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Getting Started

You Have Choices in the AASD

Charter schools in Appleton are all unique in their mission and offer diverse programming such as environmental education; engineering; fine arts; Montessori education - to name a few.

AASD offers a wide variety of unique academic programs, supports, and extracurricular activities in locations across Appleton at our 14 different charter schools and 1 magnet school, ensuring students have access to the tools they need to thrive and be successful. 

To fully compare school options and make informed selections we encourage our families to engage with ALL of the schools that interest them.

Over 3,000 4K-12 Appleton Area School District students are enrolled in our 14 different free, public charter schools.

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are public, free, nonsectarian schools created through a contract or "charter" between the operators and sponsoring school board. The Wisconsin charter school law gives charter schools freedom from most state rules and regulations in exchange for greater accountability for results. The charter defines the missions and methods of charter school; the chartering authority (school board) holds the school accountable to its charter. 

In the AASD, charter school acceptance is determined via a lottery application held every December through February.

Charter School Facts

  • Charter schools are tuition free and enrollment is voluntary
  • Charters have the flexibility to design and deliver innovative curriculum in nontraditional ways in order to meet the needs of participating students
  • Charters may not discriminate in admissions, programs, or activities
  • Students take state tests required of other public school students
  • Teachers are certified and licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Staff are district employees and subject to all district policies and regulations

Explore our charter schools

What is a Magnet School?

Magnet schools are free public “schools of choice” that operate within existing public schools in a district—unlike private and charter schools, which are completely separate institutions. Magnet schools focus on specific areas of interest, such as performing arts, world languages, and leadership, as well as science, technology, engineering, and math STEM/STEAM programs. They utilize a hands-on, centralized approach to providing students with a robust learning experience in areas that capitalize on their strengths and interests. Students in magnet programs still learn the basic curricula that regular school programs provide, but those basics are enhanced by the special teaching techniques and more personalized settings of magnet schools.

The AASD currently has one magnet school, Odyssey-Magellan Magnet School that serves second through fifth grade students. Odyssey/Magellan provides advanced learners with a challenging study of math, science, communication arts, social studies, and foreign language in a stimulating classroom environment, with experienced and dedicated teachers. 

Students in grades second through fifth attend school on the Odyssey campus located at Highlands Elementary School. Students in grades sixth through eighth attend school on the Magellan campus located at Wilson Middle School.

Students must be identified as highly gifted in general intellectual ability and must meet specific criteria as outlined by the AASD Identification Process to join Odyssey/Magellan.

Explore our Magnet School

AASD Charter & Magnet School Locations