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How iCademy Supports Buggle Family's Dreams

Ryan (left) and Sammy (right) pose for a picture.

First-year K12 International Academy (iCademy) students Sammy and Ryan Buggle never stop chasing their dreams, no matter what life throws at them.  While 6-year-old Ryan is building his acting resume, his 12-year-old sister, Sammy, is making vlogs for her YouTube channel.

Janine Buggle, the children’s mother, decided to enroll Sammy and Ryan in iCademy after Ryan’s acting career took off. “The online school provides us with the flexibility we need as a family to travel to both coasts for him to work as an actor without missing school days,” she said.

Sammy is just like other seventh grader, although at just three years old, she was diagnosed with generalized absence epilepsy.  As she has gotten older, her seizures have increased to over 100 a day, and her family is still trying to find the right medication to control them.

Janine explains that iCademy has been amazing for Sammy.  “In brick and mortar schools she couldn’t keep up because of her seizures,” she said. “The school put her in pull-out classes and she encountered tons of bullying. We love that she can work at her own pace, and if she is ever having a day that she isn’t feeling well, she can communicate with her teachers and adjust her lessons.”

Sammy was also diagnosed with Sunflower Syndrome, which means she has extreme sensitivity to the light and sun. “It is very rare and has little research - we are hoping to change that,” Janine said. “She has been on over 10 different medications and still we haven’t found the answer.”

This began the “Overcoming Epilepsy with Sammy” campaign, and since then, Sammy has been on TV and featured in articles, and she is an activist on the Epilepsy Foundation of America website. 

Sammy turned to making videos as a way to share her story with others. “Sammy decided herself at

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New WAVA Mom Marvels at Easy Enrollment Process

 Dylan and Shepard Smith pose with their little sister for a Back To School photo. 

Military families often are relocated around the globeforced to adapt to new places and people.  This K12-powered family made their transition experience easier by joining the virtual school community this summer 

Brothers Dylan and Shepard Smith started school this week at Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA). Dylan, who is 12 years old, entered sixth grade, and 7-year-old Shepard started second grade. 


Christina applied to WAVA, and within the same day, her children were accepted and enrolled.  


“Anytime I hear the words ‘enrollment process,’ I cringe,” Christina said. “However, with K12 the whole process was so user-friendly that I couldn’t believe how quickly I had everything done.” 


After submitting the online application, she read that an enrollment coordinator would try to get back to her within 48 hours.  To her surprise, the coordinator contacted her within an hour of submitting the form and answered all of her remaining questions. 


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TXVA Teacher Shares His Love of Music



Art "Mr. Bandman" Osborne brings a melody everywhere he goes as a Music Appreciation teacher for Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA).  Educating students and playing gigs on the side, this multi-instrumental musician is making his father proud.  


Art's passion for music came from his father, who played trumpet in many of the top big bands of the 1940s. His dad even started his own band, which played society music in the '50s.  Art, who started out playing saxophone for that band at a young age, feels he owes his musical career to his father. 

Teaching has impacted Art's love and appreciation for music. He has had training to teach all instruments and plays 15 instruments professionally.   He was also a band director for 16 years with Dallas Independent School District (ISD).  


Art is beginning his second year teaching Music Appreciation, a class that revolves around the history of music.  The curriculum starts with music theory; the students then learn about different music genres, ranging from ancient music to hip hop.  Art lets his students explore the many styles and the colorful background of music.  

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WIVA Teacher Writes the Book on Back to School – Literally!

The first day of school can conjure up images of nervous and excited children, equally anxious parents, frantic new schedules, school busses, backpacks, story times, “I survived” notes home, and the flood of First Day of School pictures on Facebook - a rite of passage for students and parents!  


For virtual school students and families, there is just as much change, excitement, nervousness, and anticipatiothat mark each new year and new milestone as our brick and mortar counterparts.  Yet, there often seems to be less awareness and supports available to help virtual learners capture, express, share and, yes, validate those same shared moments and feelings.     


This became all too real to me last month when I was trying to find a suitable First Day of School book to provide our K-2 students as a read aloud opportunity at Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA), where I teach all subjects, including early literacy.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a plethora of storybooks geared towards everything from making kids laugh on their first day of school to helping them understand what their day or even school year will be like.  There are even stories like The Kissing Hand, which is about a raccoon who is hesitant to leave his mother for school.  This book in particular is a fan favorite in early grades with plenty of opportunities for extension projects that also allow students to bring a little something special home to mom after their first day to set her fears at bay as well.   


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Gifted Hoosier Academies Student Travels the U.S. to "Catch 'Em All"


Pokémon is trending worldwide these days thanks to the emergence of the new mobile game, Pokémon Go. Many teachers are trying to figure out new and exciting ways to incorporate the game into their classes, but Benjamin Magana, a seventh grader at Hoosier Academies, had a love for Pokémon long before it became cool again. Benjamin is a Pokémon national champion. 


Benjamin enrolled in Hoosier Academies when he was in first grade. Initially a student at a brick and mortar school, Benjamin tested as a gifted student, and his teachers suggested that he move up a grade level. His parents, however, did not know if that would be the best option for their son. They decided to look into other options and eventually found Hoosier, where he could learn at a pace that is comfortable for him. The flexibility that came with Hoosier was just an added bonus. 


"I love the material used in the K12 curriculum," said Carolyn Magana, Benjamin's mother and learning coach. "I find that I am learning right along with him. His teachers have been amazing!"