MPSD Launches Virtual K-12 Charter School

MPSD Launches Virtual K-12 Charter School
Posted on 06/07/2021

Families looking for online K-12 student learning opportunities will have a new choice in the Manitowoc Public School District which is launching a virtual charter school in fall 2021.

McKinley Academy, which has served as an alternative MPSD high school since 2007, will be converted to a new K-12 virtual charter school that is open to all MPSD resident students and non-resident students who successfully enroll via the state’s Open Enrollment program. The school located at 1002 E. Cedar Ave., Manitowoc. For the 2021-2022 school year, there will be no minimum and maximum enrollment limits. In future years, enrollment limits will be set every January for the following school year. 

Licensed MPSD teachers will facilitate all virtual and in-person instruction at McKinley Academy, aligned to state standards. McKinley Academy students may participate in co-curricular activities at other MPSD schools.

“We learned in the past year that some students excelled in online instruction and preferred that model over the traditional in-person instruction,” MPSD Superintendent Mark Holzman said. “As we move out of the pandemic, we want to continue to offer that choice to families. We are excited about the new McKinley Academy virtual charter school and all the opportunities for our online students.”

McKinley Academy students in Kindergarten through 8th grade will receive live virtual instruction five days per week. Virtual instruction will be delivered in math, science, social studies, reading, writing, art, music and physical education. Students in grades 7 and 8 also will be able to participate in world language, health and other electives via live or recorded virtual instruction. 

McKinley Academy students in grades 9 to 12 will have three choices for their learning: live or recorded virtual instruction five days per week; a blend of virtual instruction two days per week and in-person instruction three days per week; or in-person instruction five days per week. 

The virtual charter school will follow the MPSD’s school calendar with the exception of a trimester, instead of quarterly, grading term schedule. The daily schedule will ensure students receive the state-required amount of instructional time. All McKinley Academy students will be provided a Chromebook and, if internet service is needed, will receive a hotspot. 

In addition to family engagement activities and parent representatives on the McKinley Board of Directors, a parent advisory council will be established. An annual survey will seek family input and feedback. 

Parents Leon Yang and Kue Chang were among the MPSD families who chose a virtual option this year for their children. The couple said their children adapted well to online learning and they may choose to continue it next fall by enrolling in McKinley Academy as a precaution to help protect the family from COVID-19.

To assist the district in properly staffing the new school, families are encouraged to submit their requests to enroll in McKinley Academy by June 30, 2021. Current MPSD families need to complete the Intra-District Virtual School Transfer Request process. Please visit the MPSD website K-12 Virtual School tab or call (920) 686-4777 for more information. Families who are new to the MPSD need to complete a new student enrollment process. Please call (920) 686-4777 for more information.

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