By Natalie Strom
Marco Island Academy High School continues to set milestones. In the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, the charter school set a goal to raise $500,000 towards building its new campus on San Marco Road. Thanks to numerous pledges and donations from the community and beyond, the school reached its goal on time and looks forward to moving into its new location and continuing to set milestones.
The $500,000 raised has funded the necessary modulars, decking and roofing at MIA’s new location. The modular classrooms and offices began arriving on January 23rd and were quickly assembled once building permits were received by the City of Marco Island after diligently to comply with all the city’s requests. Decking and pathway construction is also currently underway. MIA’s ultimate goal is to move to the location by mid-March. “The new campus can accommodate up to 200 students,” adds MIA Chair Jane Watt.
The timing of the completion of the new campus couldn’t be better. Currently, Marco Island Academy is accepting new student enrollment through March 1st for the 2013-2014 school year. An enrollment night will be held at Marco Island Charter Middle School on February 20th at 6:30 PM for prospective students. With nearly 100 prospective students attending the January 30th enrollment night, it seems that MIA shouldn’t have a problem filling its 200 student capacity.
The 2013-2014 school year marks the first year in MIA’s young history that grades 9 through 12 will be offered. It will also be the first year the school will have the chance to hold a graduation.
But back to the school year at hand. Marco Island Academy parent, Mike Frazer, is starting up a Tech Club for interested students. Frazer recently utilized his skills as a developer to design a new website for the school. Prospective students can utilize the website to access enrollment forms as well as learn all about the school’s academics, sports and other group activities. Check out the changes at www.marcoislandacademy.com.
The high school is also making strides when it comes to safety. “MIA was the first school in the country to implement the School Text Tips System where students can send an anonymous tip to the school to report any concerns regarding safety and students,” adds Watt. GlobalCall Enterprises is the School Text Tips System developer and also offers similar services to organizations such as the Key West Police Department and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
By way of sports, the boys and girls basketball teams just finished out their seasons, with Jared Jackson of the boys team leading the way in scoring for Collier County.
Auditions for Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” took place on January 31st at the high school. Executive Director of the Naples Shakespeare Festival, Jacquielyn Wolff, will be directing the program. “We are excited to be working with the Marco Island Academy located in Marco Island, Florida to bring a unique form of teaching Shakespeare to these high achieving high school students. We look forward to the interdisciplinary collaboration between the English departments and the newly developing theatre program at Marco Island Academy. Students will be studying and reading the plays in the classroom as well as in rehearsal spaces and on stage.” MIA students will perform “Twelfth Night” at Marco Lutheran Church on Friday, May 10th at 7:00 PM, Sat, 2pm Fri 17th 7, Sat 18th at 2.
As the charter high school continues to move forward, it is always looking for community support, and one thing about Marco Island is that its people are always willing to support a good cause.
“We are now starting to work on Phase Two of our campaign,” explains Watt. “We need to raise funds to purchase the land and underwrite the operating costs to cover MIA for the next three years.” Any donations received at this time will help offset the moving costs as well as the operating costs for the school, such as setting up a new security system, fire alarm system and other necessary technologies. “In order to offer the academic programs, athletic programs and to operate our school, this year alone, we have to raise an additional $350,000 to $400,000.”
There are many ways to contribute to the high school by volunteering, through naming rights and through individual donations. Those interested in helping MIA may contact Jane Watt at [email protected] or visit the school’s website, www.marcoislandacademy.com.