Gathering Waters

Gathering Waters Charter School in Keene has been awarded $1.5 million in federal funding meant to help open new public charter schools and expand existing ones.

The Waldorf-inspired school, which is set to open this fall, is among seven charter schools in the state that will get a combined $6.8 million through the federal grant program, the N.H. Department of Education announced Wednesday.

In addition to Gathering Waters, charter schools in Conway, Lancaster, Manchester, Nashua and Penacook were awarded funding, according to a news release from that department. They were among 14 schools that applied for a grant, N.H. Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in the release.

“We are excited to be able to award these grants for these innovative public education programs,” he said. “... The expansion of high quality public education programming across our state serves our students and our families well.”

A representative of Gathering Waters could not be immediately reached for comment.

Charter schools are public, tuition-free schools that offer an alternative to traditional public schools. In New Hampshire, charter schools receive roughly $7,100 per student from the state each year, with additional funding typically coming from school-specific fundraising efforts.

Gathering Waters announced in June that students in kindergarten through 5th grade will go to school at 98 South Lincoln St. — home of the Monadnock Waldorf School, which closed at the end of the recent academic year. Students in 6th through 9th grades will take classes at 31 Washington St., the former Keene Middle School.

Gabrielle Schuerman, chairwoman of Gathering Waters’ board of trustees, told The Sentinel previously that it plans to enroll about 150 students at the South Lincoln Street location and roughly 100 at the Washington Street campus, with approximately 30 faculty and staff members between the two buildings.

The school also plans to add 10th through 12th grades over the next three years, for an eventual total enrollment of around 325, Lead Administrator Luke Goodwin has said.

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or csymons@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.