'There's a lot of positives:' Wisconsin Connections Academy offers virtual education year-round

MILWAUKEE -- The coronavirus pandemic quickly swept Wisconsin students out of the classroom and into their homes. While some faced challenges with virtual education, for others, it's proved to be beneficial.

"There's a lot of positives," said Michelle Mueller, principal at Wisconsin Connections Academy, an online 4K-12 school.

Mueller said amid COVID-19, some families have realized their student(s) have adapted well in a home environment.

"You are really hands-on -- involved with your student's education," Mueller said.

And while concerns loom over the possible COVID-19 resurgence come fall/winter, some  are exploring e-learning as an indefinite option.

"It's an opportunity for students to school at home under the guidance of a learning coach, which is typically a parent, and to learn at home -- who is typically a parent and a teacher, who is a certified teacher, just like in a traditional school," said Mueller.

The schedule is flexible and the education is free.

"Just like a public school a block from your house, we are the same thing," said Mueller. "We have all the same rules, regulations and standards. We use a program, and teachers have classes, have selected times during the week that students can log in and interact with each other, and it's really neat to see."

While the change may give peace of mind when it comes to social distancing, it's still an adjustment.

"I think it's really important for people to be organized, and to have a schedule in place, and to use the teacher as a resource," she said. "It's important to do your research, and see what options are available."

Because of the educational changes happening with the pandemic, Wisconsin Connections Academy's open enrollment period for the 2020-21 school year has been extended through this Friday, May 29.