The name TAGOS comes from a Greek term for leadership. TAGOS began with a planning committee made up of community members, teachers, local business and government officials, and parents. The initial funding for the school came from the state of Wisconsin in the form of a planning grant. Funds from the planning grant were used to visit model project-based schools in the United States. Members from the planning team visited schools in San Diego, CA, Appleton, WI, Sante Fe, NM, and Henderson, MN. The team believes that what we have developed at TAGOS Leadership Academy represents the best practice in project-based learning.
TAGOS opened its doors to 36 students, 2 advisors and an educational assistant in the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year. At this time we were awaiting the completion of construction at ArrowPark, formerly Parker Pen. For the first semester we occupied a rental building on Main Street in Janesville, WI. Space was tight. We had to use the parking lot for ‘circle time’ and made due the best we could. On December 23, 2007, TAGOS began its occupancy at Arrow Park.
TAGOS enjoyed a wonderful first year. Students who were struggling in traditional educational setting flourished. Attendance increased, discipline decreased, test scores increased, and credits earned increased. Students at TAGOS tend to come early and stay late.
TAGOS began the 2008-2009 with three advisors (one of which served as dean of students/advisor) (Nic Manogue added as advisor) and two educational assistantsDuring the Summer of 2008 we went through phase II construction, doubling our space for a projected 70 students for year two. With the addition comes a commercial kitchen, art and pottery studio, and an audio and video recording studio. We expanded the options available to students who have chosen TAGOS as their educational option.
TAGOS has been recognized by EdVisions, a national project-based school cooperative. At a recent conference, staff at TAGOS were presented with an EdVisions plaque and is now recognized as a lab school for the organization. TAGOS was also awarded a significant award from the Wisconsin Charter School Association in 2008-2009 naming them one of the top charter schools in Wisconsin, while Al Lindau was nominated for charter school person of the year. We have many visiting educators from around the state visiting on a weekly basis. They leave TAGOS excited to implement new ideas at their school.
TAGOS began the 2009-2010 school year (Year 3) year with two additional advisors (total now 4, Stephanie Davis and Skylar Primm added as advsiors), a full-time dean of students, two educational assistants, part-time social worker, and a hoop house (greenhouse). The goal is to have 90+ students attending TAGOS, while making a difference in their educational careers.
TAGOS begins the 2010-2011 school year (Year 4) with four advisors, two of which share the dean of students position, two educational assistants, part time social worker, and a part time music teacher.
TAGOS begins the 2011-2012 school year (Year 5) with four advisors (Jamie Hallen added as advisor), two educational assistants, and a shared counselor from Parker High School.
TAGOS begins the 2012-2013 school year (Year 6) with four advisors (Jay Hanson added as advisor), two educational assistants, and a shared counselor from Parker High School.