our story

  • Our Beginning
    In 2006, a small group of passionate Indiana public educators and education transformers began a discussion about the current state of education. The group began to articulate its vision for a school where students would truly thrive as whole individuals, while achieving academic excellence. Our school was born out of our founding educator's collective dream to create an authentic, intentional, democratically led school grounded in core beliefs and values of heart-mind-voice -- located in the heart of the community, in order to benefit the whole of the community.
     
    The Project School is a locally envisioned, teacher-designed, chartered public school (free and nonprofit), which received an initial five-year charter authorization from the Ball State University Office of Charter Schools. We opened our doors in 2009 to capacity enrollment & a waiting list of students.

     
    Our Space
    The Project School entered into a contract with the City of Bloomington to utilize a City-owned property on Walnut Street in the downtown core as its home. In the summers of 2009 & 2010, The Project School completed a significant renovation and building addition to beautify the street-scape, dramatically improve the facility, and create a twenty-first century school.

     
    Our Track Record
    The Project School ranked in the top 2% academic growth amongst Indiana schools between 2009-2014. We have received an "A" designation" in 2013 - 2016 from the Indiana Department of Education. In 2014, we received a five-year charter renewal (the longest authorization possible) from the Ball State University Office of Charter Schools.

    All founding educators of our school remain professionally involved in the school today. Annually, The Project School currently has a waiting list of 250+ children above its capacity enrollment. 

     
    Who Are Our Students?
    We currently educate 278 diverse students, kindergarten through grade 8, from Bloomington, Monroe County, & surrounding communities - 95%+ annual enrollment retention rate. 35% of our students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. 24% of our students have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to support special learning needs.
     
     
    What Do Our Governance & Funding Look Like?
    Our independent school district has oversight provided by a community-based board of directors. As a public school, we are responsible for meeting both the high standards set by the Indiana Department of Education, as well as the rigorous standards set by our charter authorizer.
     
    Learn more about our governance here.
    Meet our board of directors here.

    We are funded through per-pupil DOE dollars, Title I & Special Education money, as well as grants & donations through our nonprofit status; we receive .67 for every $1 received by the local district. We receive no on-going public funding for transportation, technology or building expenses; we pay an annual rent of $88,125 to the City of Bloomington, as well as a lease holder improvement mortgage on 2+million dollar improvements we have made to City property. Our faculty is compensated based on the local school corporation pay scale, with benefits that meet & often exceed those of their local school corporation peers.