Wolf Creek was first founded in 1996 as the first online program in Minnesota. Originally, the model had no brick-and-mortar location. Teachers made bi-weekly home visits to students, during which they checked on students' progress. Maintaining computers in every student household was a struggle, and much of the curriculum was delivered via CD-rom.
Now, all of that is done online. The brick-and-mortar location, which is open two days per week, is a space where many students still work independently, but they are able to easily access help from teachers, guidance counselors, and mental health professionals.
Wolf Creek was truly a trailblazer in online learning. The challenges it encountered in its fledgling years were most often related to the technology not having caught up with the needs of students. For example, needing to repair home computers or only check on students bi-weekly due to needing a physical copy of the CD-rom students were using. For a long time, the internet was too slow, and students dealt with issues connecting to their teachers because their internet wasn't working.
Also, in the beginning, many people, including parents and legislators, were fearful of online education. They worried that students might be in unsafe environments without the physical school as a touchpoint. They also worried that students wouldn't get the education the needed and that the program would be sub-par. Advocating for fair legislation and metrics for online programs has been a challenge for Wolf Creek. For example, the school's reported graduation rate is low, but much of that can be attributed to the Wolf Creek being open to all types of students, even those who are at risk for failing out of school and want to enroll in Wolf Creek as a last-ditch effort before acquiring their GED.
Go slow. Start a small program in the beginning as a pilot, and tweak it from there. You also need to have a dedicated staff that truly cares about students' needs.
Wolf Creek demonstrates leadership in being the program of its kind, and feeling established and comfortable with their blended model. It is also a leader being a welcoming community to all types of learners.
Wolf Creek is an innovative Online Public School Option for all Minnesota students grades 9-12 and up to age 21. Get the support and flexibility you need to learn at your own pace with our individualized learning program. Join Minnesota’s most reputable hybrid option. Work 100% online or come to our campus location in Chisago City, MN to work face to face with our licensed teachers. Our caring staff will make a difference in your education.
Wolf Creek is a tuition-free hybrid online charter high school authorized by Chisago Lakes School. We are accredited by NCA through Advanced Ed. Our school is based on a “small community” philosophy. Students are led by one individual who helps them in academic, as well as, non-academic areas of their lives. This caring individual is called a Learning Manager and is the center of our school model. Our instruction is technology based and the curriculum is available online 24/7. The course work can be completed off campus but students have the option to work on campus as well. Wolf Creek campus is located just north of Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN.
Contact: Tracy Quarnstrom
Contact Title: Principal
TRIO Wolf Creek Distance Learning School
10363 Liberty Ln
Chisago City, Minnesota
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