Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Merrill Charter Serves Students StatewideSubmitted: 04/03/2013
Merrill Charter Serves Students Statewide
Story By Lex Gray

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."

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





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/17/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We talk to area school district administrators about the problem they're facing with teacher shortages and how the schools are trying to work around those shortages.

We'll bring you the scene at Dunkin' Donuts in Rhinelander today where several police cars arrived and an officer even stood on the roof, not for an emergency, but for a good cause.

And we kick-off another season of Friday Night Blitz where we will bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following football games:

Prescott vs. Rhinelander

Wittenberg-Birnamwood vs. Northland Pines

Shiocton vs. Tomahawk

Deerfield vs. Three Lakes/Phelps

Belleville vs. White Lake/Elcho


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Heavy rains that flooded a section of Interstate 43 in the Milwaukee area left several motorists stranded.

The North Shore Fire Department responded to the scene Friday morning to help motorists, some of whom were sitting atop their flooded cars. Four people had to be rescued, and two others got out on their own.

+ Read More

THREE LAKES - The Three Lakes School Board stands by its district administrator after questions over a political ad.

Friday morning, the Three Lakes School Board issued a statement saying they feel it is the best interest of students to continue under the leadership of Dr. George Karling.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - On Friday night, expect the line at the Eagle River ice arena to be out the door.

People in the area always look forward a tradition in its 56th year.

The Eagle River Recreation Association hosts a huge auction in mid-August.

"It keeps the lights on in this place. To run a rink is extremely expensive. We try to the best we can with what we have here to bring down those fees so hockey and skating becomes affordable for everybody up here," said ERRA President Patrick Schmidt.

+ Read More

MADISON - Buildings destroyed by a natural gas explosion in Wisconsin will be removed at the end of the month.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the July 10 blast in Sun Prairie destroyed six businesses, one home and killed a volunteer firefighter. Many of the buildings damaged include apartments.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Hardly anyone goes through life without knowing someone who is affected by cancer in some way.

Thursday evening people gathered to honor those impacted by cancer at the11th annual Celebration of Life in Rhinelander.

Organizers emphasized that cancer survivors can still live active and productive lives.

Becky Gauthier of Rhinelander gave the keynote speech.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017.

She shared her story that's been driven by courage.

"If it's ever you, just have hope," Gauthier said. "Don't ever give up. Just know that miracles happen every day and even if they tell you bad news, it doesn't mean it's your future."

At the end of the ceremony organizers released butterflies as a symbol of hope. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - When Rhinelander Police arrested 39-year-old Aries Tatrow on Wednesday, they found $480 in cash on him.

Tatrow told police it was all that was left of tens of thousands of dollars he embezzled from three local gas stations he managed.

Tatrow is now in jail, charged with taking about $80,000.

He managed the Hodag Pump and Pantry and Kemp Street BP stations in Rhinelander and the BP station in Gleason. All are owned by Remington Oil.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here