Kettle Moraine School District plans on adding a public virtual charter school, called KM Connect, as another education option for the district beginning in fall 2022.
In its first year, this tuition-free program is slated to be available for students in sixth to 11th grades. The year after, it will be offered to 12th graders, too. Families will be able to sign up soon, and students outside the school district can enroll in KM Connect due to the state’s open enrollment guidelines.
What is unique about KM Connect is that it will utilize synchronous learning where the students and teachers are online at the same time interacting with one another, said Eric Anderson, a math teacher in the district who will be the KM Connect director.
Anderson said that the program will use a year-round schedule with six- to eight-week classes. After the class term ends, he said that students may get a week to three weeks off.
He also said that students may have four classes a day, but different classes throughout the week. He said that classes may be for one to two hours with a longer break between them.
“I am not sure there is another school like it,” Anderson said. He said that the popularity of Waukesha Schools’ eAchieve Academy and students doing more virtual learning during the pandemic set up the need for this program and that the popularity for such programs has increased.
“We have seen people do better online. This is not for credit recovery; we will be using collegiate models,” Anderson said. He said that the schedule will be similar to colleges, with students going to class in blocks rather than eight hours straight.
“This helps with mental health for students and decreases academic skills loss (in the summer),” Anderson said. He also said there will be seminars with high-interest subjects that will be practical for the students.
“No academics sit in a silo,” he said. He said that math, for instance, may be more meaningful if taught with another subject. Another example he cited is that in a chemistry seminar, it can be combined with writing a paper so science and writing skills can improve.
He also said that this kind of schedule can give students the flexibility to participate in sports, the performing arts or an internship, or have a job.
“I am excited to be a part of something great,” Anderson said. “I am more than happy to give this a go and see the positive impact.”
For more information about KM Connect and upcoming registration information, visit https://www.kmsd.edu/kmconnect.