Online School Basics
Is iForward new?
Not at all. Grantsburg School District has been providing online learning to Wisconsin students since 2002, when the school was called Grantsburg Virtual School. In 2007, we became Insight School of Wisconsin. In 2012 we became iForward. Through it all, the district has remained a statewide leader in online high school and middle school education—one that continues to create innovative learning opportunities for students throughout Wisconsin. Many of our teachers have been with us ever since 2007 and are online veteran teaching experts!
Where does the name "iForward" come from?
"Forward" was adopted as Wisconsin's state motto back in 1851. It expresses our state's continuous drive to be a national leader. In the same spirit, Grantsburg School District seeks to create individualized learning opportunities that prepare each student as they move forward in education and in life.
The more successful our students are, the more often we'll get to hear them say, "Thanks to my education, I am moving forward in the direction of my dreams."
How long has iForward offered online education?
The name 'iForward" is new. But the Grantsburg School District, which charters iForward, has offered online education since 2002. That's when we established the Grantsburg Virtual School, founded by a team of experienced educators and instructional designers who believed that technology can create transformative learning experiences. In 2007, the school was restructured and launched under the name Insight School of Wisconsin.
In January of 2012, the Grantsburg School District decided to return to the school's original vision (and nonprofit roots). Along with our new name (iForward), there are new educational opportunities. We've added career prep courses to help students get ready for the future. And for the first time, Grantsburg School District has opened enrollment to Wisconsin's middle school students.
Why does being a nonprofit matter?
iForward is a nonprofit institution because we believe in providing a quality education that delivers exactly what each student needs. Our students succeed because our students come first. Our nonprofit status allows iForward to maximize resources, so we can put everything we have into providing a great education ... without having to worry about profits or pleasing shareholders.
How much does iForward cost?
iForward is a completely tuition free, public online charter school, and that makes attendance free of charge for all Wisconsin students in grades 6-12.
Who can attend iForward?
iForward is for Wisconsin residents who meet the legal age limits for grades 6-12 established by state law. These are the same statutory requirements that govern all of Wisconsin's public middle and high schools. For more details, see the Enrollment section below.
Is a diploma from a virtual school like iForward different?
iForward is a tuition free, public Wisconsin online high school chartered by the Grantsburg School District. Your iForward diploma will be no different than one from a traditional school. Students who have graduated from Grantsburg's online program have gone on to attend Wisconsin state universities, private institutions, technical colleges and Ivy League colleges across the country.
Is online school an option for homeschooling?
Taking classes through an online school like iForward offers many of the same advantages as homeschooling - a more focused learning experience, an escape from cliques and bullying, more consistent parental oversight, and opportunities for your student to grow in self-discipline, just to name a few. On top of that, we are a tuition free, public online high school and middle school, which means families can come out ahead financially compared to the hundreds or thousands of dollars spent each year on a homeschooling curriculum, materials, and standardized testing fees.
We would encourage any parent looking to compare between online public school and homeschooling to contact our staff. We would be more than happy to help you discover the best option for your student based on their needs and your expectations.
Online School Enrollment
Is iForward really tuition-free?
Yes. As a public, online high school and middle school, attendance is free of charge for all WI age-appropriate students. We may even reimburse some Internet expenses for qualifying families.
Who is eligible to attend iForward?
All Wisconsin students who meet the state of Wisconsin's legal age requirements for grades 6-12 are eligible to attend iForward. These are the same statutory requirements that govern all of Wisconsin's public middle and high schools.
All students who wish to take classes online at iForward must have their primary residence in the state of Wisconsin. This does not mean a student must be physically located in Wisconsin during the entire school year as they pursue their high school diploma. For example, student-athletes who travel the country for their sports often attend iForward, as do students who may have a family situation that would require them to visit a parent out of state for a period of time. If you have questions about your child's unique situation, our staff is here to help!
What time of year can I enroll in an online school such as iForward?
You can apply to an online high school or middle school such as iForward nearly year-round, in keeping with the state of Wisconsin's open enrollment policies. From February through April, open enrollment is done directly through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). We always provide a link to the DPI from our Apply Now page during that time. If you have questions, our staff would love the opportunity to walk you through the process.
From July through January of each year, Wisconsin students can open enroll via the Alternative Open Enrollment Application (AOEA). Applying via the AOEA process is typically quick and easy. You will find the AOEA and related enrollment forms on our Apply Now page during the appropriate time of year, usually beginning in mid-June when the DPI releases the form for the upcoming year.
When is the best time to enroll at iForward?
We recognize that every student comes to our online school with a unique situation and story. Rest assured that we will do everything we can to work with your student wherever they are at.
With that said, we find that students have the best transition to online school when they are able to enroll in time to start the year, or at quarter and semester breaks. This typically gives students and families a little more breathing room to prepare for the change, request transcripts, and talk to our school guidance counselors and administration. If this isn't feasible for your student's situation, don't be discouraged. We are here to help your student make a successful jump to online high school or middle school.
Still have questions? Call 715-463-4900