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Cierra Nelson brought her 4-year-old daughter Avia Randle on a family tour of The Lincoln Academy on Thursday. She is shown getting a polo shirt from CEO Kristi Cole. The school is 98% complete and ready to open on Sept. 1.

BELOIT — Parents toured the Lincoln Academy on Tuesday and Thursday as the school reached 98% completion this week.

The first day of school is planned for Sept. 1 and CEO Kristi Cole said construction crews are applying the finishing touches on the building and awaiting a few items to arrive such as student lockers.

“What’s so exciting is that our school has a diverse group of families that truly represent the Beloit community, and it’s exciting to be part of a new opportunity for them,” Cole said.

The Lincoln Academy at 608 Henry Ave. on the Eclipse Campus is a new 4K to grade 12 three-story school. The charter school is a public school, not a private choice (voucher) school. Although charter schools may be authorized through their local school districts, the one by Kids First Beloit is authorized through the University of Wisconsin System. Tuition is free to families, and enrollment is open to any Wisconsin student. As a public school, it will be funded by taxpayer dollars, but also receives private donations and grant funds.

On Thursday, parents had lots of questions for staff and were curious to see the school’s offerings as they began their tours.

Cierra Nelson brought her 4-year-old daughter Avia Randle to see her new school.

“We wanted a fresh start here. The program here sounds amazing, and I wanted her to be somewhere where she would get the help she needed. This school is beautiful,” Nelson said.

As of Thursday, 405 students were enrolled. Cole said fullest grades are 4K and ninth grade, although there are a few openings left in first and second grades. Parents who may be interested in sending their kids are encouraged to get their name on a waiting list in case seats become available now or throughout the school year.

Cole said the Lincoln Academy has received a 3-year probationary approval by the WIAA and will be offering cross country, volleyball, golf, track and field, softball, baseball, basketball, wrestling and, potentially, other sports in the future. It’s working on partnerships with the Stateline Family YMCA and Boys and Girls Club for before and after-school care and other extracurricular activities.

Cole said 99% of its staff has been hired. They, like the students, will be wearing uniforms consisting of black shoes and bottoms with polos and other embroidered shirts. Students will wear colors based on their grade level.

The school has a strong emphasis on its three pillars, rigorous academics, strong character and career readiness.

The exploration of college and career pathways will begin in K4, as staff integrate career education. Pathways include bioscience, business/technology media, engineering, medicine/healthcare and trades. Scholars will begin goal setting that will lead them to a self-selected career path as they create individualized learning plans. In middle school. scholars will begin exploratory classes, and continue exploration in high school with service learning, job shadows, internships, and youth apprenticeships. Advanced Placement courses will be offered in each core content in high school so scholars can gain college credits while still at the school.

For more information contact The Lincoln Academy website at www.thelincolnacademybeloit.com.

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