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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a charter school?

A Charter School is an independent public school of choice that is a common option for students looking for an alternative to traditional public schools. Charter schools do not have any admission requirements or tuition - and they are legal obligated to serve any scholar who enrolls. There are currently 179 operating charter schools in Minnesota! The closest charter schools to our community are in and around the Bemidji area: Schoolcraft Learning Community, Trek North, Voyageurs Expeditionary Learning School, and Aurora Waasekone Community of Learners. 

Is there tuition for kids to attend?

No! There is no tuition for students who attend a charter school. It is a public school and it is funded based on student enrollment by the Department of Education.

Who can attend Heartland Lakes Community School?

Charter schools do not have admission requirements -so any student can attend! In our opening year (2024-2025 School year) we will be serving students in K-6th grades. Each year we will add an additional grade until we are serving grades K-8th. Keep an eye out for community events and subscribe to our form for updates or if you are interested in future enrollment.

Who will teach our kids?

Like all public schools in Minnesota, charter schools employ licensed teachers. We are looking specifically for teachers who would love teaching in an environment that matches our mission and philosophy. If you are interested in learning more or applying, subscribe and we'll stay in touch or send us an e-mail! We will  be  hiring teachers in 2024. 

What curriculum and teaching methods will Heartland Lakes Community School be using?

There are a variety of evidenced-based strategies we will use to guide our school community. One of our guiding frameworks will be Expeditionary Learning (EL). EL Education places a strong focus on character, school-wide culture, and mastery of knowledge. By joining the EL Education network, HLCS will join thousands of schools throughout the country in a shared vision of education where students are taught to: be courageous, reach for more than you think is possible, look out for others, and leave no one behind. Students and teachers will explore learning in a way that is challenging, collaborative, adventurous, and meaningful.

HLCS will also prioritize Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Restorative Discipline, and Equity for all members of the HLCS learning community. 

To learn more about EL Education: click here

To learn more about SEL: click here 

To learn more about Restorative Discipline: click here 

To learn more about Equity in Education: click here

Where is Heartland Lakes Community School located?

We are located in the Heartland Lakes of Park Rapids, Minnesota. Our location will be both accessible to the community and centered around our strong belief that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom. Students will have the opportunity to learn both inside and outside and to explore the land and resources around them. Subscribe to learn about location updates in the future.

Why does our community need Heartland Lakes Community School?

Our community needs HLCS because not every scholar learns in the same way! And while some scholars thrive in a traditional public school, some need a different approach. HLCS will offer that different approach: through outdoor classrooms, expeditionary learning, and a person-centered approach to learning and community. 


HLCS is for scholars and families looking for something different. Our goal is a small setting with excellent academics, strong community partnerships and lots of time outdoors.

How Can I Get Involved?

There are lots of ways to get involved with HLCS! You can subscribe to our website and newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram - or you can pledge your support as either a community partner or future student!

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Have additional questions for us?

Join us at a future community event or reach out now.

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