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Weekly Roundup - 4.13.15

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

Roderick qualifies for regional meet
(The World)

Grace Roderick said her favorite event in gymnastics is the balance beam, though she admitted being extremely nervous on the apparatus during her last meet. Roderick, who is 13 and a seventh-grader in the Oregon Virtual Academy online school, has been a gymnast as long as she can remember.

Long Beach Family That Gives Also Receives

Renee Corona’s parents encouraged her to help others, and today she teaches her children to do the same — her oldest son, Jonas, has taken that idea much further than she ever anticipated. She helped her son found Love in the Mirror, a nonprofit organization that has provided more than 30,000 people with access to basic necessities such as food and clothing.

Jonas started playing tennis around the same time as he began volunteering with his mom. He has aspirations to one day become a professional player, and use the money he earns to keep Love in the Mirror going strong. Just this year, he decided to enroll at California Virtual Academy — an online-focused public school — so that he could play tennis every day at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center.

School-choice group presses for veto override vote on HB 126

School-choice advocates joined a handful of state lawmakers at a news conference this morning to press for lawmakers to override Gov. Butch Otter’s veto of HB 126, legislation that sought to make a change in the school funding formula, at a cost to the general fund of $1.7 million, to send funding to schools, including virtual charter schools, that students transfer to mid-year. Tom LeClaire, a board member of the Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families and a parent of students at the Idaho Virtual Academy, said his group believes the money should follow the student.

Tennessee Virtual Academy Deserves To Stay Open
(The Chattanoogan)

The state legislature is currently debating the future of virtual schools against the backdrop of an order by the Tennessee Commissioner of Education to close what happens to be one of the fastest improving public schools in the state, the Tennessee Virtual Academy. 

Ashley Collier's picture

The Month of the Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child which honors and celebrates the significance and resilience of military youth as their parent(s) serve our nation. The military children of the world experience many unique challenges, including frequent moves, family separations through deployments, and reintegration.

Many military families have discovered online education through K12 schools fit particular needs and unique lifestyle…

Submitted by the Mack family

Our daughter Sarah Abbey is currently in the 7th grade with the Texas Virtual Academy.  My husband and I initially chose homeschooling for our daughter in her 5th grade year in Enid, Oklahoma.  We had been introduced to the Oklahoma K12 online public schooling program through Eisenhower Elementary, while stationed at Vance Air Force Base.  Sarah excelled in the Oklahoma K12 curriculum, especially in Spelling and Language Skills.  As we continue to serve as a military family, having the opportunity to educate our daughter with the K12 online public schooling option has proven to be successful. 

Upon our transfer from Oklahoma to Texas, we struggled with placing Sarah into the public school system, knowing that she would be placed on a waiting list and then transferred once an opening occurred in the zone designated school.  This was a challenge for us, since we knew that our stay in Texas would be short for family reasons, while my husband was stationed in Washington, D.C.  We, like any parents, wanted to give our daughter consistency at home, in school and with the family.  However, having served in the military for twenty-five years, we’ve learned that consistency isn’t easy to come by.  Home is only temporary and family will have to separate.

We knew one thing for sure, that schooling and curriculum can be made consistent.  

Upon our arrival into Texas, we were fortunate enough to know that we didn’t have to homeschool or opt for the online public schooling because of our previous difficulties in academics, thanks to our K12 exposure in Oklahoma!  We were blessed!   We simply chose the Texas K12 online public schooling program because we fell in love with the curriculum, the ease at which our daughter excelled and most importantly it would provide her with consistency in her curriculum.  She had fallen in love with learning all because of K12’s presentation of the material and the immediate feedback she received upon completion of her work.  Then in 6th grade, after meeting and working with her homeroom teacher, Mr. William Little, she was even more enthusiastic and driven to strive for excellence.  We can honestly say Sarah has developed greater self-confidence because of the Texas Virtual Academy program.

Kelly Van Sande's picture

Arizona Moves the Needle on Accountability Frameworks

Although online schools and traditional schools are vastly different, standards and accountability frameworks used to measure performance are the same.  State education frameworks are typically designed for brick-and-mortar schools and classroom-based models, therefore risk producing an incomplete picture of performance of online public schools.

Arizona is among the states with the largest online school student population. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recently approved the proposal, Accountability Determinations for Arizona Online Instruction Schoolsmarking it as the first of its kind. The proposal recognizes that most online school programs do not fit the same criteria – most notably student populations and mobility rates.

The primary goal of the proposal is to establish a letter grading method for Arizona Online Instruction (AOI) schools in order to accurately assess the student achievement and growth of all students enrolled in this non-traditional form of education.

This was recently demonstrated in school year 2013-2014 within Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA):

  • 78% of enrolled high school students were enrolled for 2 years or less
  • More than half of those students were enrolled for one year or less
  • Of the students who were enrolled for one year or less, 75% were enrolled for six months of less
  • 79% who were enrolled for one year or less also withdrew during the same academic year

Many struggling students seek out online education as an alternative to their local brick and mortar school when they have not experienced success within the traditional classroom or are looking for a different form of education entirely. Many parents who enroll their children at an AOI school state up-front that they intend to enroll their child so that he can get caught up to his peers, and then send him back to a traditional school. This, along with the high mobility of at-risk students, contributes to a student population that online schools are uniquely qualified to serve. However, it is imperative that schools receive a state letter grade based upon an accountability model that fairly and accurately reflects student achievement, even within a non-traditional environment.

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Weekly Roundup - 4.6.15

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

Online schools offer customized education for students
(Upper Michigans Source)

Many parents are now looking to the internet for their children’s education. The Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy is online school run by K12.com. They provide education for students from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. They are classified as a public school, so they are accredited just like any other public school. This also means the costs for the school would also be covered by the state.

Provider of online school programs entering second phase
(The Daily Times)

One year ago K12 Inc. came to Alcoa to announce it was opening its Family Support Campus in Blount County. With 152 employees on board in phase one, K12 plans on pushing its total employment numbers to more than 330 by the end of phase two in July. This is in addition to the 80 K12 teachers and educators currently employed throughout the state. K12 is expected to invest more than $2.4 million over the next five years.

K12 Inc. to Create More Jobs with Expansion of Family Support Campus
(Press Release)

K12 Inc., America’s leading provider of high quality online school programs, opened its Family Support Campus in Alcoa one year ago. Today, the education company announced it is launching phase two of its plan to expand the Campus and hire 150 new employees. 

G-E-N-I-U-S: Jackson Township siblings are among youngest Mensa members
(Times Reporter)

Akash and Amrita Vukoti of Jackson Township are among the youngest sibling pairs to be inducted into American Mensa, which is the exclusive high IQ society. Akash, who last year became a Davidson Institute young scholar, is 5 and Armita is a second-grader. They attend an online school.

Ashley Collier's picture

OHVA Student Siblings Are Among Youngest Mensa Members

The Times Reporter reports that Akash and Amrita Vukoti became one of the youngest sibling pairs to be inducted in American Mensa, a distinguished high intelligence organization where members must score in the top 2 percent of the general population on an accepted standardized intelligence test.

In 2013, Akash (then 3) and Amrita (then 5) were tested and accepted into American Mensa. Two years later, the siblings are enrolled at Ohio Virtual Academy, where the flexibility of online learning allows Akash and Amrita to learn at their own pace.

Read more about the Vukoti family, here.  

Now in its 13th year, Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) is welcoming families with students in grades K-12 to enroll for the 2015-2016 academic year. OHVA is open to all students who reside in Ohio and is hosting information sessions and upcoming community events. To find out more information, visit the OHVA school website.