Misty’s Dance Unlimited to be used as learning hub for school-aged kids

Eight rooms in the studio will be used for instruction, with children divided into groups of 10

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) – About 15,000 local school-aged kids will not be taught face-to-face to start the year, according to the latest numbers.

But school families struggling to find a suitable learning space for their children are getting some help.

Misty’s Dance Unlimited in Onalaska will become a learning hub, a place for kids to go to learn online for the start of the new school year.

“It’s an exciting project,” owner Misty Lown said. “We’re calling this the Third-Option Learning Hub.”

Where parents who need some time to focus on work, can.

“This just seems like a fantastic idea,” parent Patience Renning said.

Renning isn’t just a mother of two.

“Adding on top of trying to run businesses and everything else…was going to be difficult for me just from the get go,” Renning said.

Her youngest is attending preschool in Holmen in September.

“I don’t even know how 4K virtually would really work,” Renning said. “I haven’t gotten much information.”

Like every parent this day and age, she’s had to adapt.

“Her just starting school, that’s what really made me feel overwhelmed that I was going to have to juggle all of these things,” Renning said.

The dancing studio has plenty of room.

“So we have eight instructional spaces inside of our building, and we’ll have small cohorts with an instructional guide,” Lown said.

There won’t be more than 10 kids per group.

“So they’ll come in, bring in their laptops and other learning supports,” Lown said. “And there will be a caring adult there to guide them through not only the virtual learning, but to help create some of the more familiar pieces of traditional school.”

Misty is now asking that other businesses do the same.

“It won’t be enough,” Lown said. “We won’t be able to help everybody, but we do want to do what we can.”

For Patience, she says she will be signing up very soon.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be in a community where there are problem solvers like Misty,” Renning said.

She’s just relieved she’ll have some weight coming off her shoulders.

“School, work, everything’s happening at once,” Renning said.

Lown says the learning hub will follow normal school hours, and will have extra hours available for those who need more help before and after the school day.

Everything will then be fully cleaned up before dance lessons take place in the evening.

There will be safety precautions of course.

Lown also says there have been hundreds of inquiries from all over the area.

If you or anyone you know is interested in registering in the program, there is a form available to apply. There is a $45 registration fee. It costs $39 per day for your child for a full day, and $25 per day for a half day. Need-based scholarships are available as well, and special education needs will be supported through the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation.