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Supporters Of Autism Charter Schools Want To Increase Enrollment


Interest is high for the two charter schools opening this fall in Minocqua for students on the autism spectrum. They have more applicants than available slots at one of the charters.

Lakeland Star School will serve 7th and 8th graders from the four area elementary schools and Lakeland Star Academy will serve 9th through 12 grade students at the high school level. Lakeland Union High School principal/district administrator Jim Bouche explained the initial contracts were for eight students. He says after that the school board and charter governance board agreed to ten....

" My understanding is that there are seven applications for the middle school and there are 15 for the high school. And to avoid having a lottery, the governance board has asked to have the contractual number of 10 moved to 15. But that has to be agreed upon by our board... "

The Lakeland Union High School board has the proposal. District administrator Jim Ellis at Minocqua-Hazelhurst- Lake Tomahawk Elementary School gave a brief update at the all schools boards meeting Monday about the charter schools’ progress.

"The governance council is composed of 15 individuals. Every school district is represented. We have been meeting twice if not three times a month for the last eight months. Very passionate. I think we were able to get some things done down in Madison. So, if a student attends Lakeland Star School they can automatically go to Lakeland Star Academy. We had to do that because, again, we are separate districts because we are not a K-12 district."

Ellis said the open house was successful. He says they're basing it off Lions Gate in Minneapolis, which is a 7-12 model. He says there's work to be done but is confident the school will open September 1st.

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