Autumn Hill Academy Hopes to Open Doors to Students in Waukesha County
July 4, 2024

Lake Country Tribune

Autumn Hill Academy, a proposed progressive public charter school for grades six through twelve, aims to create a supportive and “inclusive environment” for students in Waukesha County.

The school has applied to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Office of Charter Schools for authorization, with the application set to be reviewed this fall and final approval pending from UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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The idea for this specific school came from parent Maria Luther, who told the Sentinel in an interview about her concerns regarding the mental health crisis among teens and preteens.

The school’s website cites Waukesha County’s 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which found significant levels of bullying, anxiety, and depression among high school students.

The survey included responses from 16 of the 27 public high schools in the county, representing 53% of public high school students. Schools that participated included Menomonee Falls High, Oconomowoc High, Mukwonago High, and others. A total of 10,827 usable responses were collected.

Luther aims for the school to be “radically proactive in preventing negative mental health situations” by fostering strong peer relationships and providing robust resources like social workers.

Luther added Autumn Hill Academy is also dedicated to creating an environment for LGBTQ+ youth and students of all races, according to TMJ4.

Special education is also a key focus for Autumn Hill Academy. The school plans to dedicate significant resources to ensure high expectations are met for its Special Ed program. Luther noted in her recent interviews that the school has already attracted interest from potential special education teachers, which she believes will help in delivering high-quality programs and support for students.

The school is still in the early stages of facility planning and is looking for a location near the center of Waukesha County. According to its website, potential sites are being considered near the I-94 exits at Highway F or Highway 164, making it accessible within 25 minutes from both Wauwatosa and Oconomowoc.

“This will really service a broad area within almost all of Waukesha County,” said Luther.

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