Frequently Asked Questions - Virtual Charter School
Frequently Asked Questions
Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin (ALAW)
Barron Area School District’s Virtual Charter School
 
What is Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin?
Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin (ALAW)  provides a new form of free public school that students attend from home or another location outside a traditional classroom. This is a unique program that combines strong parental involvement of home schooling, expertise and accountability, and a flexible learning environment. Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin provides a local education guide, and insures the course is instructed by certified teacher. It provides the tools and support students need to learn in the non-classroom setting.
 
What grades does Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin serve?
Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin serves students in grades K–12.
 
How much does the program cost?
The program is free, including a computer for the student’s educational use, all of the books, and curriculum.  Access to the Internet is required.
 
What does an Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin family receive?
First-Class Curriculum: Our program features curriculum developed by leading educational publishers that focus in virtual courses and classes.  Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin families receive laptop computer, textbooks either in print or electronically, comprehensive lesson plans, and exciting enrichment courses.
 
High-Quality Teaching: Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin's professional teachers work one-on-one with students and their parents to instruct, review assignments, and customize the curriculum, including extra help for struggling or gifted students. Parents will also benefit from local educational guides who help monitor the work.
 
State-of-the-Art Technology: Families receive a computer, printer, and subsidy for Internet access*; online communication, planning, and learning management tools; online lessons and library resources; and technology literacy courses.
 
Community Connections: Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin facilitates numerous activities, online and in person. Connections with other ALAW students as well as traditionally-schooled students will be facilitated through field trips, special projects, extra-curricular activities, and group meetings with other families in the program. A hybrid virtual program for on-site elective courses is available as class size and scheduling permits.
 
*Availability of computer equipment and Internet access may vary.
 
How much time do students spend on the computer?
The amount of time a student spends on the computer varies by grade. Younger students spend approximately 10%, middle school students spend about 30%, and high school students spend about 50% of their time working on the computer.
 
What curriculum does Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin provide?
Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin provides comprehensive lesson plans online and, for many courses, in print, along with exciting elective courses. Our curriculum incorporates materials developed by leading educational institutions as well as lessons and other resources developed by our own curriculum specialists. Curriculum providers such as Wisconsin Virtual School, Florida Virtual School, McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, Houghton Mifflin and The Calvert School name just a few.
 
What subjects does Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin offer?
Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin offers Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Geography. Students may also have the option to participate in Art, Physical Education, Music, Home Life, Foreign Language, Technology Literacy, and other enrichment courses either on-site at the bricks and mortar school or through online elective courses.
 
What computer skills do students and parents need?
Students and parents do not need advanced computer skills to attend Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin. We will make it easy to become completely familiar with our system by providing orientation courses to students and parents.
 
Are there opportunities to meet other Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin families?
Yes. Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin understands the importance of students and parents interacting with others in the program and in the community. We will facilitate numerous activities, online and in person, such as field trips, special projects, and group meetings with other families. Online discussion groups and email allow you to communicate with other students or parents as well.
 
Will my child be required to take standardized tests, and where?
Yes. All students must complete the standardized tests required by the state of Wisconsin. We also provide standardized assessments to help place a student in the grade level and curriculum that best matches his/her needs and abilities. Specific testing dates and times will be communicated to parents and students well in advance of the testing periods. Testing will take place in one of the Barron Area School District sites. Additional screening assessment is offered three times a year in math and reading.
 
How do I enroll in Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin?
Visit the District’s homepage (www.barron.k12.wi.us) to find an application form, or call 715.537.5629 to request that an application be mailed to you. After you complete the initial application, an Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin staff member will guide you through the rest of the enrollment process. If you are a non-resident of the Barron Area School District, it is also necessary to open enroll into the District. Visit the Department of Public Instruction’s website to learn more about public school choice and to download the open enrollment application (www.dpi.state.wi.us/sms/psctoc.html). You may open enroll from Feb. 7-25 by completing the open enrollment application and turning them in on or before 4 PM on February 25th.
 
When does the school year start and end?
School year start and end dates will correspond with Barron Area School District’s schedule, but will allow for some flexibility. Check with ALAW staff for more details if you have unique needs regarding start and end dates.
 
Can I enroll my child after the school year has started?
Yes, if you are a resident student and the course isn’t too far along in the term, or if you are a non-resident student and you have not attended a day in any other school district. However, the state of Wisconsin has a cap on the number of virtual school students in a given school year. A late-enrolling student risks being denied acceptance due to full numbers. Also, a non-resident student may not receive open-enrollment state approval after the open enrollment period has ended the in February or if the begin the school year by attending any other school district.
 
Can my child attend the program part-time or during the summer?
Currently we are considering offering a summertime learning program. If you’re interested in year-round options, please e-mail montih@barron.k12.wi.us.
 
Is Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin a non-profit organization?
Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin is a public charter school; we are currently in the process of applying for official non-profit status.
 
Is the Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin program home schooling?
Although Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin and home schooling have some similar attributes, Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin is not home schooling. Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin is a public school program. We provide a defined set of curriculum materials that have been specifically aligned to state standards and use certified teachers to evaluate student performance, including decisions concerning the child's grade level promotion. All Advanced Learning Academy of Wisconsin students are required to take state standardized tests and the schools are accountable for the students' performance to regulatory authorities.
 
Will I need to purchase books or materials for courses?
No, all required books and instructional materials for courses are provided to students. Some texts are provided online and other texts are in print form.
 
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