Skip To Main Content

Our School

Fox River Academy is a public environmental charter school within the Appleton Area School District in Appleton, WI. With a focus on the Fox River watershed, core subject areas are taught through an integrated, engaging curriculum in multi-age classrooms.

Emphasis is placed on empowering students to make critical connections between hands-on observations and learned knowledge using analytical thinking skills.

Weekly field experiences bring the classrooms outdoors and inspire students to be passionate stewards and involved citizens. 

The Start of Fox River Academy

The Fox River Academy was started by two motivated traditional teachers, Sandra Benton and Julie Spalding, who noticed at the end of the year what their students remembered the most from the past year were the hands-on lessons that often incorporated outdoor activity. With the support of the Appleton Area School District and the community, Fox River Academy was started with the goal of providing real-world experiences.

Students develop the ability to make connections, transfer their knowledge from familiar to unfamiliar contexts, and learn to"do science" rather than just "learn about science." Fox River Academy uses a broad, encompassing question or essential questions, to guide learning. These essential questions, based on major science and social studies themes, direct the focus of all core subjects. Reading, writing, math, and technology are taught as supportive thinking skills needed by informed citizens. Read more here.  

Students participate in at least one weekly outdoor field experience. Most of these outdoor field experiences happen in their local school neighborhood. This style of teaching has opened a whole new dimension of teaching and learning for the staff and students at Fox River Academy. 

Green Ribbon Schools

Fox River Academy is a Green Ribbon School
Green Ribbon Schools are recognized for:

  • Reducing environmental impact and costs
  • Improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff
  • Providing environmental education, which teaches many disciplines, and is especially good at effectively incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.

To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools website