MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- Parents in Wisconsin are having to make difficult decisions about their children's education.
Without defined plans from most school districts in the state about what the next school will look like, more parents are exploring established public online school academies.
With everything that’s going on with covid19 and how schools are reacting, saying they’ll have to have the kids six feet apart, stay in the classroom and no recess…that’s not a life for my kids," commented Amber Jaeckel of Caledonia, Wisconsin.
Jaeckel says she has done her research and decided enrolling her children in an online public school is the best choice for the family.
“I looked at all of their information online…I think I looked at four or five different schools,"she continued.
Public online institutions in Wisconsin are receiving more inquiries and enrollment applications from parents than ever before.
“They wanna continue the online learning but are looking for an established program specifically designed to be taught online,” said Chris Schulteis of eAchieve Academy.
Academies like eAchieve, a pre-kindergarten-12th grade online school, work on a flexible schedule adjusting to the student's learning style.
“We don’t have a set number of hours that students have to login or set time…we do encourage them to participate in live class sessions, but the rest of that work if it takes them two hours, great they can complete the work and move on to something else…they can take as much time or as little time as they need," added Schulteis.
These online institutions prepare students to be on track with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's standards.
“we also participate in the standardized testing required of all public school students in Wisconsin,” shared Schulteis.
Public online schools in Wisconsin are tution free and some like eAchieve, are prepared to enroll as many students as requested, potentially hiring more teachers to meet the demand. Families can enroll their children regardless of where they live in Wisconsin.
“We serve all students throughout the state of Wisconsin..." assured Michael Leach, Director of Wisconsin Virtual Learning.
Fredonia based Wisconsin Virtual Learning, is another public online school option, operating with set times and hours for classes.
“A typical day of a student here is 6-8 hours of work and it can definitely add up quickly if you don’t do that,” said Leach.
According to their executive director, their curriculum is rigorous, but they work with families to make sure students are prepared to succeed.
“We offer technology for just a 50 dollar fee parents pay…we provide them with a brand new laptop…and its got all the materials they would need," added Leach.
Wisconsin Connections based in Appleton is also accepting applications for new students.
Like most online academies in Wisconsin, this institution gives parents the option to transfer students back to a brick and mortar school at the same grade level when the time comes.
The open enrollment deadline for public online schools in Wisconsin is Friday May 29th at 4pm. However, parents who are unable to meet the deadline or need more time to make the decision, will have the option to enroll their students during the alternate enrollment period starting July, 1st.