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Weekly Roundup - 04.24.15

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

Franklin sports academy offers education on, off ice
(The Tennessean)

Students at Southern Elite Sports Preparatory School in Franklin start their days on the ice rink. With helmets on and ice hockey sticks in hand, their skates carve fresh ice by 8 a.m. They'll spend the next hour-and-a-half doing drills to refine their techniques.

State Offers Virtual Academy to K-12 Students
(Education World)

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a fully accredited public school in Washington that serves K-12 students. In its ninth year, the school operates totally online for free tuition.

Century tennis phenom shifts to boys team
(Post Bulletin)

For the second time in four years, a girl is playing boys high school tennis in Rochester. Not just any girl, either, but a nationally ranked phenom. Jessie Aney skipped high school tennis all together last year, before opting now to play with the boys, something within the Minnesota State High School League rules. This is her final year of high school, something she's completed in three years while enrolled in online Minnesota Virtual Academy.

Announcing Open Enrollment

Arkansas Virtual Academy Welcomes K-11 Students to Enroll for 2015-2016 School Year

Insight Schools of California Now Enrolling Students for the 2015-2016 School Year

Ashley Collier's picture

Spotlight: Stellar Student Athletes

Many student athletes enroll in K12 partner schools and programs to balance academics with the pursuit of their talents. Over the past few weeks, many of these students made headlines by personal and professional triumphs.

The Times-Bulletin reports that nationally ranked tennis youth, Jessi Aney, 16, has shifted to boy’s high school tennis after unanimously being voted into the team. Since joining the Century boy tennis team last week, Aney has won the No. 1 singles spot for Century. Aney is in her final year of high school through Minnesota Virtual Academy, which she completed in three years and has been accepted to University of North Carolina with a full-ride scholarship.

Another student-athlete, Zach Morris from Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA) was honored by U.S. Youth Soccer as Player of the Month, writes The Columbian. A goalkeeper, Morris was recently invited to play for the Washington State Elite Player Development Program and maintains a 4.0 GPA at WAVA while working through his sophomore year.

Jonas Corona, 11, has dreams of one day becoming a professional tennis play and using the money he earns to keep Love in the Mirror, a non-profit organization providing less fortunate with basic necessities such as food and clothing. The Gazette reports that the Corona family regularly organizes collection drives and delivers food to homeless shelters. To pursue his dreams, Corona enrolled in California Virtual Academy @ Los Angeles to practice and play tennis daily.

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Weekly Roundup - 4.17.15

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

K12 Inc. Report Highlights Achievement Gains at Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy
(Press Release)

K12 Inc., America's leading provider of K-12 online school programs, released a new report showing improved academic outcomes of Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy (LAVCA), a statewide online public charter school. The report describes academic and leadership initiatives that helped LAVCA raise both its accountability rating and its academic performance levels between the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, as well as a comprehensive summary of the school's test data. LAVCA is a statewide online public charter school that uses K12's curriculum and academic services. The school serves 1900 students in kindergarten through high school. 

Irving student spotlights homelessness in downtown Dallas through online photo project
(The Dallas Morning News)

Irving resident and Texas Virtual Academy senior, Maryam Ahmed spends her free time planning for college and navigating downtown Dallas to connect with and photograph the homeless as part of an ongoing photo series.

When School “Accountability” Meets Real Lives

With debates on testing and standards dominating the news, you’re probably unaware the Tennessee Department of Education told over 180 special education students it is shutting down their school. It is a school that serves a higher percentage of special education and economically disadvantaged students than the state average. It also happens to be the fastest improving public school in the state with some of the biggest improvements in academic outcomes over the past year. The Department says closing this school is in the best interest of the students.

Minnesota Virtual Academy holds talent show
(Chaska Herald)

Minnesota Virtual Academy, an online K-12 school, recently hosted a middle school and high school talent show in Chaska. During the event, 25 middle school and high school acts entertained students and families. The show included instrumental performances, singing, dancing, magic, comedic skits and poetry.

Ashley Collier's picture

Spotlight: Silicon Valley Flex Student Nominated by Buzz Aldrin to Attend STEM Event

The Morgan Hill Times reports that Silicon Valley Flex Academy junior, Michael Page was nominated by former astronaut, Buzz Aldrin to attend the 2015 Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders.

The Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders was created by the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologist gathers the country’s finest high school students who aspire to STEM careers to help close the gap of missed opportunities for individuals seeking high tech, engineering, and scientific professions.

Invitations to the prestigious conference are by academic nominations only, and all students must have a minimum 3.5 GPA to attend.

Aldrin, a Science Director at the Academy of Future Scientists nominated Michael Page based on his academic achievement, leadership, and passion for STEM education.

Along with fellow classmates, the Silicon Valley Flex Academy junior was also recently selected as the Grade 11 winner for K12’s STEM Contest. The contest asked participants to create and submit a video showing a creation that could change the world or solve an everyday problem. Paige and fellow classmates submitted a video on a Visual Simulations Helmet they created together.

Silicon Valley Flex is a full-time blended charter school serving students in grades 6 through 12 combining onsite schooling practices with online education through K12. For more information on Silicon Valley Flex Academy, visit the school website: http://svflex.k12.com/

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Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy: A Success Story

Today K12 released a white paper highlighting achievement gains at Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy. The report is a first in a series of white papers that highlight K12 partner schools and programs that have demonstrated improved results and raised student academic achievement, especially in comparison to the state and similar districts.

A couple of months ago, I spent time at Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy (LAVCA) with the leadership team and teachers. It was my opportunity to understand some of the many unique approaches that make this school special, and work closely with the LAVCA team to take a closer look at data to gain insights into how the school succeeded in effectively raising student achievement.

One item that jumped out to me as simple but an effective solution was that 90 percent of new teachers hired at LAVCA come from recommendations of current LAVCA teachers. Teachers stake their reputation on the people they recommend and work closely with newly hired teachers to ensure a smooth transition to the online education environment. Mentoring has long been associated with successful on-boarding and LAVCA has taken that tested and true practice into the world of virtual education at many levels.

Dr. Perry Daniel, LAVCA Head of School

Leadership is evident at every level from the top down and from the bottom up at LAVCA. Head of School Dr. Perry Daniel leads the school from within, working through teachers, students, and parents to be sure everyone owns the success of the school as well as their own individual success. 

Daniel described that over the past couple of years LAVCA has taken feedback from students and families to improve student engagement and increase academic performance. The main product was the implementation of student mentors and more student outings for students.

“The implementation of student mentors helped to engage more students in our live classes. The results of this practice were increased student attendance in live sessions and improved academic performance of students who attended the live sessions,” Daniel explained. “The outings in a virtual setting are similar to field trips in the brick and mortar setting. We decided to offer academic outings and social outings monthly for students around the state to meet social and academic support needs.  The academic outings were offered in the morning and then the students could attend the social outing at one of the scheduled locations around the state.”

The culture that this process contributes to is one of focused educators working closely together and with families to be successful.  This is a win for the students, a win for the teachers and a win for the school.