Northland Pines District to add charter high schoolSubmitted: 12/11/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Northland Pines District to add charter high school
EAGLE RIVER - Students in one Northwoods district will now have more than one choice for high school.

The Northland Pines School District will open the SOAR Charter High School next fall.

The school will focus more on project-based learning than traditional schools.

"Instead of classes where bells ring every 45 minutes or on block days, longer, students will have chunks of time to work. They'll use projects to prove their knowledge and expertise in content. It won't be a grade on an assignment. The projects will be used to reach those goals," said Land O' Lakes Elementary and SOAR Middle School Principal Scott Foster.

Students will still be able to take classes.

Educators find some students prefer to take math or hands-on tech ed classes instead of doing a project.

The school district already offers a charter school for 5th through 8th graders in Land O' Lakes.

It opened in the fall of 2013.

The district will create the charter high school, in part, to give those students the option to continue with that type of learning.

"In the theme of, as we did with our middle school, we're looking to have options for students. Not every kid learns exactly the same way, so why not provide those options within our district and have our district have ownership and some opportunity to help all those students," Foster said.

Charter school students will have more graduation requirements than Northland Pines High School students.

Students will need to take more credits, do a senior capstone project, and complete a community service project.

They'll also need to have some type of work experience and take an online course.

"They're going to have to do one of their credits online through a different school. And we're excited about that because we think that is how most people work for their employer, have to take online courses, or colleges are now requiring a big chunk of their time be online so why not give those students the chance to do it when they're still supported," Foster explained.

Students will also need to get accepted into an educational program for after their high school years.

"We're not going to force them to go, but we want to assist them and prove to them that every student can and should find an opportunity post-high school. And that could be a large range of things. It doesn't have to be just a 4-year school. Society needs people in the military, 2-year degrees, 4-year degrees, the Peace Corps, whatever it is," Foster added.

The school will be located on the Eagle River campus.

It will be open to 9th and 10th graders in the fall and expand to include 11th graders in the fall of 2016, and 12th graders in the fall of 2017.

Administrators will hold an informational meeting on January 6th at 6:30 p.m. It will be held in the Northland Pines High School LGI.

The district will begin accepting applications on January 5th.

Anyone who applies will be accepted.

There is a link to more information below.

Related Weblinks:
SOAR Charter High School

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