Allison Cleveland's picture

Georgia Cyber Academy’s First Graduating Class: What I Saw, and What Critics Missed

On Saturday, May 31, I had the privilege of attending the inaugural high school graduation ceremony for the Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA). It was one of many graduation ceremonies of K12 partner schools taking place all across the country.

More than 2500 people packed the large space at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA for the ceremony.  The 300 or so graduates congregated in a side room, out of view from the main space, to don their caps and gowns. Peach could have made for a disastrous school color when the gowns were chosen, but thank goodness the GCA team had the good sense to go with navy gowns with a modest peach trim!

When it was time for the ceremony to start, Pomp and Circumstance began to play, and the GCA administrators, teachers, and board members, along with a few special guests (of which I was honored to be included) processed onto the stage. As we walked past row after row of proud parents, family members, and friends, some of who had driven long distances to be there, I felt both the weight and the joy of the occasion. The graduates followed behind us, grinning from ear to ear as they made eye contact with their loved ones, and took their seats at the front of the room.

Georgia Cyber Academy Graduation 2014

The ceremony program highlighted several outstanding graduates, including Grace Brosofsky, GCA Valedictorian, who will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Presidential Scholar this fall, and Eddie Sunder, Salutatorian, who will travel to Peru this fall to spend five months volunteering with Missions to the World before entering Georgia Tech in the fall of 2015. Landi Abercrombie was honored with the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and two GCA graduates, Rachel Warden and Victoria Price, were honored for earning their Associate Degrees from from Middle Georgia State College through the dual enrollment program at GCA. Graduates from GCA were accepted into many outstanding colleges, including Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia, Mercer University, and many others.

Ashley Collier's picture

850 Students Graduate from California Virtual Academies

Over the past few weeks, 850 graduates from California Virtual Academies (CAVA) celebrated academic achievements with peers and teachers at ceremonies in San Diego, San Gabriel, Yucaipa, Vacaville, and Tracy.

The CAVA class of 2014 graduates will be attending universities and colleges across the country and state including Boston University, Azusa Pacific University, Pepperdine University, Duke University, The Juilliard School, Seattle Pacific University and  University of Massachusetts—Amherst, as well as several California State University and University of California campuses. One student earned a full-ride scholarship (Drake Scholarship) to study mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley.

CAVA @ Tracy Graduation

Nate Davis's picture

The K12 Class of 2014

It is graduation season again.  This year, thousands of students will graduate from full-time online and blended schools powered by K12.  We’re seeing stories across the country about these impressive group of K12 graduates – kids preparing to head off to colleges and universities; students with inspiring stories who overcame great odds to earn a diploma.  Schools are hosting graduation ceremonies bringing together families throughout the state.  New schools are celebrating their first ever graduating class.  It’s an exciting time.

With diplomas in hand, these K12 graduates are ready to begin their next chapter in life. 

It is estimated there are currently over 300,000 students enrolled in full-time online schools across the U.S.  Add students enrolled in full-time blended schools and that figure expands. The number of students graduating from online and blended schools is also increasing as more students choose these innovative schools.  Last year, K12 online and blended schools graduated over 4,000 students. The class of 2014 is expected to be even bigger.

We have come so far.  Most of the students from the class of 2014 were born in the mid to late 90s. (Wow, that makes me feel old!)  At that time no parent could have predicted their son or daughter would eventually graduate from an accredited, full-time online high school.  Such a concept would have been laughable to most, but not today. Just imagine what education will look like for the next generation 18 years from now.

The students of K12’s class of 2014 are pioneers. They join other recent K12 graduates who chose the digital learning route over the traditional classroom model.  This bold spirit is precisely why I believe K12 students are at an advantage. 

Ashley Collier's picture

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 K12 International Spelling Bee

Students enrolled in K12 online school programs belong to a community of connected learners with a wide range of extracurricular clubs, programs, and school events. One such event is the K12 International Spelling Bee.

Over the past couple of months, K12 partner schools have hosted multiple local and regional spelling bees for students in grades 4 through 8, all leading up to the K12 International Spelling Bee. However, unlike traditional spelling bees, the K12 International Bee and most regional spelling bees were conducted entirely online.

Today we are proud to announce the K12 Regional and International Spelling Bee winners! 

2014 Spelling Bee Winners

From California to Dubai, students from roughly 23 online school programs participated in the virtual spelling bee. Using collaborative online platforms, students and judges logged on simultaneously to participate in the spelling bee. To ensure authenticity in the online setting, all student participants had a school-assigned individual onsite to proctor the contest. A panel of five judges determined whether words were spelled correctly and rules were upheld, while a Spell Master delivered and pronounced words for participants.

This year’s winning word was pandemonium.

“Each of these students genuinely deserves congratulations for their hard work.  We had some tough rounds, with some challenging words, and we are truly proud of all of the competitors,” said Sonja Howerton, K12 National Student Program Coordinator.   

Congratulations to all who participated in the K12 International Spelling Bee! 

Jeff Kwitowski's picture

Fierce School Choice Critic, Diane Ravitch Playing Loose with Facts Again

In her May 21st blog, she makes a series of erroneous claims about K12 Inc. and one of its partner schools, Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA).  Citing another educator’s piece, Ravitch inaccurately states that TXVA students were “getting credit for two years of Spanish in only eight weeks, and credit for one year of Environmental Science in only two days.”  She’s wrong, and a simple call to the Texas Education Agency would have cleared it up for her.