WAPS Online Academy set to launch for 2021-22 school year

Winona Online Academy

The WAPS Online Academy is ready to launch for the 2021-22 school year. 

The WAPS Online Academy is a free comprehensive online learning program offered through Winona Area Public Schools. The WAPS Online Academy will provide a personalized online learning environment that values student engagement and offers rigorous learning experiences that lead to high levels of student success. 

The school is asking interested students and families to fill out a pre-registration form to help with the planning process.

The program is available to all students in Grades K-12, including those currently enrolled in WAPS, those who live in the district but are not enrolled in WAPS, as well as those who live outside the district boundaries.

At this time, the WAPS Online Academy is the only alternative to traditional in-person instruction for the 2021-22 school year. Students who register for the WAPS Online Academy will be asked to do so for the entire semester. 

The program has received provisional approval from the Minnesota Department of Education for the first semester, but WAPS has a transition plan for making this a permanent option for its students. The district will partner with Edgenuity, an online learning provider, to build the curriculum. Both Edgenuity teachers and WAPS Online Academy staff will deliver instruction and support students. 

The partnership with Edgenuity will help WAPS build an online academy that aligns with its strategic plan, is fiscally responsible and meets the needs of all learners.

The content offered by Edgenuity is aligned to Minnesota state standards and is adaptable to fit different learning styles.

The elementary curriculum is designed to introduce young learners to strategies for taking ownership of their learning. Student tools include notes and bookmarks, text-to-speech audio and translation, and more to support younger learners. Educators and parents will have the ability to monitor student progress and data with an easy-to-use interface. Students who need extra instruction and practice can review the material, while high-achieving students can work ahead at their own pace.

The middle and high school curriculum is a flexible, standards-aligned digital curriculum that personalizes learning for all students. Courses are customizable and feature a full suite of learning tools. Students will take ownership of their learning with support from Edgenuity and WAPS teachers to help them maximize their success.

Edgenuity employs highly qualified and experienced educators committed to working in an innovative, diverse, and dynamic team of people dedicated to driving positive academic outcomes for students and educators. Each instructor is certified and meets the professional teaching standards established by the state. Instructors hold a bachelor's degree (at minimum) in education or a related field and meet all federal guidelines for highly effective teachers. All instructors are highly trained in online teaching and possess at least one state-issued teaching license as well as any applicable endorsements. Evaluations are conducted regularly by supervisory staff. 

All students will be provided with a district-issued Chromebook.

WAPS staff will assist with the registration and communication between parents, students and edgenuity. WAPS staff will regularly monitor WAPS Online Academy students and work with both Edgenuity staff and parents to address any concerns.

Students and parents/guardians will be asked to fill out a WAPS Online Academy Commitment Plan. The student commitments include following the district’s attendance policies, completing daily learning activities to stay on pace and successfully completing courses by the end of the term. Students who are unable to fulfill these commitments will be expected to return to in-person learning.