NEWS STORIES

Merrill Charter Serves Students StatewideSubmitted: 04/03/2013
MERRILL - As odd as it may sound, hundreds of kids are enrolled in the Merill School District – without actually living anywhere near Merrill.

That’s the new reality of virtual school.

Bridges Virtual Academy opened this year.

Administrator John Hagemeister expected about 100 kids to enroll. Instead, he got 500 – from all over the state.

That’s because Hagemeister’s idea is unique. Before Bridges, he homeschooled his own kids.

He wanted to combine the freedom of homeschooling with the resources of public school.

The Reimer family of Arbor Vitae made the switch to Bridges this year.

"We do our schooling at home, but we're not technically homeschooling anymore," says Kathy Reimer.

As a homeschooler, Reimer wasn't allowed to take part in public school classes.

But Bridges Virtual Academy gives her more options.

"We did art lessons at the Campanile Center, piano lessons, and dance lessons for the girls," she said. "We probably could've provided one lesson for them, but this allows us to give them opportunities to do things we wouldn't normally be able to do."


John Hagemeister started the academy with more opportunities in mind.

"These are taxpayers and if you homeschool, they don't get anything in return. Some people like it that way, because there's no entanglement, there's no extras," he said. "But if there's a way we can partner, why shouldn't we try? They're taxpayers, they're community members, they're looking for some kind of educational service through us, so let's try and do it."

Taxpayers - including the Reimers - bought a computer for each of her kids. They also share an iPad and have access to teachers.

There is a trade-off for that support. As a homeschooler, Reimer didn't have to evaluate her kids at all. Now, she has to administer school and state tests.

But that doesn't bother her.

"The testing only confirms what I already know," she said. "Because you're homeschooling, you know your kids' strengths and you know your kids' weaknesses."

But beyond the testing, Reimer still gets to do things her way. That's different from most virtual schools.

"A typical virtual school is like taking this and putting it online, the brick and mortar and putting it online, and that's not what they're looking for," Hagemeister said. "They're looking for something that's flexible, time wise, curriculum wise."

"That opens up our ability to do things for our kids, and give them opportunities that we couldn't give them," Reimer said. "So that is a really great thing."

Story By: Lex Gray

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
House demolished to make way for new construction project Submitted: 04/16/2014

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Imagine seeing the home you grew up in being torn down to make way for a construction project. That's exactly what happened to one family in Minocqua. Here's a look today as they began tearing down the house.
(Click the link to watch the video)

+ Read More
Meet Minocqua's newly appointed Chief of Police Submitted: 04/16/2014

MINOCQUA - The Minocqua police department could have a new police chief in early May. David Jeager has been the acting chief of police since October.

He will undergo a background check, drug screening, and psychological exam before he is named the current chief of police. He would be replacing former Police Chief Andy Gee. Jeager is excited about what the future may bring.

"I'm extremely excited," says Minocqua acting Police Chief David Jeager. "I believe that this department has great potential and we have a great group of people working for this department,” says Jeager.

“We have great officers, we have great dispatchers, we have great administration.I feel that we can really provide a service to this community that's second to none,” says Jeager.

Jeager has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years. He's worked at the Minocqua Police Department for 6 years.

+ Read More
Artists, engineers combine for campus, national paper venture in northcentral WisconsinSubmitted: 04/16/2014

Play Video

STEVENS POINT - College and professional artists need special cotton-fiber paper for painting, drawing, and printing.

UW-Stevens Point's art students bought that expensive paper from traditional European mills for years.

Meanwhile, UWSP’s Paper Science and Engineering Department taught students about the papermaking business on its huge paper machine just a building away on campus.

+ Read More
Four arrested in meth lab drug bust Submitted: 04/16/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Police busted four people cooking meth in a Northwoods home Tuesday.

Oneida County Sheriff's Office say they found them in a home yesterday just northwest of Rhinelander.

Sheriffs deputies arrested Gerry Frederick, Thomas Franz, Scott Dumpprope and Carrie Steinmetz.

It happened on Trails End Road in the town of Pine Lake.

They found meth, weed and a meth lab in the house.

+ Read More
Students could move to high school earlier Submitted: 04/16/2014

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - A Northwoods school district could move students to middle and high school earlier than usual.

The Northland Pines school district is considering moving 5th graders to the middle school.

They might also move 7th and 8th graders to the high school.

If passed, the plan would take place in two phases over the next two school years.

The first phase would move 5th graders from Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools to Eagle River Elementary starting during the 2014-2015 school year.

The school hopes this would improve students' education.

5th graders at Land O' Lakes and St. Germain Elementary schools have one 5th grader teacher teaching all subjects.

+ Read More
Rare opportunity; old Rhinelander pictures shown Submitted: 04/16/2014

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can find historical pictures of Rhinelander at a library or at a museum.

But there are some pictures people haven't see in more than a decade.

Those pictures were released Thursday.

The Rhinelander Historical Society showed old pictures of Rhinelander at ArtStart Thursday night.

More than 50 people saw what Rhinelander looked like in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

+ Read More
Meth bust in town of Pine LakeSubmitted: 04/16/2014

RHINELANDER - Police arrested four people in a meth bust near Rhinelander.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department says the bust went down yesterday in the town of Pine Lake.

Arrested were 38 year old Gerry Frederick, 55 year old Thomas Franz, 40 year old Scott Dumpprope and 46 year old Carrie Steinmetz.

Potential charges include conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here