Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Witzel Alternative Program?
The Witzel Alternative Program offers Mehlville School District students a rigorous, innovative online based alternative to the traditional learning environment.
What programs are offered through the Witzel Alternative Program?
Currently we offer the Freshman Academy, the Alt Academy, the Virtual Academy and the Home School Academy.
How are these programs different?
The Freshman Academy was designed as an opportunity for incoming freshman to begin high school on a positive note. Students who had not found a pattern of success are identified by the middle school teams and then are assigned for a one year placement at the Freshman Academy.
The Alt Academy and the Virtual Academy is a privilege and opportunity offering individualized curriculum for students entering grades 10-12.
The Home School Academy was designed for traditionally home schooled students to access the District’s alternative programs.
How is the Home School Program different than traditional home schooling?
Typically, home schooling involves the parent as a teacher. Students enrolled in the Home School Program have access to certified Mehlville School District teachers. An increasing number of parents who traditionally home school now use the Home School Virtual Program to educate their children at home.
How are you different from SCOPE/SSLCMS?
Students at the Witzel Alternative Program must go through an application and interview process to be selected for placement in one of the programs. The Alt and Virtual Academy is promoted to the students as an opportunity, a choice and a privilege.
What types of students are appropriate for one of the alternative programs?
Appropriate students are those who are capable but have not been successful in the traditional setting for a variety of reasons, including academic, social and medical. It our goal to engage students, build relationships and keep them on the path to graduation. In addition, we are able to provide students the opportunity to continue their education while at the same time chasing their “spark”.
What do students do at the Freshman and Alternative Academy?
Students work through the individualized, rigorous, district approved online curriculum with assistance from core certified teachers. Additionally, students are engaged in goal setting, team building and character education activities within the classroom setting.
Do you offer credit recovery courses? Can you graduate early?
No. We offer only what a student enrolled in a traditional setting can earn per semester. In rare instances, students may have opportunities to make up additional credits if they have shown a previous pattern of success. This also applies to summer school opportunities.
What if we don't have internet at home?
Students may access the program anywhere there is internet or WiFi.
Does my student have access to a real teacher?
Yes. Students accepted into one of our programs have access to certified teachers based out of the Witzel Learning Center. Our students are also able to access other district resources the same as any other student.
How much time can student expect to spend working on their courses?
A student should plan to spend the same amount of time working online as they a student would spend in the traditional classroom. A typical Alt/Freshman Academy student would work 2-3 a day while a Full Virtual student would be expected to work 5-7 hours a day.
What impact will their classes have on their graduation? Will it make their diploma different?
The alternative programs were designed to increase opportunities for students to persist towards graduation. Successful students will be issued a Mehlville School District diploma.
How is it determined whether my student stays for next semester/year?
Continued placement is based upon academic and behavioral success. Students are evaluated every semester to determine if the Alt/ Virtual Academy provides the best opportunity for success. Because we have a limited number of seats, we are forced to be selective with the students we accept and retain for placement. Additionally, students may request a return to the traditional learning environment.
Who do I ask to find out if the Alt Academy is the right choice for me/student?It is recommended that students/parents speak to guidance counselors, building principals, or the Director of the Witzel Alternative Programs.