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Weekly Roundup: Student advocacy, Back to School, and a “SportsKid”

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

Union County school board approves K12 Inc. pact
Knoxville News Sentinel

The Tennessee Virtual Academy took another step toward being ready for the upcoming school year. On Thursday, the Union County school board voted to continue its contract with K12 Inc., which provides the curriculum for the virtual school.

Cottage Grove teen lobbies for those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
South Washington County Bulletin

Recent high school graduate Gary Riege is a science and math whiz. He’s also a Star Wars fanatic, avid computer science techie and Advanced Placement student. He’s soft spoken, but he has big ideas, especially when it comes to bringing awareness to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the need for more educational opportunities.

“I needed special education but (the district) always fought us on almost everything we asked for,” he said. “They wouldn’t follow my (individual education plan), and other times they wouldn’t add things. And when they would modify it they would remove all of my supports.”

Frustrated with the inability to partake in courses he knew he would excel in, Riege enrolled in the Minnesota Virtual Academy. He soon began taking Advanced Placement classes, delved deeper into the mechanics of computer science and got a confidence boost from supportive teachers that he said helped “big time.”

Class Acts: From the Cover of SI kids to a College Scholarship
Learning Liftoff

Few teen athletes have been more celebrated than Jessie Aney. In 2010, Aney was named Sports Illustrated’s “SportsKid” of the Year for her excellence in tennis and ice hockey. Now, after establishing herself as one of the nation’s leading young tennis players, Jessie will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full tennis scholarship.

A graduate of Minnesota Virtual Academy, this 2015 Class Act student completed her high school course requirements in just three years, enabling her to focus on her unique abilities.

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Weekly Roundup - 7.10.15

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

K12 Inc. Reports Improved Outcomes at Minnesota Virtual Academy
Press Release

K12 Inc. released a new report showing that Minnesota Virtual Academy (MNVA) – a statewide online public school serving students in kindergarten through high school --  raised its academic outcomes in Reading and Mathematics, while launching new teacher initiatives and improving its academic and school community programs.   

More Ohio students learning via online schools
Journal-News

More children than ever in Ohio are learning via online schools, a trend that local parents say is more the result of wanting more for their child than it is about their local school district. Increased popularity for this option has seen enrollments totals blossom from 44 such schools serving approximately 17,000 students in 2004 to 27 e-schools serving 39,044 students in the 2013-14 school year. That simultaneous decrease in the amount of schools and increase in enrollment has bolstered class ranks, leading to numerous Ohio e-learning institutions graduating their largest classes ever, including Ohio Virtual Academy, an accredited, full-time, online public community school that in June graduated 750 students, the largest graduating class in school history.

Utah Virtual Academy host Bring a Friend Event
The Spectrum

The Utah Virtual Academy hosts Bring a Friend Event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at the St. GeorgeChildren’s Museum, 86 S. Main Street. Come to discover, play, and learn about the unique virtual educational environment. K12 and UTVA staff will be available to answer questions informally and distribute information packets.

Class Acts: Online Student with College Credit to Get Philosophical
Learning Liftoff

Given his affinity for computers, online learning proved the right fit for Matthew Bachman, a 2015 Nevada Virtual Academy (NVVA) graduate who has earned $7,000 in scholarships to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

“I liked that [NVVA] was self-paced, allowing me plan my school around my life as opposed to planning my life around school,” Matthew said. “Online learning has the advantage of giving a student independence as well as one-on-one [learning] experience that may help in the future.

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Improved Outcomes at Minnesota Virtual Academy

 

We are excited to roll out our sixth report in the academic white paper series featuring Minnesota Virtual Academy (MNVA) – a statewide online public school serving students in kindergarten through high school.

The report highlights how MNVA has raised academic outcomes in Reading and Mathematics, while launching new teacher initiatives and improving academic and school community programs.

A full copy of the report can be read here.

Founded in 2002, MNVA has grown from a small online elementary school to serve middle and high school grades. MNVA is one of four schools within Minnesota’s Houston Public School district and, of those four, is the only school that is fully online.

Krin Abraham, Superintendent of Houston Public School, explains that MNVA has responded to school growth by “strategically implementing key practices and programs to improve student academic performance. From building a strong community across our school, to developing a concise school-wide academic plan, our focus remains on how best to serve our students.”

The report highlights that MNVA leadership meets annually with teachers and staff to review prior-year state testing data to develop a school-wide academic plan. In response to the 2017 annual yearly progress (AYP) target set by the Minnesota Department of Education, MNVA set a school-wide goal on improving student performance in Reading. Through dedicated efforts during the 2013-2014 year, MNVA met its school-wide goal.

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Weekly Roundup - 7.2.15

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

K12 Inc. Report Shows Achievement Gains at Wisconsin Virtual Academy
Press Release

K12 Inc. released a new report highlighting how a community of educators, students, and families working together to build strong relationships can drive strong academic performance at Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA). WIVA is a statewide online public charter school authorized by McFarland School District, serving students in kindergarten through high school.

George Washington University Online High School Honors 2015 Graduates at In-person Ceremony
Press Release

The George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS), an online college preparatory school for students in grades 6-12, will recognize the Class of 2015 on Saturday, June 27, in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom at the GWU Foggy Bottom Campus. This year, twenty-nine students will receive their high school diploma from GWUOHS. The GWUOHS Class of 2015 earned a combined total of more than one million dollars in college scholarships. Graduates are expected to pursue higher education at institutions including Bryn Mawr, The George Washington University, Rutgers, University of California-Berkeley and New York University, among others. The commencement speaker for the ceremony on Saturday will be Dr. David Pelizzari, Vice President of Content and Curriculum at K12 Inc. and a founding board member at GWUOHS.

Tennessee Virtual Academy not enrolling new students this year
WATE 6

The Tennessee Virtual Academy says it will not enroll new students this school year, but will instead work with the approximately 800 students already enrolled with a focus on changing assessments and concentrating on current curriculum. If the school feels the changes are successful, they say they will work on enrolling new students next school year.

Area American Legion Units Send Delegates to State
Weekly Mailer

The Burley American Legion Post #17 and Auxiliary Unit #17 are sponsoring a total of nine local students to attend a state-wide event designed to give them hands on experience in the legislative process. Post #17 is sponsoring two Burley High School boys, Hector Magana and Jaime Mojarra to attend Boys State and the auxiliary unit is sponsoring six Burley High School girls, Andrea Cardona, Melissa McMurray, Sarah Millar, Alejandra Mojica, Marisa Shaw and Shailey Woodward and one girl from Idaho Virtual Academy, Abigail Patterson. All participants are outstanding examples of today’s youth and are commended for their efforts.

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New Report Highlights Achievement Gains at Wisconsin Virtual Academy

Today a new report was released by K12 Inc., titled Wisconsin Virtual Academy: Building Strong Relationships for Academic Success. The report highlights how a community of educators, students, and families working together to build strong relationships can drive strong academic performance at Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA).

I have been the head of school at WIVA for 6 years and am proud of our school’s achievements that are outlined in this white paper. Over the past four years, our enrollment has increased by 189 percent and we’ve be able to report a graduation rate increase of 18.1 percentage points. While rapid growth can sometimes present challenges for educators, WIVA was able to increase our accountability rating by 5.6 points, earning us a rating of “Meets Expectations” for the 2013-2014 school year.

WIVA demonstrates that economically disadvantaged students grow stronger over time. In the 2013-2014 school year, 57% of the more than 1,900 students enrolled were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL), a higher percentage than the national average.

In Reading, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, WIVA's FRL-eligible students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages in all FRL groups. The gap between Reduced-Price Lunch Eligible students and Not Eligible students narrowed from 35 percentage points for students enrolled less than 1 year to 18 percentage points for students enrolled 3 years or more. In Mathematics, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, WIVA students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages in all FRL groups.

We attribute much of these academic achievements to the importance of building strong relationships.

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