Ashley Collier's picture

K12 Rings In National School Choice Week

Today, students from Newark Prep, a blended public charter school in New Jersey, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the official start of National School Choice Week. Newark Prep students were joined by Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week, educators from K12 Inc., and national school choice leaders.

National School Choice Week is the largest celebration of school choice in America raising awareness about the benefits of providing education options for all children and empowering parents with choice.

Throughout the week, over 11,000 events highlighting the importance of school choice will take place in the U.S. K12 and its school partners are participating in National School Choice Week events across the country in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and many other states.

Ashley Collier's picture

The Greater Washington Dance Center Launches The Academy for Elite Dancers & Athletes; Student-Athlete Program to use K12 International Academy

The Greater Washington Dance Center will launch a comprehensive instructional program, The Academy for Elite Dancers & Athletes (The Academy EDA) through the K12 International Academy beginning fall 2015.

The Academy EDA will open for enrollment beginning fall 2015 for both dancers and athletes, grades 6-12 seeking flexibility in their schedule to support their learning needs. The Academy EDA will host, on campus, The K12 International Academy – a fully accredited, NCAA-approved, online college preparatory high school program.

K12 International Academy is a fully accredited, private online school serving students in all 50 states and more than 70 countries around the world. The school combines curriculum, academic services, and support to families to meet the diverse need of students.

Through The Academy EDA students will have the opportunity to study through a certification program for graduates to become a NASM (National Association of Sports Medicine) certified trainer.  For dancers, The Academy EDA offers the highest level of professional dance training in Northern Virginia, with classes in ballet, modern, jazz, regular workshops, strength and flexibility training, and courses in nutrition, kinesiology, anatomy, and sports psychology.

For more information on The Academy for Elite Dancers and Athletes, visit http://www.theacademyeda.com/ or visit K12 International Academy.

Jeff Kwitowski's picture

The Real Story on Virtual Charters in North Carolina

Full-time statewide online public schools are an option for families in over 30 states. North Carolina is not among them despite strong demand from families throughout the state.

But that is about to change. 

A law passed by the NC Legislature requires that two K-12 virtual charter school pilots open by Fall 2015.  One of the two applicants is North Carolina Learns, Inc., an independent, nonprofit charter school board.  They are proposing the North Carolina Virtual Academy (NCVA), a virtual school available to families across the state that would use K12’s curriculum and academic services. NCVA was reviewed and unanimously approved by a special state education review committee last month. The NC State Board of Education will address the school’s application on Wednesday. 

Now that online charter schools in NC are imminent, opponents are scrambling. Some special interests are trying to muddy the water by peddling false and misleading information, and even coordinating attacks with teachers unions from other states. 

Chairman of NC Learns board of directors, Chris Withrow (an experienced and respected educator in North Carolina), is not letting these accusations go unanswered. Below is a recent letter he sent to the NC State Board of Education in response to claims from the North Carolina Association of Educators, an organization opposed to the virtual charter school pilot program.

Ashley Collier's picture

Tennessee Virtual Academy Student Holiday Fund: School Community Provides Meals, Clothes, and Gifts to Families In Need

Over the past month, Tennessee Virtual Academy teachers and administrators worked together to help their fellow TNVA families in need during the winter holidays through a Student Holiday Fund. TNVA administrators worked with the student engagement team to identify families that needed assistance and wished to participate in the program.

TNVA teachers and staff donated to the fund in the form of retail and grocery gift certificates. The gift certificates were used to provide families with meals and purchase clothing and gifts for children. TNVA set a first year goal of raising $970 in order to provide each identified family a meal, some toys, and a few clothing items.

In the end, TNVA exceeded their goal and raised more than double the amount totaling $2040.

Through the student holiday fund, TNVA was able to help six families, which included 14 children. Families received grocery store certificates for holiday meals, while students were gifted clothes, as well as toys and items on their wish lists.

“We are so unbelievable proud to be able to provide these gifts and necessary items to our TNVA families in need,” said Josh Williams, TNVA Head of School. “We purchased doll houses, bikes, trains, and clothes, and all of this in our first year of having the program. It brings the TNVA teachers and staff so much joy to give back to our school community and families.”

Gifts were purchased and wrapped by TNVA staff, and then either delivered directly or shipped to families in time for the holidays. 

pkeeney's picture

K12 Managed Schools Save Families Over $3.6 Million Dollars in Future Tuition Costs Through Dual Credit

This blog originally appeared on Learning Liftoff.

I’m afraid. I’m very afraid.

Like many of you, I am a parent. My son is a junior in high school, and I am afraid of the financial fallout from the next six years of his life.

First, I have to say I am proud of my son. He has worked hard, earned excellent grades, and has positioned himself to be accepted at colleges and universities that he wants to attend. He has caused minimal trouble, and is the type of young man I hoped he would be.

However, I become concerned when I see the upcoming “reward” for all of his hard work. He will spend four years accumulating college debt while he acquires a credential that will serve as his ticket into the best opportunities available to him within the workforce.

According to USA Today, “the class of 2014 graduated with an average student loan debt of $33,000.”Forbes recently cited that “student loan debt has reached a new milestone, crossing the $1.2 trillion mark — $1 trillion of that in federal student loan debt.” This represents a load on the average graduating student that is double what was seen 20 years ago, adjusted for inflation. As with any loan, while it might be needed to “buy” a college education, most people do not understand its cost. Over just 10 years, that original amount of $33,000 is likely to double as it is paid back, resulting in the graduate paying $66,000 of his hard-earned cash in payments. At $6,600 per year, $550 per month, that is a large bill for a new, well-qualified graduate. Welcome to the workforce!

For my son, this message is confusing: his hard work, intelligence, and effort is valuable, yet he will be hamstrung with significant taxes and loan payments that may total more than 50% of his pay for the first 10 years of his career.

Fortunately for him and others, there is a workaround: enter college with credits that you earned before you ever set foot on campus!

In most states, and in many high schools, students have the opportunity to begin college when they are ready, and do so at a reduced cost, or no cost. This is true for traditional, blended, and online high schools. Across K12’s network of managed public schools, families have saved more than $3.6 million dollars in future tuition costs by taking advantage of this opportunity. As students earned more than 6,000 college credits, they were earning more than college credits – they were earning the opportunity to keep more of their paycheck when they are in their twenties and thirties.

Perhaps most importantly, these opportunities now exist for students who will have to become skilled to do work that in past generations required only a high school diploma. This includes jobs in manufacturing, logistics, and transportation. In general, it is most difficult for those students who would be the first generation from their family to go to college, even if to a community college to earn an associate’s degree.

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