What kind of school are you planning?
The Lincoln Academy is a K4-12 independent public charter school.We plan to offer a rigorous curriculum that elevates diverse career opportunities and creates a strong school culture that allows and expects ALL children will learn and succeed at a high level.
Who decides if this school can open?
The Lincoln Academy will be an independent charter school, but it must be approved by the Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO) at the University of Wisconsin. The OEO has evaluated the school’s application, reviewed its educational and financial plan, interviewed the Board of Directors and school leaders, and set specific requirements for how the school must perform. The application to open an independent charter school in Beloit was approved on May 15, 2020.
Will this school be part of the Beloit School District?
The Lincoln Academy will create a new public-school option available to all Beloit families, and while it is a public school, it will not be run by the Beloit School District. It will have its own Board of Directors and make independent decisions about how to serve scholars and families.
How is a public charter school funded?
Who can attend?
As a public charter school, The Lincoln Academy will be a public school in every sense of the word. Any scholar with Wisconsin residency will be welcome to apply and eligible to attend. There are no admission requirements and charter schools are tuition-free. Parents cannot be charged for their scholars to attend.
Can students with special needs attend this school?
Yes, as a tuition-free public charter school, The Lincoln Academy will be committed to diversity and serving all scholars, including scholars with special needs and English Learner (EL) scholars.
How do you determine who gets in?
Any student with Wisconsin residency will be welcome to apply and eligible to attend The Lincoln Academy. If the school receives more applications than there are seats available, a public random lottery is used to determine enrollment for those seats as well as waitlist order.
How many students will the school serve?
In the first year of operation, The Lincoln Academy will enroll K4-2 and 7-9 grades, with two classrooms in each grade. One grade on each side (e.g. 3rd grade and 10th in the next year) will be added every year following until the school serves all grades K4-12 with an enrollment of 700 scholars.
When will the school open?
The Lincoln Academy will open in the fall of 2021.
Who is in charge of this school?
How will the community know how well students at the school are doing?
The Lincoln Academy will be required to administer all the same tests and assessments as all other public schools, it will receive a rating through the Department of Public Instruction Accountability system and if it does not perform at a high level, it can be closed by the Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO).
Will there be social promotion?
No. There will not be social promotion. Scholars will be expected to be fully ready for the upcoming grade.
How will you ensure students master skills?
Outstanding educators, focused curriculum and strong professional development will be the starting point of ensuring scholars master skills. There will be regular review of individual scholar data, and re-teaching will take place when scholars need extra support or time to learn a skill. Response to Intervention (RTI) will be used when necessary to provide more intense support to scholars in need.
How will you communicate with parents?
Every evening parents will have a folder or agenda that comes to them to see what is happening during the school day. Parents will be responsible to sign off to show they read the information. Parents will also receive weekly school newsletters and communication through emails, texts and phone calls when needed. Teachers are expected to have open lines of communication with families to ensure every scholar is supported.
How will you set expectations?
Expectations will be developed during the planning year phase along with support from the Parent Advisory Council and leadership team. A culture of high expectations in both culture and academics is a clear focus at The Lincoln Academy. There will be a family handbook that will be created to ensure all parents and scholars are clear on the expectations prior to enrolling.
How will you address character early to avoid behavior issues later? How will you handle bullying and safety?
Character education will be infused in the curriculum starting in K4. Every day there will be explicit character education skills and values taught during the proactivity time. Bullying will not be tolerated and will be addressed immediately by teachers and administration. The safety of our scholars and staff come first, and we will have clear expectations in place regarding safety. There will be a strict visitor policy and technology support that will serve in ensuring our scholars and staff are safe.
How will you handle classroom disruption?
The classroom is the most important place in the school. There will be clear classroom management strategies that will be expected to take place as a proactive measure to limit classroom disruptions. However, in the event a classroom disruption occurs, it will be handled with expediency to ensure learning and teaching are not interrupted.
Will there be a discipline policy?
Yes, there will be a clear discipline policy. While the goal is to create a positive, supportive and academically rigorous environment to limit disruptions, there will be times when disciplinary measures will be necessary.
How will you create an environment of community and connectedness?
Joy factor is an important part of The Lincoln Academy. Scholars and their families will feel they are part of the community by regular communication and celebration. Each day there will be morning assemblies where parents are welcome to attend to start the day. We will gather as a community at The Lincoln Academy regularly to ensure all scholars, staff and families are part of the activities. Communication will also be clear and consistent to help build connectedness.
Will parents and families be welcome to be involved?
Absolutely! Parents and family members are an integral part of every scholar’s success. The Lincoln Academy welcomes support from families through activities such as: volunteering, participating in fieldtrips, cheering at sporting/after school events, attending parent/teacher conferences and participating on the Parent Advisory Council. Parents or guardians, scholars and staff will all be expected to sign a compact which commits them to specific expectations as a member of The Lincoln Academy.
Will the administration structure be supportive and reactive to teachers and parents?
Yes, administrators will be expected to be responsive to teachers and parents. They will provide support and prompt communication. They will also hold scholars, teachers and parents accountable for following the mission of The Lincoln Academy.
How will you find the right teachers for this school?
The most important aspect of a school is hiring the right staff. At The Lincoln Academy, that means hiring staff who are mission aligned. They will believe that all children can learn, and it is up to them to make that happen. There will be a rigorous hiring process to ensure talented staff who are aligned to the mission will be hired.
Will teachers teach fundamentals that are applicable to life, not just teach to tests?
Absolutely! The goal of The Lincoln Academy is to ensure that 100% of scholars graduate with the skills to either enroll in college, enlist in the armed forces or be employed in a living-wage job. We fully expect that all of our scholars will have the character and skills to live a quality, choice-filled life.
Will you teach financial literacy, technical education, college prep courses, etc.?
Yes, financial literacy, technical education and college prep courses will be offered.The Lincoln Academy will have a rigorous curriculum with many career options, such as: Bioscience, Technology, Business, Engineering, Trades, Fine Arts, Medicine, Healthcare and Human Services.There will be Advanced Placement courses as well.
Will there be dual enrollment options for students?
Yes, we plan to have dual enrollment options for students.
Will scholars have access to hands-on learning in the community?
Yes, there will be opportunities for job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships to ensure scholars have access to hands-on learning.
How will teachers be evaluated?
Teachers will be evaluated several times throughout the year through a process that aligns with the instructional coaching model we will use. It will be aligned to classroom environment, mastery of content and rigorous instruction. Scholar outcomes will be looked at as part of the evaluation process.
Will teachers receive professional development?
Consistent and frequent professional development will be part of the educational model at The Lincoln Academy. It is expected that all staff participate in weekly professional development and have a desire to grow professionally. One of our mottos will be, “We will never rest until our good is better and our better is best.”
Will teachers be compensated competitively?
Yes, teachers will be compensated competitively. We will also build in a bonus structure for teachers who continually meet their goals and go above and beyond. We will celebrate teachers for the hard work they do.
Will teachers be a part of the State retirement system?
No, as a charter school, teachers at The Lincoln Academy are not eligible to participate in the State retirement system. There will be retirement plan options available to all staff.
Will teachers have access to tools that really engage scholars?
At The Lincoln Academy, teachers will have some of the most advanced technological, artistic and scientific tools available to engage scholars.
Will there be support staff? What kind of support staff?
Yes, there will be support staff. It will depend on the needs of the scholars who enroll at The Lincoln Academy, but it is anticipated the school will have support staff such as: school social workers, school psychologists, school counselors, ESL teachers, educational assistants and special education teachers.
Where will the school be located?
The school will be located at 600 Henry Avenue on the northeast side of the Eclipse Center campus. The school will be a free-standing, 112,000 square foot three story structure, separate from the Eclipse Center that captures the beauty and history of the Beloit community with reference to its industrial past and vibrant future. It will be an incredible learning environment that includes the latest technology, ample classroom space for group and individual learning and designated space for specials and career-focused learning that provide for a robust and rigorous K-12 education. Exterior space will include parking and green space for outdoor activities. The school will be within walking distance of the Beloit Public Library and other community partners.
Will younger students be separated from older students in the building?
There will be a separation of grade levels with classrooms for K4-4 grade located on the first floor, 5-8 grade classrooms located on the second floor and classrooms for 9-12 grades on the third floor.There will be some opportunities for common space usage, but with expectations of supervision and scheduling to ensure scholars are supporting each other in their community and representing themselves with high expectations.We anticipate opportunities for middle and high school scholars to support our younger scholars and act as role models and mentors.
Will there be transportation?
Yes, transportation will be provided for Beloit scholars residing more than one mile from the school.
How long with the school day/school year be?
The anticipated school day will be from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Lincoln Academy school year will typically align with the traditional Beloit Public School calendar, with extra days added at the beginning of the school year.
How can I learn more about the school?
What does EL stand for?
English learners, or ELs, are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English, who often come from non-English-speaking homes and backgrounds and who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both the English language and in their academic courses.