School bell at Weilenmann will ring on time
August 13, 2010
A new charter school focused on sciences and the arts is slated to open in the Park City area on Aug. 30. The Weilenmann School of Discovery is currently under construction on Kilby Road and work on the project was reported to be on schedule on Friday.
"We did push school back a week to give them another week to finish things up and reassure all of us that things would be finalized with a good thorough review and finishing touches," said Mary Kimball, principal of the Weilenmann School of Discovery. "I don’t know if you’ve driven by, but there are a lot of people working. We had a construction meeting on Wednesday and we are still on target to be able to move into the building beginning Aug. 21."
Park City resident Noah Levine, a member of the Weilenmann board of directors, said he is optimistic the construction will be completed in time for the first day of school.
"I’ve been on that site three or four times and looked that foreman square in the eye," Levine said. "His track record is impeccable in terms of opening facilities on time."
Weilenmann, which is the first charter school in Summit County, had more than 550 students enrolled on Friday.
"We have a waitlist in every grade except two, and those grades are nearly full with the exception of one or two students," Kimball said. "We have a range of students coming from private schools and public schools. We have students coming all the way from the Draper area in Salt Lake, all the way up through Kamas and Heber."
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The school will serve children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Weilenmann is a public charter school. Parents do not pay tuition for their children to attend because charter schools use monies from public schools where their students would have gone.
"For every child we serve, up to 550, we are allocated an amount of money for that child, which is the same amount that every school is allocated," Kimball said. "Our operating budget is based on having a student body of 550."
Weilenmann has more than 30 teachers who must be licensed by the state.
"I like the idea of educating the whole child, not just academics, but also fine arts, physical education and involving nature in the academic process," said Lisa Moon, who will teach second grade at Weilenmann.
Music instruction at Weilenmann begins in kindergarten.
"Every child will experience music from the ground up," Kimball said. "Our students begin violin in kindergarten and play violin all the way through third grade."
The art and science teachers are experts in their fields, she said.
"As an educator, you can’t be great at everything. You can’t be the science teacher, the PE teacher, art teacher, the music teacher, the language arts teacher and math teacher all in one, and do it right and do it well," Kimball said. "When a child walks into a school, every day the experience in all subject areas needs to be something amazing."
The goal is for classes at the charter school to have about 24 students.
Murray resident Mary Stanley said the smaller class sizes are a major reason she chose the Weilenmann school.
"We were going to home school and then this came around," Stanley said.
Her child will be a kindergartner at Weilenmann this fall.
"I like the philosophy," Stanley said. "I like the learning by doing."
Salt Lake resident Mindi Novasio said her daughter attended a private school before enrolling in fourth grade at Weilenmann.
"We’ve had her at private school. We’ve had her at public school and we haven’t been satisfied with either one," Novasio said.