Confluence Success Stories - National Charter Schools Week 2014
Confluence Success Stories - National Charter Schools Week 2014
Posted on 05/08/2014

National Charter Schools Week is May 4-May 10. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools explains that the week is an “annual celebration of the great work accomplished by public charter schools across the country” that gives the charter school community the opportunity to “highlight and share successes, lessons learned and achievements on behalf of the nearly 6,500 schools and more than 2.5 million students” served by charter schools.

Confluence Charter Schools has many success stories that are shared throughout the year. In celebration of National Charter Schools Week, here are a few success stories from the past school year, with many others to come.

From high school to college - Confluence Preparatory Academy’s Class of 2014
The college acceptance letter is the most exciting letter for a high school senior, and seniors at Confluence Preparatory Academy are experiencing the excitement.

CPA class of 2013The Class of 2014 is only the third graduating class in the history of Confluence Charter Schools. Among the 87 seniors, many have been accepted to local and regional schools such as Lindenwood University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Saint Louis University, Columbia College Chicago, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Webster University, University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri State University, Harris-Stowe State University, Lincoln University, University of Central Missouri, St. Louis Community Colleges and Southeast Missouri State University.

To date, the Class of 2014 has earned approximately $110,000 in college scholarships. In the coming weeks, more students will have good news to share about their college scholarship offers – big and small.

The Class of 2014 will celebrate commencement on May 27.

CPA grad 2013

Confluence rewards great ideas with teacher mini-grants
Rewarding great ideas with grant funds is one of many ways that Confluence Charter Schools supports teachers and staff. The “That’s A Great Idea” mini-grant program recognizes and encourages the ideas of teachers and staff to impact student learning.

Mini grants 2013Each year, the grant program encourages teachers to think of project ideas that promote Confluence-wide culture; integrate technology into the curriculum; promote parent involvement initiatives; foster collaborations between schools, with other disciplines and/or community partners; and demonstrate creative approaches to boosting student achievement.

For the 2013-2014 school year, Confluence set aside $4,800 to fund grants up to $400 each. Of the 25 applications submitted, 13 were accepted for grant funds in varying amounts.

The winning ideas focused on literacy, reading fluency, positive behavior support and service learning at Confluence Academy-Old North, Confluence Academy-South City and Confluence Academy-Walnut Park. Each school serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Grand Center Arts Academy - Growing with the Sun Theatre
After 40 years of neglect and two years of renovations, the wait for a performance space is almost over for students at Grand Center Arts Academy, a Confluence Charter School.

GCAA dancerGrand Center Arts Academy, GCAA, is the first performing and visual arts public charter school in Missouri. Classes include core curriculum of math, science, communication arts and social studies, along with dance, instrumental music, vocal music, visual arts, theater and musical theater. GCAA currently serves 530 students in grades 6 through 10 and will continue to grow one grade per year through 12th grade in 2015-2016.

GCAA studentThe renovated theater means GCAA will gain a performance space and more learning space for the growing school. The expansion includes almost 30,000 square feet of space. The theater will have approximately 600 seats, three new classrooms designed as small lecture halls, a space for a small dance studio, dressing rooms for performers, a large, open space to design sets for productions and offices.

On May 10, the GCAA community will celebrate the grand re-opening of the Sun Theatre with a gala event.

The Sun opened in 1913 as the Victoria Theater. Over the years, the name changed a few times; it has served as a playhouse and a movie theater. Eventually the building grew quiet and stood vacant for decades. Inside, the theater was a wreck. A tree had grown on the roof, spreading its roots to empty space below. There was a gaping hole in the ceiling, graffiti on the walls and decay from years gone by. But, someone saw the potential in bringing the theater back to life.

The Lawrence Group, an architecture firm, and Grand Center, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the growth and development of the historic arts and cultural district, worked together on the renovations with input from Confluence. The renovations cost approximately $11.4 million.

GCAA students