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Field trips important to virtual schoolsSubmitted: 09/23/2013
Story By Dan McKinney


WAUSAU - Field trips can be a fun way for students to spend the day outside the classroom. That's especially important when the classroom is a computer at home.

Going on a field trip to a dairy farm would be a fun valuable learning experience for just about any kid. But for kids like Keegan Fischer, it's even more valuable. That's because Keegan goes to virtual school.

"I like going to a virtual school because I won't be pressured by going into a real school, and actual physical school," says Keegan Fischer, a student at the Wisconsin Connection Academy. "Here I can take my time, and work whenever so it's flexible for me anytime."

Wisconsin Connection Academy is also flexible for Keegan's mom, Sarah Fischer.

"We choose Connections Academy because Keegan had health issues when he was smaller so he missed a lot of school," says Sarah Fischer. "This has been a good fit, it has worked great."

But the downside of virtual school is that students don't get as much time to interact with each other. That's why Keegan and his mom Sarah spent the day away from the computer.

"In a virtual school you're not getting the same kind of socialization as if you're going to a regular traditional bricks and mortar school," says Jennifer Dikeman a Math teacher at Connections Academy.

"We put a lot of time and effort into these field trips and we really want our students to attend these so they can get out get out of the house get away from the computer and talk to other families that are here," says Dikeman.

The field trip to Wilkes Farm is one of many throughout the school year.

"The field trips are a great place for students to just put names to faces as well as teachers," says Michele Lynch a social studies teacher at Connections Academy. "They get to meet their teachers we get to build more personal relationships find out more have good laughs with each other."

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WAUSAU - During a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that it would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugsâ€"including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said it was never the bill's intention to include narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will not have that broad language. 

"It is the position of the WCA that going forward that was never the intention and that's not the intention going forward to have opioids and highly addictive schedules to be part of this," Murray said. 

What the bill is meant for, he said, is to allow chiropractorsâ€"with 60 credit hours of additional education and hours of clinical trainingâ€"to be able to prescribe non-narcotic pain medication, such as muscle relaxants or steroids. This they could do instead of referring their patients out to a medical doctor for such prescriptions, as all chiropractors do now. He said this would make it more convenient for the patient and better that they see the same doctor for a medication instead of two. 

"It's not that we think referring out to other providers is a bad thing," Murray said. "But there are situations in which a patient comes in and has something that a chiropractor with proper training could treat in the short term with some pharmaceutical intervention."

Not all chiropractors agree with this bill despite its clarifications. 

Dr. Scott Bautch, D.C., of Bautch Chiropractic in Wausau, wants to stay true to being "the non-drug option" to health care. 

He would rather continue referring his patients out to medical doctors.  He presented on behalf of the Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin, which does not support the bill, at the bill's hearing in Madison on Tuesday. 

"I'm going to counsel people on what they eat, I'm going to counsel people on how they move, I'm going to counsel people on what they think," Bautch said. "But if we need to have help with something your body can't heal, I'll refer you out. In my 33 years plus of practice, I've not had a problem. And if I've had to send a patient out because the pain was so unretractable, it's not been a difficult situation at all. If I call them that day, I've had patients that we call, and they get them in in an hour."

Murray says it's up to each chiropractor in the state to decide how they want to practice.

"We have great respect for chiropractors who want to work that way," Murray said. "But there are chiropractors in the state who want to have those extra clinical tools and practice that way. It's about freedom of practice."

The bill still has a few legislative steps before, and if, it becomes law.


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"This is just as important physically and socially equally," Simon said.  "And then to be dropped into this group of women, there's where the gift is."

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