able to meet the teachers and school administrator; take facility tours and receive enrollment help.