Charter School Authorization

The Winona Area Public Schools district is a charter school authorizer. We currently authorize two schools, Bluffview Montessori School in Winona and Ridgeway Community School in Ridgeway, Minn.


Our district’s mission supports our mission as a charter school Authorizer; to provide an educational opportunity within the borders of the Winona Area Public Schools that offers students unique, high quality, and personalized educational opportunities that are not inherently found in the Winona Area Public Schools offerings.

The Winona Area Public Schools district charter school vision is in accordance with Minnesota Statute 124E.01 (2016) Charter Schools, which states:

“The primary purpose of charter schools is to improve all pupil learning and all student achievement.  Additional purposes include to:

  • increase learning opportunities for all pupils;
  • encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods;
  • measure learning outcomes and create different and innovative forms of measuring outcomes;
  • establish new forms of accountability for schools; or
  • create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site.”  


To authorize high-quality charter schools dedicated to increasing student learning through innovative teaching practices and educational opportunities for students within the Winona Area Public Schools district boundaries.

Charter School Best Practices

Organizational Involvement

As a charter school authorizer in Minnesota, the Winona Area Public Schools administrative team is focused on ensuring high-quality services to our portfolio of charter schools. Our team engages with many professional organizations, including:


Charter School Advisory Team

Dr. Annette K. Freiheit




Kristy Millering

Director of Finance


Dr. Sarah Knudsen

Director of Special Education


Steve Schild

Board Member: 1st District