APPLETON - An alternative school based in Appleton is expanding after its first year of operations. The Freedom Project Education has moved to an $850,000 facility on Hickory Farm Lane.
Thursday the school held a grand opening for the new building.
The Freedom Project started offering online coursework last year for preschool through 12th grade.
But now it has a new home in Appleton with classrooms and lecture halls.
"Our dream is to have classes right here in our brick and mortar school," said teacher Jake Jacobs.
And those begin in September. That's when online courses start back up.
Executive director Alan Scholl told FOX 11 web work will remain the core.
"It's a virtual classroom in that you can see the teacher, hear the teacher and interact with the teacher," said Scholl.
Online classes started last year with 28 students, today 200 are enrolled worldwide.
The Freedom Project is funded by private donations and tuition, which starts at $1,600 a year, but because it is private, the school does not have to participate in state-mandated tests. So Scholl said the school might not be able to fully measure its success with students for some years.
"When they take SAT scores or standardized tests, or go out in the workforce," said Scholl.
The Freedom Project is very critical of the public school system.
"I would say there is a value, but the value varies. It depends on the system, it depends on the teacher," said Scholl.
But the Freedom Project itself has gotten criticism. Scholl told us many don't agree with the project's take on some subjects, including science. For example Creationism is taught as well as Darwinism.
Teacher Jake Jacobs told us public schools lack the ability to teach what he calls the United States foundation in Judeo-Christian values.
"Our founders gave us this notion, that this is a republic under god. So that's not a political leaning, it's a political philosophy," said Jacobs.
It's an idea the Freedom Project is built on, but Scholl admits it's not an idea everyone agrees with.
"Is this for everyone? It may not be. But it might be something they want to look at," said Scholl.
Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's all of the injuries, but many Packers fans are saying "no thanks," to this weekend's Packers game.
With only a little snow on the ground in places, snowmobilers are ready for more. In the Lakewood area, trails are not yet open, but clubs are gearing up for an early start to the season.
Marinette Marine is preparing to christen one of its Littoral Combat Ships.
A survey of local businesses looked at employee numbers and overall outlook for the coming year.
Those who do go to the Packers-Falcons game Sunday will help honor a green and gold legend.
The cold caused some problems in the Fox Valley Friday.