Frequently Asked Questions
Why the name i4Learning?
The i4Learning name came out of early brainstorming sessions of the initial innovation team. The 4 i’s are Individualized, Innovative, Integrated and Inspiring. These are elements of the school's mission.
Why is i4Learning better than traditional elementary school?
It is not “better” than traditional elementary school--it is a different approach that might be a “better fit” for different learning styles.
What makes i4Learning different from KES, FES or other elementary schools?
The two main attributes of i4Learning that sets it apart from other elementary schools are the multi-age learning classrooms and Project-Based Learning approach. In addition, we are also a 1:1 (student to device ratio) learning environment.
How long will i4Learning be open?
Our goal is sustainability. We’d like to create an educational model that thrives for many years to come. The charter contract between i4Learning Community School and the Kewaskum School District is a 5-year contract initiated in March 2015.
Is i4Learning agriculture-focused?
No. During the grant writing process there was a reference to an agricultural model of education and an analogy between student learning and the flourishing of a seed to a plant. You can read the planning grant summary for a full explanation.
What is Project-Based Learning?
Students learn through collaborative projects that involve specific themes. Each student investigates the subject according to his/her interest, using diverse skills (research, writing, interviewing, collaborating, calculating, and public speaking) to produce an end product.
What are the class sizes?
Class sizes for the different cohorts are currently capped at 50 students each. 4K is capped at 20 students.
Since there are only 2 teachers for 3 grade levels, how can the teacher be an expert on what level each student should be at their age level?
Having two teachers in the classroom provides a rare opportunity to have two teachers focused on the same learning needs. In the classroom, teachers are using daily formal and informal assessments to help group and guide instruction. In the background, the teachers at i4Learning have spent countless hours reviewing and matching student needs, learning styles and curriculum. The teachers at i4Learning possess a diverse background that spans all grade levels which also helps to ensure that the curriculum that students are receiving and working with meets or exceeds “grade-level” specifics.
Have you considered going to two grade levels instead of three, specifically for the Kindergarten-2nd grade students? I think that grades 3rd-5th can handle it, but I question how kindergarten and 2nd grade students learn together when their curriculum and maturity levels are so different. How do you address those needs within a multi-age classroom?
The students are grouped according to their academic needs within the multi-age classrooms. The Kindergarten students have more individualized time in the afternoons with a dedicated teacher to focus on building that initial learning which allows them to be more successful in the multi-age classroom.
Where is the money coming from for all the technology and why can't we have this in the other schools?
The Kewaskum Schools wanted to be innovative and try something that was different. The funding that was received, through the grant process, was to start up an innovative school. Although the actual funding was spent within the context of the i4Learning Community School, the benefit of the grant can be felt throughout the district. The i4Learning staff and students are excited to share what they are learning and what is working with other schools and staff members in our district so that some of the same practices could be replicated. For example, when our i4Learning teachers attended conferences with grant funds, they came back to the district with that new knowledge base and can share out with other staff members. With the funds that they have, KSD is working diligently to get more technology into the hands of all students. Now that i4Learning does not have a State Charter School Program grant, the staff, PTO and governance council are working collaboratively to find other, additional funding sources. i4Learning is an instrumentality charter school which means we still receive funding from the Kewaskum School District comparable to the other elementary schools in the district.
I thought it was an online school, but it seems to be a mixture of both technology and teacher-directed instruction.
Correct! Our students have a unique opportunity to work in a variety of settings throughout the day.
What technology is available?
Our school is a 1:1 environment with iPads for the K-2 students and Chromebooks for 3-5 students. Each of our classrooms has at least one Promethean board. We also still have a regular computer lab with desktop type computers for students to access.
How does the Spanish program work in the multi-age groups? Is there a possibility for more time given for Spanish?
Specials are grouped in more grade-level type classes. Spanish time at i4Learning is fairly consistent with the other elementary schools within the district. Additionally, it’s important to know that our specials teachers also teach grade-specific classes at Farmington Elementary School.
Will the i4Learning Community School ever add middle or high school level participants?
It's hard to say exactly what will happen in the coming years. For now, our focus is to do what we are doing well, before thinking about expanding.
How do these students proceed in education after receiving this kind of instruction (i.e. how are they transitioned back into a traditional classroom)?
Our goal is to help students develop a love of learning. Having students that are able to understand how they learn and how to show what they learn is a wonderful way to send them off to middle and high school. Using the soft skills that they strengthen while at i4Learning, students have the skills they need to adapt and be self-advocates for their learning needs. Also, as a charter, we are sharing what is working in our environment with all of the schools in our district, which helps make the transition to other school environments smoother for our students.
How are you preparing kids to adjust to the more traditional physical classroom environment they will encounter in middle and high school?
Our students are familiar with using the materials and physical environment around them to best fit their needs. The students at i4Learning spend some of their classroom time at a desk or table, just like a more traditional classroom.
I wonder how these students will be in the years to come. Will they expect the same options at higher grade levels?
We feel strongly that the learning environment that is offered at i4Learning provides unique learning opportunities. We know that all that we offer may not be seen in other settings, but some parts may. It’s not about replicating the exact same setting in other schools, but instead we focus on making sure the student is entering the new environments with the skills they need to help create a situation that helps them best learn.
Are the testing requirements the same as other schools within the district?
As a WI Charter school, we are still a public school and must follow the same state testing requirements of other public schools.
Do the teachers have to follow common core?
As a public school, students are required to take the state assessment which is aligned to the state’s model academic standards.
What happens if my child does not do well in this environment?
A student may attend one of the other elementary schools within the district.
How is i4Learning funded (i.e. by taxpayers)?
The i4Learning Community School is an instrumentality of the Kewaskum School District and is still funded similarly as the other schools within the district. To keep up with fast-paced technology and with current innovative practices of educating students, the i4Learning staff, governance council and PTO are collaborating to raise additional funds to support i4Learning.
If the money from the grant is for the school only, does the district pay the teachers’ salaries?
As an instrumentality, our school still receives per-pupil funding that all of the other students receive in the Kewaskum School District. Our teachers and other staff members are still employees of the KSD and are paid as such.
What are busing options for i4Learning?
Busing transportation is provided to any students/families who live in what was previously identified as the Wayne Elementary School boundary. There is also a bus that transports students from different child care providers in town, specifically: Tuttle Creek Learning Center, Little Folks School House, and Boys and Girls Club at KES.
Is before/after school care available?
Currently there is not child care available at i4Learning, however, transportation is provided to and from the different child care providers identified in the previous question.
Can students with special needs attend i4Learning? Is i4L primarily for special needs?
The i4Learning Community School is open to all 4K-5th grade students. Here is the nondiscrimination statement from the charter contract: i4Learning shall not discriminate in admission or deny participation in any program or activity on the basis of a student's sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability.
Can students from outside the Wayne attendance area attend the i4Learning Community School?
Yes, i4Learning is a publicly funded school and is open to students from outside the Wayne attendance area, provided the enrollment cap has not been met. Transportation in this case is the responsibility of the family and busing may or may not be provided by the district bus service.
Can students from outside the Kewaskum School District attend the i4Learning Community School?
Yes, students from outside the Kewaskum School District can choose to open enroll to i4Learning Community School. Open enrollment forms and instructions can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Instruction website at https://oe.dpi.wi.gov/. Admission of students to i4Learning shall be determined by lottery if the enrollment cap has been met. Transportation in this case is the responsibility of the family and busing may or may not be provided by the district bus service.