Clarkfield Area Charter School envisions itself as a school of excellence that fosters a love of learning which allows all students to reach their maximum potential. Clarkfield Area Charter School will accomplish educational excellence by utilizing highly effective teachers, whose data driven instruction, will focus on their students individual learning styles in order to build concrete foundation in academics. Educators will promote strong moral values, healthy lifestyles, global and local awareness, and utilize community involvement to ensure academic success
AS a change friendly school, CACS faculty and staff will embrace opportunities and innovation that will increase their effectiveness and sustain a financially sound institution. CACS Faculty and staff, along with strong parental partnerships, will guide each student to reach his/her full academic and social potential in order to ensure success in their future.!At Clarkfield Area Charter School, we believe that all K-6 students have a purpose and learn in a unique way. Our mission is to develop a love of learning by finding and teaching to the students' individual learning styles and expanding their knowledge through community based learning. This will allow students to master academic building blocks necessary for a successful transition to junior and senior high school. Learning will take place in a nurturing and stimulating environment with a 15 to 1 student to teacher ration where staff, families and community members support students to become life-long learners leading healthy, active and productive live .
Friends of Education became our school’s authorizer in 2011. We are one of the 12 schools that FOE authorizes. The Minnesota Department of Education awarded Friends of Education its highest exemplary rating of charter school authorizer performance. The contact information for them is as follows:
Friends of Education
11100 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 800
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Friends of Education’s mission is to improve the education of children. Improving K-12 education since 1999; Friends supports programs which emphasize content and critical thinking with demonstrated evidence of increasing student achievement and post-secondary readiness.
History and Overview
Friends of Education started in 1999 under the name “Saving Children Through Education.” The initial focus of Saving Children Through Education was an under-performing grade school in North Minneapolis. Saving Children Through Education assisted this school, Ascension Grade School, in implementing the Core Knowledge Sequence developed by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., and the Core Knowledge Foundation, as well as the math program developed by Saxon. In just one year, Ascension improved its proficiency rate from 21% on the Minnesota mathematics standardized achievement test, to 80% on both the Minnesota Standardized math and reading assessments tests. Saving Children Through Education’s involvement with Ascension grade school resulted in changing the organization’s name to “Friends of Ascension”.
After the undeniable success of Ascension grade school, Friends of Ascension decided to expand its reach, while maintaining its stated mission to improve the education of children and authorize quality charter schools. Due to the tremendous success achieved at Ascension Grade School with the Core Knowledge Sequence and Saxon Math, along with the extensive research supporting these methods, Friends of Education authorizes only those charter schools which implement a content-rich curriculum. Friends of Education also requires that its authorized schools implement a phonics-based reading program rich in literature as well as a sequential math curriculum typified by the Saxon and Singapore math programs.
In 2009, Friends of Ascension changed its name to “Friends of Education” to reflect Friends’ broad-based interest in improving the education of children. Friends of Education is not a religious organization, nor does it promote any religious activity or teaching.
Friends of Education is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit Minnesota corporation, incorporated in 1999. Friends of Education is a member of the Minnesota Council of Non-profits and is registered with the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General.
Clarkfield Area Charter School
2019-2020 School Staff
Kathy Koetter – Director
Shelley Shultz -Administrative Assistant
Karin Falness - School Psychologist
Jacqueline Johnson -Speech Pathologist
Rachel Weiss- Kindergarten
Kathy Jessen- First Grade
Nancy Schmidt – Second Grade
Elsa Boe – Third Grade
Amanda Koepp –Paraprofessional
Joy Miller – Paraprofessional
Arica Jahn – Food Service Director
Bus Company Bennett & Bennett - 320-564-4766
Eric Jahn – Eric has lived in Clarkfield for 43 years. He and his wife Arica have four children – Kody, Colton, Kendra and Clayton. Eric farms southwest of Clarkfield and also serves on the Clarkfield Fire Department. He enjoys spending time at the lake with his family. Eric’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and serves as the board chair.
Brenda Risa – Brenda has lived in the Clarkfield community for over 25 years with her husband and three children. She is the vice president and co-owner of Goldleaf Surety Services, LLC. She also sits on the Clarkfield EDA board and the Norwegian Mutual board. Brenda and her husband have 3 boys, who all attended the charter school through sixth grade. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, camping and relaxing at the lake. Brenda’s email is: email@example.com and serves as the board vice-chair.
Sara Smith - Sara has lived in Clarkfield for 14 years with her husband Dave. She has 3 amazing boys who all attend the charter school: Brooks, Austen and Mason. She grew up in Montevideo and is so happy to be able to be close to family. She is employed at Montevideo Family Dentistry. Her hobbies include camping with her family and motorcycle rides with her husband. Sara’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and serves as the board secretary.
Kathy Jessen - Kathy is the 1st grade teacher and Q-comp coordinator at the charter school. She has worked at the school since 2014. Kathy lives on a hobby farm northwest of Clarkfield where she enjoys gardening and spending time with her dogs. Kathy’s email is: email@example.com and serves as the board treasurer.
Nicole Wold - Nicole has lived in Clarkfield for 8 years with her husband Doug. They have three boys – Colton, Griffin and Corbin. She is the business manager for Central Todd County Care Center and she enjoys spending time with family, reading, riding bike and going for walks. Nicole’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and serves as the board clerk.
Facilities Committee Brenda and Eric
Curriculum Committee Kathy and Sara
Accountability Committee Kathy and Nicole
Marketing Committee Sara and Nicole
Finance Committee Brenda, Eric and Kathy K.