In May 2010, the Santa Barbara County Board of Education unanimously approved the charter petition of The Children’s Project Academy — paving the way for the creation of the nation’s first residential charter school for foster teens.
The Proposed Campus
The Academy campus will nurture foster youth into educated, self-aware, passionate, responsible young adults with integrity and respect for others. The vision for the Academy is firmly rooted in the conviction of Dr. Jane Conoley, Dean of the UCSB Graduate School of Education, that, “the single greatest therapeutic tool in overcoming adversity is a great education.” A great education is cultivated in an environment dedicated in every way to the growth and support of its students.
The Academy Environment as envisioned will provide:
• A comprehensive college-preparatory academic program
• A charter school campus grades 7-12; each class will have 20 students
• Administration, faculty and personnel dedicated to the mission of the Academy
• Housing for students and foster parents
• Housing for faculty and staff
• Senior housing for a “Foster Grandparent” program
• Vocational training program
• Visual and performing arts programs
• Sports programs
• Agriculture and gardening program
• An energy and resource-efficient campus
• State-of-the-art technology/media center
• Student Union building
• Cultural and family center
At full capacity, the Academy will serve approximately 120 children each year. Success will be measured with each child who graduates from the Academy and transitions into college, vocational school, or work and independent living. The Academy will serve as a life-long touchstone, a safe, supportive environment that will give its students a secure launching pad toward their future.