This school didn’t need a bus to get to the Rendezvous
Published 9:00 am Sunday, October 5, 2014
Students from the MTS Minnesota Connections Academy, an online school, occasionally gather in person, and they came together Friday to get an American history lesson at the Big Island Rendezvous.
The students attend the K-12 public school from home and without tuition. The school reports serving about 1,700 students, and about 25 of them came to the Big Island Rendezvous chaperoned by parents, a principal and a teacher.
They didn’t take a school bus, like so many other public schools. Their parents brought them to Bancroft Bay Park.
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The cold, blustery weather — around noon, 46 degrees, 18 mph northwest wind with 31 mph gusts — chased about a dozen students away, but the rest stuck around for the afternoon lessons. They met Gary and Carol Simpkins of Heyworth, Ill., who are historical presenters of President Abraham Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln.
“Albert Lea is the farthest we travel,” Carol Simpkins said.
She said they mainly visit reenactments in or near Illinois through the summer and then present in schools as fall and winter set in.
The MTS students visited the pioneer town that is the Big Island Rendezvous, including the chuck wagon. They saw a birch bark canoe, a Civil War-era military camp and teachings of Lakota and Sioux nations. They witnessed pioneer trades such as blacksmiths, woodworkers, farmers, candlemakers, silversmiths, spinners and weavers.
The MTS Academy, in addition to online lessons, offers the opportunity to attend field trips and community activities throughout the state.