Redwood Prep upper grade classes moving to South School campus

As enrollment continues to increase every year, Redwood Preparatory Charter School has outgrown its current location and starting this fall, several classes will relocate to a new Fortuna location.

Redwood Prep's sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will attend classes during the 2014-2015 school year in four modular buildings located on the South School campus on Newburg Road. Kindergarten through fifth grades will remain at the Ross Hill Road location for the next school year.

"We met last Friday morning with the South School teachers to talk about next year," said Redwood Prep Director Lisa Jager. "We had a fabulous meeting all the teachers were kind and open," she said. Redwood Prep teacher Melanie Downing said, "It is exciting to broaden our horizons and work with other teachers for the benefit of the kids."

According to Jager, Redwood Prep has applied for a Charter School Facilities Program grant to build a new school on the South School campus. The possible $5 million to $6 million grant would build a gymnasium/multi-purpose room and classroom facilities on the South School campus. While the gymnasium/multi-purpose room would be part of the new Redwood Prep school, Jager said the South School students and staff would also have full access to and use of the new building. "Our dream is to raise money for our students and all children throughout Fortuna," she said.

"We are excited about our chances for getting the grant," Jager said, pointing to the four preference point project guideline qualifications: non-profit status, rehabilitation project, low income percentage, and unhoused district pupils housed in the project. A funding matrix is expected to be released in July, and Redwood Prep should be able to determine at that point if the grant will be forthcoming. If a grant is to be awarded, the specific dollar amount may not be known until the end of this calendar year. Jager said there is a total of $93 million to be awarded through the Department of General Services, Office of Public School Construction.

"This has been an amazing journey for all of us who have been there since the beginning," Jager said, referring to the three years since Redwood Prep opened its doors. This year the school had 157 students, compared to last year's 125. Student enrollment next year at Redwood Prep is expected to hit 200. "We love our home on Ross Hill Road," Jager said, "but we have outgrown it in fact, it was very snug this year." She said her school is looking forward to working with South School staff and students. "We really hope to continue working with the (Fortuna School) District to bring good things to the children there," Jager said.

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