Frequently Asked Questions

This is just the start. You can request a brochure. Attend a webinar. Or find out even more about iForward—courses, student life, our individualized approach, admissions policies and more—when you speak to one of our friendly school advisors.

Call 1-855-4HS-GRAD today.

How do you hold classes online?

At iForward, our teachers lead live online lessons each week, via the advanced web conferencing platform, Elluminate. This technology allows students to see presentations, demonstrations, graphs, charts, videos and much more. Students can also connect directly with their classmates and teachers.

Raise your virtual hand, ask and answer questions, lead classroom discussion, and work in groups with your classmates. Live lessons are recorded in case of illness or an excused absence, so that students may revisit their classroom experiences whenever they like.

Is iForward really tuition-free?

Yes. We're a public charter school, and that makes attendance free of charge for all WI age-appropriate students. We may even reimburse some Internet expenses for qualifying families.

What about student clubs and social events?

There are hundreds of iForward students, and you'll have plenty of chances to meet them. There are student clubs for art, photography and science, the Stock Market Club, National Honor Society and more. You can join the yearbook staff or write for iForward's student newspaper. You might even run for class president. Students also go on class field trips and meet up in the Coffee Club to hang out (virtually) with their friends.

We even host social events held around the state to bring students together. Splash around a water park, catch a Brewers' game, make friends at a pizza party. There's even a prom and what may be the world's only online school Talent Show. You'll have plenty of classmates to clap for by graduation day.

Does iForward provide technology?

Yes. Full-time students can use their own personal computers and technology, or ask to use a school- issued laptop for the duration of their iForward education. Students entering the school during the mid-year are not guaranteed the use of a school laptop. Your loaner laptop must be returned upon the completion of your high school diploma.

Are there learning activities outside of class?

Just like a traditional school, there are reading and writing assignments, projects, quizzes and, yes, tests. But unlike traditional schools, everything you need to study for those assignments is always available 24/7, from the very first day of class. There are also online extras like video simulations, discussion boards, blogs and wikis. That way you can learn where and when it works for you.

Who provides school supplies?

Families are responsible for obtaining basic supplies, just as they would be if their student was enrolled in a traditional middle or high school. Some items, like printer ink cartridges, may be provided by the school at first, but replacements are the responsibility of the family. Support is available for qualifying families facing special circumstances. Please contact the school for more information.

Who is eligible to attend iForward?

iForward is for Wisconsin residents who meet the legal age limits for grades 6-12 established by state law. These are the same statutory requirements that govern all of Wisconsin's public middle and high schools.

Can students participate in sports teams or clubs at their local resident school?

Students at iForward are not eligible to compete in WIAA-sanctioned events. However, taking part in other activities, including intramural sports or club activities, is up to the discretion of your resident school district.

Why would I want an online education?

There are a lot of reasons why a traditional, one-size-fits-all classroom may not fit you. Some students need more challenge or a flexible schedule that adapts to things like work and travel, a busy athletics calendar, medical concerns or family obligations. Maybe you want classes that actually relate to that future you've been dreaming about or more attention than a teacher juggling 30 students at a time can give. Others just find the daily "drama" of traditional middle and high school way too distracting.

In addition, students preparing for the 21st century will find that education and job training has changed. Colleges and universities, vocational programs and top employers are all using virtual classrooms to teach and train. In fact, several states around the country are mandating all high school students take and pass online courses in order to graduate. Now may be the right time to start your own online education.

When do laptops arrive?

Before the first week of school if you open enroll during the 2013 Open Enrollment window.

How does iForward personalize education?

iForward is committed to providing a truly individualized learning experience; one that's centered on your goals, academic strengths and unique learning style. Before your first semester begins, a dedicated guidance counselor will help you choose classes that meet your graduation needs and personal interests. Teachers are always available for one-on-one support. And because we cater course materials to your learning style, students can study in the way that works best for them- whether you need visuals, like lectures or prefer hands-on experiences.

What are the graduation requirements for students?

Students must earn a total of 22 credits to graduate, and five of those credits must be earned at iForward. Subject requirements are as follows:

English

  • (1.0 credit) must be English I
  • (1.0 credit) must be English II
  • (2.0 credits) in any other English Courses

Math

  • (1.0 credit) must be Algebra I (or higher)
  • (1.0 credit) in any other Math course(s)

Science

  • (1.0 credit) must be Physical OR Earth Science
  • (1.0 credit) must be Biology

Social Studies

  • (1.0 credit) must be American History
  • (0.5 credit) must be American Government
  • (1.5 credit) must be any other Social Studies class

In addition, seniors must also successfully complete the following projects:

  • A community service project or culminating senior project
  • A student portfolio
  • A post high school & beyond plan

I'm not a Wisconsin resident. Can I attend?

Sorry. Only Wisconsin residents are able to open enroll to iForward.

What about traditional schools can I leave behind?

Learning online is a great way to avoid the "drama" and distractions that are so common to traditional school settings. Our interactive learning environments give teachers full control of student-to-student exchanges, so you can feel safe and secure. Students also gain a more flexible schedule, an individualized curriculum built around your interests and goals, and personal attention from teachers and advisors.

What happens if my computer breaks?

That depends. Students are responsible for backing up their work, and technology problems do not excuse an absence. Still, we recognize that technology doesn't always work the way we want it to. iForward staff will do their best to make sure no student's education suffers because of technology issues. Repairs and replacements for iForward-issued laptops will be made according to student need, assessed on an individual basis.

Who helps students pick their classes?

iForward has guidance counselors who are available to help you determine which classes will meet your graduation requirements and help you reach your long-term goals. We have an extensive course catalog to choose from.

Can students with special needs or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) enroll?

Absolutely. A number of our students have Individualized Education Plans. IEP students are assigned a special education teacher. They'll work with your family to help you decide if an online learning environment is best for you. IEP students who choose iForward have plenty of opportunities to work with both general education and special education teachers.

Will I receive a high school diploma?

Yes. iForward is a Wisconsin public school governed by the Grantsburg School District. Your diploma would be no different than one from a traditional school. Students who have graduated from Grantsburg's online program have gone on to attend Wisconsin state universities, private institutions, technical colleges and Ivy League colleges across the country.

What type of security does iForward provide?

iForward-issued laptops are provided for educational purposes only and arrive with appropriate security software in place. We rely on our students to use the technology we provide responsibly. For more information on iForward Internet security, including information on how your family can increase or customize your student's security settings, please contact us at 1-855-4HS-GRAD.

Can I attend part-time?

Yes. Students are able to attend through part-time open enrollment.

Do students learn entirely on their own?

Absolutely not. Our teachers are working, teaching and conducting classes 180 school days out of the year, just as you'd find in the traditional classroom. They also host open office hours where students can get extra help and receive personal attention. And school advisors and guidance counselors are on hand to help students stay on track.

What is open enrollment?

Wisconsin's interdistrict public school open enrollment program allows students to attend school districts other than the one in which they live. Without this free application, you won't have the option to attend iForward or any other public online school in the fall.

An open enrollment application isn't a commitment. You're not promising to attend iForward. You're simply getting permission to attend whichever Wisconsin school you want. In fact, applications may be submitted to three different school districts.

Is there a graduation ceremony?

It's our favorite event. Our graduation ceremony is usually held in a central Wisconsin location, where your family members and friends can watch you walk across a stage to accept your diploma. In the past, our graduations have been known to draw more than 300 cheering fans.

When can I enroll in iForward?

Open enrollment for Wisconsin's 2013-2014 school year begins February 4, 2013 and ends at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. You can apply online or submit a paper application (which is available from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction or any school district after January 2, 2013). Paper applications must be delivered-by hand, if possible-to each one of the school districts you're hoping to attend school in.

Is online learning for everyone?

No. Self-motivation, time management skills and a commitment to education are key factors in achieving success in an online environment.

Are iForward teachers state-certified?

All iForward teachers are fully licensed and state-certified by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction. In addition, our teachers have in-service training, pursue professional development opportunities and collaborate with fellow educators from around the country to prepare and work with our iForward students.

And though they are all WI-licensed, they don't all live in Wisconsin. iForward hires and trains the best instructors, regardless of geography. Our faculty understand the nuances of teaching in a virtual setting and only lead classes in their areas of expertise. It's what allows us to provide the highest standard of education you'll find anywhere.

Say I complete my open enrollment application. What do I do next?

If you apply online, you'll receive a confirmation code when your application is complete. Hold onto it. An iForward enrollment specialist will contact you in a few days to explain what happens next.

Can I apply to college after graduating from iForward?

Of course. iForward is a Wisconsin public school governed by the Grantsburg School District. Upon the successful completion of all required credits, you will have a real diploma, no different than one from a traditional school. And with that diploma comes all the records that are required for the college application process: valid transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, instructor recommendations, school extracurricular activities and a student portfolio.

Our graduates have gone on to attend Wisconsin's state colleges, many private institutions, competitive technical and vocational programs, and even Ivy League universities.

Will I receive one-on-one attention from my teachers?

Each teacher at iForward conducts weekly live lessons each week, where students can raise their hands, ask questions in real time and interact with others in a virtual classroom setting. In addition, our teachers host open office hours each week. That way, students can get extra help and work one-on- one with instructors.

iForward teachers also stay in regular contact with every student via email, instant messaging and the occasional phone call.

When does school start?

iForward generally follows traditional public school schedules. Expect classes to begin on September 3rd (Tuesday)and run through the first couple weeks of June. Visit iForwardWisconsin.com as the new school year approaches for specific dates.

What role does a parent play?

Parents play a critical role in student success in any educational setting. iForward encourages students to become more independent, but your student will still want your support and encouragement and may need help learning time management and communications skills. Few iForward parents need to be deeply involved every single day, but the lines of communication between teachers, advisors and parents are always open.

Is there assistance for students with special needs or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?

Students with special needs can do quite well at iForward. Every IEP student is assigned a special education teacher who will work closely with you and your family. Plus, IEP students who choose iForward have plenty of opportunities to work with both general education and special education teachers.

Do students have to start in a specific grade?

No. An iForward guidance counselor will review your school transcripts to determine the appropriate grade level for you. If you have concerns, please contact an iForward counselor.

How much study time should I expect?

We are implementing a "Block-Quarter" system this school year. Each student will have three courses at one time. In some cases, perhaps four courses at onetime. You will be expected to study about two hours every day, for every class you take. For most of our students, that adds up to about six hours a day (or 30 hours per week). This includes finishing reading assignments, typing up your homework, attending live lessons and joining discussion threads. Some students may put in a little more time; others will need a little less. Your teachers and advisors can help you develop time management skills and study habits that will help you succeed.

Does iForward have summer school?

Not yet. But beginning in the summer of 2013, iForward will offer summer school courses to returning students.

Why would I choose iForward to reach my goals?

iForward offers a complete range of courses, curriculum, social events and activities that enable our students to enjoy and succeed in school. We know what works because we have been providing online education since 2002. In fact, we were one of Wisconsin's first full-time online schools. Our years of experience, proven track record in doing what's right for our students and the excellent reputation our diplomas carry is invaluable to our students-while they're here and long after they graduate.

When can I study?

First, there's class. There are live, virtual classroom lessons to attend at specific times each week. Your teachers will also regularly host open office hours where you can find extra help.

Then, there's studying. Course materials-including readings, discussion threads, wikis, videos and more-are available on our Learning Management System (LMS) twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And those materials are available from the first day of class to the end of the semester. That means you can study whenever you want. You can even study ahead. And it doesn't matter if you're a night owl or an early riser.

Can iForward students take summer school elsewhere?

iForward students may attend summer school in the Grantsburg School District (or in their resident district the summer after open enrollment) without terminating their open enrollment status.

Where can I study?

Wherever you want. Libraries, coffee shops, sprawled out on the couch or parked at the kitchen table. Course materials are always available, so you can take iForward with you anywhere. Even on family trips.

How do credits transfer?

Governed by the Grantsburg School District, iForward is a public online high school. That means a transcript from iForward is as transferable-and as widely accepted-as a transcript from any traditional public middle or high school in Wisconsin. As long as credits are earned appropriately, iForward will issue a transcript that can transfer to other institutions.

How will I know that iForward is a good fit for me?

There is no easy answer to that question. iForward can be a great alternative for families to consider, but it isn't right for everyone. We invite you to speak with iForward administrators, teachers and even former students and their families to find out more. To get started, call 1-855-4HS-GRAD and talk to a school advisor today.

Do I have to stick to due dates or a class schedule?

Yes and no. There are due dates and deadlines and calendars for quizzes and tests. We've found that due dates help students stay on track and avoid surprises (not to mention end-of-the-semester cramming). But these target dates may be flexible; together, you and your teacher will find the schedule that works best.

What if I get sick and can't log in for a couple of days?

We ask parents to call us if their student gets sick, just like you would for a traditional school. Like them, we are able to excuse some absences. And because iForward is more flexible than a traditional middle or high school (and because live lessons are recorded every week), students can make up their coursework on weekends and breaks.

Is iForward new?

Not at all. Grantsburg School District has been providing online learning since 2002, when the school was called Grantsburg Virtual School. In 2007, we became Insight School of Wisconsin. In 2012 we became iForward. Through it all, the district has remained a statewide leader in online learning—one that continues to create innovative learning opportunities for students throughout Wisconsin.

Can iForward prepare me for life after graduation?

Whatever your post high school career goal may be, iForward is there with a full listing of course offerings and curriculum to get you to where you want to be.

Many iForward graduates go on to military service or become successful entrepreneurs. Your diploma can also open the door to fire or police academy training, apprenticeships, culinary schools, colleges ... the list goes on and on.

College-bound students may add honors and advance placement courses to their personalized curriculum and earn college credits while they're still in high school. Your guidance counselor will help you choose the right courses based on your goals and interests. They'll recommend extracurricular activities to help you stand out in the admissions crowd. They'll even be there when it's time to apply for college.

iForward students can take a variety of career courses specifically designed to help them prepare for- and eventually get-the job of their dreams. Some even offer college credit. Our vocational prep classes are organized by career cluster and include classes in healthcare, finance, business, hospitality and information technology.

Where does the name "iForward" come from?

"Forward" was adopted as Wisconsin's motto back in 1851. It expresses our state's continuous drive to be a national leader. In the same spirit, Grantsburg School District seeks to create individualized learning opportunities that prepare each student as they move forward in education and in life.

The more successful our students are, the more often we'll get to hear them say, "Thanks to my education, I am moving forward in the direction of my dreams."

How long has iForward offered online education?

The name 'iForward" is new. But the Grantsburg School District, which charters iForward, has offered online education since 2002. That's when we established the Grantsburg Virtual School, founded by a team of experienced educators and instructional designers who believed that technology can create transformative learning experiences. In 2007, the school was restructured and launched under the name Insight School of Wisconsin.

In January of 2012, the Grantsburg School District decided to return to the school's original vision (and nonprofit roots). Along with our new name (iForward), there are new educational opportunities. We've added career prep courses to help students get ready for the future. And for the first time, Grantsburg School District has opened enrollment to Wisconsin's middle school students.

Why does being a nonprofit matter?

iForward is a nonprofit institution because we believe in providing a quality education that delivers exactly what each student needs. Our students succeed because our students come first. Our nonprofit status allows iForward to maximize resources, so we can put everything we have into providing a great education ... without having to worry about profits or pleasing shareholders.

How much does iForward cost?

iForward is tuition free. We're a public charter school, and that makes attendance free of charge for all WI age-appropriate students.

Who is eligible to attend iForward?

iForward is for Wisconsin residents who meet the legal age limits for grades 6-12 established by state law. These are the same statutory requirements that govern all of Wisconsin's public middle and high schools.

Is a diploma from iForward different?

iForward is a Wisconsin public school governed by the Grantsburg School District. Your diploma would be no different than one from a traditional school. Students who have graduated from Grantsburg's online program have gone on to attend Wisconsin state universities, private institutions, technical colleges and Ivy League colleges across the country.