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Weekly Roundup - 3.16.15

Weekly Roundup showcases stories and information about the students and schools we serve, K12 educators, and important education issues. 

School Choice Parents Sue Tennessee Education Commissioner
(TN Watchdog)

Two sets of parents of children attending a Tennessee virtual charter school have filed a lawsuit to keep the school open. State officials want to shut it down after the school year. As reported, parents at Tennessee’s Virtual Academy said test scores are gradually improving, and closing the school now is premature.

11-year old just wants to skate
(Bluff Country News)

Laci Skifter, an 11-year-old, is always in motion…twirling, jumping, running, sliding into a room like she’s meant to arrive that way with an audience awaiting her.  But at the same time, she could care less if an audience was there – the Minnesota Virtual Academy student’s got her confidence spinning and ready for her next figure skating competition on Sunday, March 15, in Wisconsin.

Fuel Education Introduces 70 New High School Courses in its Expanded 2015-2016 Catalog
(Press Release)

As school districts across the country seek to expand high school course options, improve academic outcomes, and help students prepare for state exams and high stakes tests—personalized learning solutions provider Fuel Education (FuelEd™) has added 70 new high school courses to its online catalog for the 2015-2016 school year. These new courses—many available in multiple versions suitable for students working at a wide variety of levels—give FuelEd customers the offering they need to satisfy the needs of specific student segments.

Young authors and young fans and Festival of Books
(KGUN 9)

The University of Arizona mall and surrounding area was filled with thousands today for the first day of the Tucson Festival of Books. The event draws authors from all over for book signings like Amy Tan, Valerie Plame, Dave Barry and more. Among the list of renowned authors is a newcomer of sorts, 14-year-old China Dennington. Dennington says writing takes a long time, so she goes to Arizona Virtual Academy. It is an online public school.

Ashley Collier's picture

K12’s Noodleverse Wins 2015 NAPPA Bronze Award

The National Parenting Publication Awards (NAPPA) has named K12’s Noodleverse a 2015 Bronze Winner.

Noodleverse TM Language Arts is an engaging online reading and writing skills practice and enrichment program that allows young learners to work independently to become more confident, competent readers and writers.  

NAPPA is one of the longest running and most respected awards programs in the country, and has been hailed the “go-to” source for parents and professionals seeking the best products for children and families.

“We are proud that Noodleverse continues to be recognized as a high-quality educational product for young learners,” said Dr. Melissa King, Director of Early Learning and Product Advancement. “The award is a testament to the expertise of our dedicated curriculum team. This recognition also verifies our successful commitment to providing effective and innovative education solutions for families with children of all ages.”  

Sara Baker's picture

Removing Barriers: How Online Education Provides Families Options and Students a Unique Experience

As unique and different as online public schools may seem, the only true differences lie in the logistical execution of the school programs. The heart and success of online schools depend upon the engagement level of students, parents, teachers and school leaders. And this, of course, is no different than what drives student success in brick and mortar schools.

Although we may not see each other at local football games, our online schools do create and nurture a virtual community where we are all working toward the shared goal of helping provide choices for our students for their futures. The ultimate goal of education, irrespective of the mode of delivery, is to provide students with a quality education that enables them to choose to pursue any future they would like. We know that reaching this goal requires more than just teachers assigning homework, more than students doing the homework, and more than parents making sure their students “attend” school. It requires that the school experience transcend the textbook and curriculum to engage teachers, students, families and leaders in a vivid learning community where students feel safe to be themselves and motivated to achieve even more than they had thought possible.

The foundational aspects of a school are a quality curriculum, a logical sequence of courses with an achievable scope of content, solid delivery mechanisms for curriculum content and consistent communication avenues for creating and maintaining the partnership that must exist between home and school.

But these are only the beginning of creating an exceptional school experience.

Ashley Collier's picture

Weekly Roundup -- March 6, 2015

Weekly Roundup showcases stories and information about the students and schools we serve, K12 educators, and important education issues. 

Tennessee Virtual Academy Educators Tout Academic Gains at Nashville Virtual Schools Conference
(Press Release)

Educators from Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA), a nonprofit online public school program ofUnion County Public Schools, joined together with other virtual school leaders at a two-day virtual learning conference sponsored by Metro Nashville Virtual School in a show of support for all the state's online public schools. 

Examining Costs and Funding of Online Schools
(thinkTANK)

Reports that the consensus from industry experts is that the average cost to operate a full-time, full-service online public school is approximately $6,400 per student (compared to over $10,000 for a traditional school).  And, in general, online public schools receive about 30-40% less in total funding (state, local, and federal funds) than traditional schools. 

Tennessee legislator wants to close online charter school
(Tennessee Watchdog)

Lily is a student at the Tennessee Virtual Academy, a charter school that her mother Christy says is far more accommodating to her needs than any traditional brick-and-mortar public school. Lily excels at math and extracurricular activities and is already ahead of many students her age.

Why Online Education?
(Learning Liftoff)

When your family decides to use online education as opposed to the traditional brick-and-mortar setting, it’s for a reason. Unfortunately, that reason may be unknown to the majority, and oftentimes a stigma is attached to those who choose online education as “weird” or “unsociable.” We want to help erase those stigmas, and rewrite the labels by publicizing the many different reasons families choose to use K12 and online education.

Jeff Kwitowski's picture

Examining Costs and Funding of Online Schools

We are in the middle of the legislative season, which every year means policymakers in a few states ask about the costs and funding of full-time online public schools.  This is an issue that has come up since multi-district online schools first emerged nearly 15 years ago. 

The consensus from industry experts is that the average cost to operate a full-time, full-service online public school is approximately $6,400 per student (compared to over $10,000 for a traditional school).  And, in general, online public schools receive about 30-40% less in total funding (state, local, and federal funds) than traditional schools. 

Every online school is different.  Just like with traditional schools, operating costs for online schools will vary based on many factors, including grades served, student population, number of students, academic program offerings, and other reasons.  With traditional brick and mortar schools, for example, the cost to operate a high school is much higher than an elementary school, and schools that offer more academic programs and services will generally cost more.  Therefore, when looking at cost comparisons, it’s important to match apples to apples.  

Below is compilation of reports and studies from industry experts that have examined the costs of online schools.

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