Our School

Valley New School offers 68 students in grades 7-12 the opportunity to learn in an integrated, project-based environment. VNS provides unprecedented access to technology, an active focus on the community, and a student-advisor ratio of 17 to 1. The school has been designated as a national “lab school” for project-based learning by the Gates-EdVisions organization and, as such, provides an example and leadership in best practices for this learning model.

The educational goals at VNS center on the empowerment of the entire school community. Students, staff, and parents are encouraged to take responsibility and ownership of the learning model. Students become independent, self-motivated, lifelong learners as they develop their individual talents. Numerous opportunities for community involvement and connection nurture the ethic of community responsibility as students prepare to continue their educational paths.


What is a Charter School?
Charter schools are public, nonsectarian schools created through a contract or “charter” between the operators and the sponsoring school board. Charter schools are about educational choices, school-site accountability, autonomy, innovation, and revitalizing public education from the ground up.

The Wisconsin State Charter Law gives charter schools freedom from many traditional state mandates and regulations. In return for this freedom, charter schools are held accountable for student performance, financial matters, and effective school operation. Charter schools and their sponsors create an accountability plan as part of the charter contract.

Charter School Facts:

  • Charter schools are tuition-free and attendance is voluntary.
  • They have the flexibility to design and deliver innovative curriculum in non-traditional ways in order to meet the needs of participating students.
  • They may not discriminate in admissions, programs, or activities.
  • Charter students take state tests required of other public school students.
  • Teachers are certified and licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Mission Statement
To create a learning community that empowers individuals to become purposeful adults.



  • Doors open to 64 students, grades 7-10


  •  Enrollment expanded to grades 7-11


  • Enrollment expanded to grades 7-12
  • First graduating class received diplomas


  • Earned national Lab School status by EdVisions, Inc., recognizing VNS as a standard to which all other EdVisions network schools should model themselves


  • Earned Charter School of the Year: Silver Award*


  • Earned Charter School Innovator of the Year: Distinguished Merit Award*
  • Earned 2010 Fox Cities Youth Alliance Service Award presented by the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin


  • Enrollment expanded to 68 students
  • Nominated for Charter School of the Year*


  • Recognized as a Lab School of The Innovative Schools Network


  • Received a proclamation from the Mayor of Appleton, recognizing our 20 years of innovative education 


  • Recognized as a "School of Hope" by the Hope Survey Organization, for our efforts to grow hope practices in our students and staff.

*Awarded by a committee appointed by the Wisconsin Charter Schools Association