In this FAQ section, we aim to provide comprehensive answers to the most common queries about our unique approach to education, curriculum offerings, extracurricular activities, and more. Please contact us if you have a question not addressed below.
In 2020, a coalition of industry representatives, higher education leaders, and K-12 leaders came together to explore the design of a high school built around industry certifications and dual credits. This design team presented the idea of KTEC High School to the Kenosha Unified School District Charter Review Committee in November 2020. When no action was taken on the proposal, authorization was sought from the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO). In February 2021, OEO provided a letter of intent to authorize enabling the design team to seek a Charter School Program (CSP) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In June 2021, KTEC High School was awarded the CSP grant for $900,000. The 5-year charter agreement was signed between the Kenosha Schools of Technology Enhanced Curriculum, Inc. and the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Office of Educational Opportunity (OEO) on March 16, 2022.
An Independent Charter School (ICS) in Wisconsin, also known as a 2r or 2x charter school, is a type of charter school not authorized by a public school district. Instead, they can be authorized by various entities including the Milwaukee common council, the chancellor of a University of Wisconsin System institution, technical college district boards, the Waukesha County Executive, the College of Menominee Nation, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe University, and the UW-System Office of Educational Opportunity.
Key aspects of Independent Charter Schools include:
Public School Status: They are public schools, serving the public purpose of educating children.
Funding: Their funding comes directly from the state, separate from local district funding. While some charter schools interact with local districts, they only involve state dollars, avoiding the reallocation of local levy dollars.
Regulatory Structure: These schools operate under a specific regulatory framework that fosters innovation and creativity in education. They are obligated to serve all children, including those in special education and English learners. Requirements include state exams for students, certification for teachers from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), submission of data for annual audits, and inclusion in a statewide report card.
KTEC High School is in search of a permanent state-of-the art home. The KTEC Schools, Inc. board is partnering with Performance Charter School Development who serves new and existing charter schools all over the country. The process begins with a comprehensive study of available land and buildings.They bring an experienced development team to the table and provide 100% of the capital needed to build or acquire a school’s future home. There is no direct impact on taxpayers for the building. The school would enter a lease-purchase agreement when the building is complete in May of 2025 and pay the lease payment out of the school’s operational budget.
Performance is sponsored by Hawkins Companies, a leading national real estate firm that’s been doing business for nearly half a century. Its diverse portfolio includes hundreds of commercial projects across 28 states—including charter schools, multi-family housing, self-storage facilities, office buildings, hospitality, and retail centers. Performance is currently partnering with Sherrer Construction as the local contractor for this project.
The school operates on a per-pupil payment from the State of Wisconsin. In the 2023-24 academic year, Independent Charter Schools received $11,385 as a per-pupil payment.
While operational expenses such as salaries, benefits, facilities, and supplies are covered by the per-pupil amount from the State of Wisconsin, KTEC High School regularly seeks grants and pursues fundraising activities. Since 2021, the school has been awarded over $1.9 million in grants.
Upon completion of its expansion, KTEC High School will be preparing approximately 150 graduates each year to either enter the high skill, high demand careers or continue on to higher education. Students will leave KTEC with vital industry recognized skills to meet an ever changing technologically diverse workforce.
All students have the opportunity to earn the above certifications as freshmen and sophomores. They will continue to acquire additional certifications through more advanced coursework in a career area of their interest.
The certifications themselves may not directly result in savings, but the dual credits on their Gateway transcript do. Each student has the opportunity to earn 6 college credits from general education courses in each of the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. These courses alone represent a savings of almost $4,000 per student. Additionally, students will earn credits for technical courses in their junior and senior career pathway courses, which will amount to further savings.
KTEC High School students have access to a wide range of extracurricular activities and enrichment opportunities, including clubs like Skills USA, art club, and bible club. They also benefit from field trips to various technical industry locations such as LMI Packaging, Kenosha Airport, and Milwaukee Airport, which provide real-world experience. Additionally, through Gateway’s support, students seeking enrichment can engage in extra college classes, potentially earning an associate degree either at high school graduation or within one semester thereafter.