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Hmong American Immersion Charter School to Open in Fall 2025


The Appleton Area School District (AASD) is proud to announce the establishment of the Hmong American Immersion School (HAIS). This 4K-5th grade charter school will focus on academic excellence utilizing Hmong culture, history, language, and next-generation socially and emotionally intelligent citizens. 

The AASD was recently notified that HAIS received a $1.5 million grant through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The DPI grant includes one year for planning and multi-year funding for implementation. The AASD will serve as the authorizing partner.

HAIS plans to open in the fall of 2025 in an AASD elementary school with capacity. The location will be confirmed later this fall. Any student in the AASD can apply to enroll in HAIS using the District’s lottery charter application that opens in December. Students living outside the Appleton Area School District must apply for Open Enrollment through the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and complete the charter application.

The vision for HAIS is to empower 4K-5th grade students to embrace their cultural identity through rigorous academic experiences, preparing them to be active contributors to their diverse community. HAIS will focus on equity-focused social and emotional learning through cultural integration, aiming to improve all students' academic achievement and post-secondary enrollment, while fostering community success and readiness for career, college, and community engagement.

"Immersion" refers to being completely involved in something. In education, it often describes teaching a foreign language by using only that language in schools. In the United States, there are two main methods for teaching the Hmong language: one aims for fluency in both Hmong and English, while the other primarily uses English with some Hmong language classes. HAIS will be unique by combining these two approaches. While most classes will be conducted in English, the school will also offer daily Hmong language classes. These classes aim to help students speak, read, and write in Hmong while learning about Hmong culture.

HAIS recognizes the complexity of the Hmong community in the Fox Cities, where language barriers hinder interaction between different generations. By offering a curriculum centered on Hmong culture and language, HAIS seeks to bridge this gap and provide all students with an opportunity to learn about Hmong heritage and identity.

HAIS is designed to be responsive to the needs of our underserved, including students who are learning English as a second language. By focusing on culture and language, HAIS aims to support the academic success of these students and promote diversity within the educational options available in the community. HAIS strives to create a supportive learning environment that fosters a sense of belonging and enhances the well-being of all students. Learn more about the HAIS vision and mission here.