New London School Board members heard glowing remarks for the first semester progress report of the Next Generation Academy Charter School.
Academy advisors Anne Ferge and Megan Yeska shared highlights and student reflections of the charter school during Monday’s board meeting.
When asked to describe the Next Generation Academy in one word, Ferge stated personalization.
“It’s the key in what we’re trying to do in the academy,” Ferge said. “It offers students a personalized learning plan. A plan for what a student wants to learn and how they will go about achieving that learning.”
Approximately 45 students in grades 7-12 are enrolled in the academy, with the largest enrollment in grade 12.
Next Generation Academy is meant to enrich learning opportunities for students interested in engaging in alternative methods of learning. It’s designed to create a curriculum blended with face-to-face, online and project-based learning based on each student’s individual personal learning plan.
“Our students have multiple channels of accessing information and the academy is our way of addressing students’ needs in where they are today,” Yeska said. “We want to provide options for student success and that is why we’re here.”
One of the highlights addressed was the high level of engagement among students and staff.
“It is really exciting to see how engaged the students are in learning and we are seeing a whole new level of student achievement,” Ferge said.
Another highlight was student enrollment. New London has maintained enrollment of its students who would otherwise gone outside of the district for online learning opportunities.
“We really needed this. It was the missing piece from our district,” Board Vice-President Kim Schroeder said. “Kids were leaving our district for online schooling, so I’m glad that we have this great program.”
The district will continue its success efforts for the Next Generation Academy by reaching out to a variety of schools and communities. They want to encourage students in other districts to open-enroll with New London.
“The first semester has been a great success,” Ferge said. “We are hoping to work with more students in the next year. This is a wonderful and unique opportunity for our students and other students beyond our community.”
Weather Make-Up Days
With the abnormal cold weather the community has endured this winter, the district has exceeded its limit of inclement weather days. The state of Wisconsin requires a minimum of hours and days of instruction in a school year. To comply with the state, the following are the scheduled make-up days:
• Friday, March 7: This will be a regular school day for all grades 4K-12
• Thursday, April 17: This will still be a day off for grades 4K-12, but staff will come in for training on this date
• Friday, April 25: This is a regular scheduled day for grades 5K-12, but will be a make-up day for 4K students
According to Superintendent Kathy Gwidt, if the district has to utilize one more bad weather day before Easter, the next make-up day will be Monday, April 21.
If any additional bad weather days are needed after that date than the days will be added to the end of the school year.
A list of these make-up days can also be found in the districts e-newsletter and on the districts Facebook page. There will also be a link provided on the districts home page.
Board Member Resignation
School Board members accepted the resignation of Board President Keith Steckbauer has he moves on to his next adventure. Steckbauer will take office on February 11 as Circuit Judge for Waupaca County.
As a judge he cannot hold more than one office of public trust. Monday was last time he was able to serve with the school board.
“This was an amazing experience and I wish I could be here longer,” Steckbauer said. “This was a great ride and I enjoyed working with everyone.”
Board members and administrators praised Steckbauer for his dedication and service to the district and community. They were all honored to serve on the board with him.
“He will be dearly missed, but we wish him well as he proceeds with this endeavor,” Gwidt said.