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Grove School Moves Toward Renewing its Charter

Administrators with the Grove School in Redlands are scheduled to attend a Redlands Unified School District meeting to discuss renewing its charter.

The Grove School in Redlands. Photo credit, Google Maps.
The Grove School in Redlands. Photo credit, Google Maps.

Administrators at the Grove School hope to move closer toward receiving its charter renewal on Tuesday at a public forum held by the Redlands Unified School District.

The Grove School won a California Distinguished School Award last spring, officials wrote in a news release issued Monday.

Below is the news release with more details.

Built on the Montessori model of education, the school was founded in 1999 and remains one of California’s oldest and most successful charter schools. Grove offers 200 students in 7th-to-12th grades a unique opportunity to attend secondary school using Montessori curriculum and methods. This year marks Grove’s third renewal.

“I look forward to presenting our many success stories to the board,” said Gena Engelfried, the Grove School’s principal. “I know the school district is proud to have a school where our students not only succeed in the classroom but also play such key roles in their community.”

Grove is confident about its renewal for several reasons, Engelfried said. The primary consideration for renewal is growth in student achievement, she explained.

“Our students have continued to show growth for the past five years,” Engelfried said.

In order to qualify for renewal, a charter school in the state of California must accomplish at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Reach its Academic Performance Index (API) target growth score in the previous year (or in two of the last three years).
  2. Receive a rank of 4-10 on the API in the prior year (or in two of the last three years).
  3. Obtain a determination from the authorizer that the academic performance of the charter school is at least equal to the academic performance of the schools pupils would otherwise have been required to attend or the performance of schools in the district in which the charter school is located.

Grove has accomplished all of these criteria, Engelfried said. Grove has reached and exceeded its Academic (API) Growth target every year for the last five years with an API score of 870 in 2013. Grove has a 9 out of 10 in the statewide ranking system. In April, San Bernardino County Superintendent Gary Thomas praised Grove for winning one of the coveted State Distinguished School awards. Altogether, 218 schools in California were given the distinguished award, only six of which were in San Bernardino County.

“While Grove adheres to Montessori teaching and learning methods, our academic performance is equal to or better than other schools in the district,” said Chair of the Grove Board of Directors Leela MadhavaRau. “It’s a credit to our students, teachers and support from both the Grove and Redlands community.” Grove’s financial records prove prudent and careful use of state funding, Engelfried said, with a history of findings-free financial audits and no debt.

For more information, contact Gena Engelfried at (909) 798-7831.

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