Stepping on the dust sprinkled road of Babcock Ranch, I immediately hear the clank of wrenches and screws hard at work on the K-8 charter school rooftop. Along with cranes and handymen, a change was in the air.
Babcock Ranch spans over 73,000 acres of preserved state land for wildlife using the other 10% of bought land to create a residential area. In line to be America’s first solar powered town, Babcock Ranch offers more than just eco-friendly housing options for southwest Florida residents. This 75-megawatt sustainable town located 20 minutes near Punta Gorda, sets the promise to be a potential catalyst; not only in energy efficiency but also in K-8 schooling.
Envision a charter school that deviates from the norm. Babcock Neighborhood School (BNS) offers project-based learning along with an engaging ‘STEAM’ curriculum. Why limit classroom learning to one age group? Students leave desks behind for a structured amount of time to engage with the local landscape across three grade levels.
The ranch’s premise for the school hinges on eco-stewardship. Hoping that by fostering mini-Jane Goodall’s, they will serve their community beyond the classroom.
Open to students in the southeast Charlotte County, Babcock Ranch stresses children do not need to be residents to enroll.
In its first year, BNS plans to serve students from K-5 in phase one, starting all 2017. Over a nine-year period, they hope to enroll 764 students in 38 classrooms. Subjects will include history, culture, and lessons on the farm to table market.
The school plans to open its doors August 10th. Although parents cannot register their children for the fall semester, due to full classes, as another school year begins, more children can apply.
You don’t have to be a resident for your children to partake in this revolutionary curriculum. It is a free charter school that hopes to serve the community.
Let us know how you feel about Babcock Ranch’s model for schooling and its eco-friendly neighborhood concept on Facebook. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until Next Time,