DiscoverMilwaukee2017 - page 44

suburban counties, however, there can
be separate school districts for
elementary and high schools. In these
situations, several elementary school
districts will feed into a single high school
district. Information about public schools
serving the area is provided on pages 48-
50. The state also publishes report cards
for all public schools, which can be
viewed at:
reportcards.dpi.wi.gov
.
Private Schools
Private schools play an important role in
educating Wisconsin children. They offer
parents an opportunity to have their
students attend a school based on a
specific curriculum, teaching approach or
value system. Southeastern Wisconsin
has strong parochial schools that include
primarily Roman Catholic and Lutheran
schools (please see “Parochial Schools” on
page 45). There are also several private
schools that are not affiliated with a
particular religion. The charts on pages
44 and 46 provide basic details on
private schools serving the area. Please
check their websites for additional
information.
Charter Schools
Charter schools are public schools that
are granted greater freedom in their
operation so that they can develop
innovative programs and curricula that
could improve education as a whole.
State lawmakers drafted charter school
legislation in 1993 to foster an
environment of creativity. Wisconsin
charter schools are non-religious, free to
the public, and open to all children in the
state. They are created through a
contract, or “charter,” between the
operator of the school and the authorizer,
which is typically a local school board,
technical college or university.
Although charter schools are exempt
from many of the state laws and rules
that govern public schools, they are
required to have a licensed instructional
staff, participate in the state student
testing program and school performance
report, and must comply with student
health and safety regulations. Public
charter school students take the state
tests required of all other public school
students. Charter schools do not charge
tuition. It is paid with money collected
through property taxes and state funding.
For more information, contact the state
Department of Public Instruction at (888)
245-2732 or visit:
dpi.wi.gov/sms/csindex.html
Virtual Charter Schools
Virtual charter schools provide all or a
portion of their instruction through the
Internet. The students and instructional
staff are typically located in different
geographic areas. Like other charter
schools, virtual schools are publicly
funded, nonsectarian schools that are
exempt from many regulations that apply
to traditional public schools and that offer
their classes online. Pupils typically attend
from their homes and communicate with
teachers using e-mail or online.
EDUCATION
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