K12 Inc.'s picture

Why Graduation Was Unique For One GCA Student

Andre Arnold and his sister Mahogany Arnold at his graduation

Educational obstacles can make the traditional school setting a hard place to be for some students. A lot of the time, there are alternative school options that can be a better fit for them. One student in particular is Andre Arnold, a young man who lives with both autism, which makes him non-verbal, and type-one diabetes. Andre did not let these obstacles hinder his success as he recently graduated from Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA).

His parents needed an alternative to traditional school. Andre had a few extra needs that were not being met which made it hard for him to receive the education that every student deserves.

"He had a hard time in the brick-and-mortar school. There were things his teachers expected from him that he just couldn’t do, like speaking. They didn’t understand his disability. With GCA, there was more time to meet his needs and he could go at his own pace,” said his mother, Ebony Arnold.

K12 Inc.'s picture

What Has Colorado Preparatory Academy Students in Stitches

CPA's 2016 Quilt of Valor

Jennifer Amy is a middle school teacher at Colorado Preparatory Academy (CPA), a K12 school, who has gotten K12 students from across the nation to help complete making their fourth annual “Quilt of Valor” to donate to the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The Foundation enlists volunteers to make comforting quilts for veterans.

Jennifer was introduced to the Foundation in 2012, when a national quilt club she participates in had a guest speaker who showed students how a long-arm quilting machine works. Following the demonstration, Jennifer’s students requested to join the philanthropic effort.

 “Students take great pride in being a part of the Quilt of Valor project,” said Jennifer. “Some of the students have a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle in the military, so for them it really is meaningful. Others have huge hearts and enjoy giving to others!”

Lauren Weber's picture

What I Felt At The ISKS Graduation

K12 Inc.'s picture

How OHVA Helps “Drive” One Student’s Success in Disc Golf

 OHVA Student Lacey Brugler competes in 2014 Disc Golf World Championships

While other students go on vacation or relax with friends this weekend, Lacey Brugler, a 9th grader at Ohio Virtual Academy, will be showing off her impressive disc golf skills at the 10th annual Disc Girls Gone Wild competition June 4th-5th

With 47 career wins and 5 years of competition experience, Brugler typically competes in the intermediate and advanced disc golf categories. Although this requires her to compete against girls much older than she, Brugler’s diligence and fierce training has made her unstoppable. In fact, she is one of the youngest disc golf champions with paying sponsors, and recently placed in second at the 2015 World Champion Disc Golf Tournament in the “16 and under” category.

Brugler’s disc golf passion has brought her all over the world. Because of this, she often needed to leave school on a Thursday to travel and compete in one of her many successful competitions. When Brugler reached the 6th grade, her father Jeff Brugler finally decided that it was time she found a schooling option to fit her unique traveling needs. Thanks to a friend’s suggestion, Jeff enrolled Lacey in Ohio Virtual Academy.

Ashley Fryer's picture

“Ask your mom before you use her good cake pan for that!”

Teaching Middle School Science Online

“How do you teach middle school science online?” I get that question a lot and answering it isn’t always quick, easy, or painless.  I love my job teaching for Insight School of Kansas and Kansas Virtual Academy, and to me it is obvious why other teachers and students like it here as well.  However, I am often faced with defending my school, my students, and even myself as a teacher. In order to dispel rumors and preconceived notions, I wanted to address some of those most frequently asked questions head-on in this article.

Admittedly, the transition from teaching for four years in brick-and-mortar classrooms to teaching science online wasn’t easy at first. Over my seven years teaching online, I’ve found innovative ways to connect with my students, including live synchronous classroom sessions. Using my webcam, I conduct just as many demonstrations in my virtual classroom as I did in a traditional setting, but now I do them from my kitchen counter instead of a school laboratory with the same science kit as the one mailed directly to the students’ homes.  I do utilize technology for virtual labs and videos as well. There are some amazing virtual labs and virtual demonstrations that I used even in brick-and-mortar schools. 

“Don’t they miss being with real kids?”  I think a very important practice for online teaching is to create a community in your classroom.  Teaching live classes all year makes it a little easier for me.  I am able to start off with icebreakers or warm up activities.  I’ve found that middle school kids love sharing information about themselves.  Giving them a few minutes before class starts to chat with each other goes a long way.  Each of my students is a “real live kid” and I work closely with them to develop a close student-teacher relationship—in some cases we build stronger relationships than I did in the traditional setting.