There is no cost for students to attend summer school in the Maple School District this year.

"In order to provide as many opportunities for our students in rural Wisconsin we want to lift the burden and barrier of course fees from our families," said Tanya Krieg, Northwestern Middle School principal.

In the past, some classes charged fees for supplies and materials. This year, there will be none, whether the students open a restaurant, explore kindergarten science fun or choose to visit college campuses.

A full list of classes and course information is available online at Students can sign up through Friday for summer school, which runs from June 11-29.

Krieg said that any parents who have already paid fees can pick up their payment on the first day of school at Northwestern Elementary School.

Expanded courses

Northwestern High School is expanding its course offerings in the 2018-2019 school year, according to Principal Mark Carlson. New classes will include forensic science and medical terminology, a combination of algebra and geometry called algeo and two additional advanced placement courses in calculus and chemistry.

Students who take advanced placement courses have the potential to earn college credit for their work, depending on how they do on the final test. The new advanced placement courses join advanced placement English, which was first offered this school year.

The school saw its first two students graduate from the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College of Superior's automotive maintenance and light repair technician program. More students are planning to take part in the year-long program next year, which earns them a technical diploma.

Kid-centered project

Technical education students at Northwestern High School look to real-life problems for their projects. This year's results included a knife block to reduce clutter in the family and consumer education classroom, a sturdy workbench for elementary students, signs pinpointing equipment in the shop and a stand for a powder-coating machine.

"Everything we do is relevant," said instructor Laurence Charlier.

It's ground-up work, from hand drawings to computer models to finished projects.

"A lot of the best ideas come on a napkin over lunch," Charlier said, and these problem-solvers need to sketch out ideas on the fly.

For one group, the end result mattered more than the grade. When their computer-aided drafting and design class ended, they kept working to turn in a finished project. The district's youngest students were counting on them.

Early childhood special education teacher Amanda Linden reached out to the class to see if students could design a sturdy, kid-friendly workbench to replace theirs.

"The kids took it and ran with it," Charlier said.

They met with Linden to see what she needed and researched commercial options.

That included rounded corners, sturdy construction and kid-size dimensions, said senior Sam Swanson.

In addition to creating the wooden workbench and a trio of toolboxes, they personalized them with the initials ECSE.

"I have been so impressed and pleased with the group of young men working on the tool bench for us," Linden said. "They have been so professional about the whole project."

Seniors Swanson, Zeb Hart and Austin Crawford met with Linden, provided computer images of the design for feedback and kept her up to date with pictures of their progress. The end result, Linden said, was beautiful.

"I will totally reach out to them in the future," she said.

The students enjoyed the real-world experience. Swanson said it was great to see their work come to life.

"We don't do 'that thing," Charlier said, whether it's in the computer aided drafting and design class or the Tiger Manufacturing program. They focus on filling needs, in the shop and the community. And it's led to some amazing projects.

"They have ownership in this lab," Charlier said.

Visit Tiger Manufacturing on Facebook for more information on student projects.