K12 Inc.'s picture

No Challenge Can Stop the Smile and Success of MVCA Student Kayla Mason

MVCA student Kayla Mason takes her M-Step tests with her beloved stuffed cat, Amber.

Rising 4th grade Michigan Virtual Charter Academy (MVCA) student Kayla Mason is extremely spirited, bright, and hard-working, despite the physical disability she bravely faces.

“Kayla has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk, sit up, or use either of her hands efficiently on her own,” Kayla’s father, Bruce Mason, said. “What Kayla does have is an incredible mind and unstoppable spirit.”

Bruce enrolled Kayla in online schooling at MVCA as a second grader so that he is able to provide her with the one-on-one attention that allows her to thrive. Before MVCA, Kayla was unable to get the attention she deserves because she was one of 40 students at her school that needed support.

K12 Inc.'s picture

Teacher Highlight: WAVA’s April Sorensen Makes an Impact

Aza L. (left) and Jayden P. (right) enhance their reading skills with the help of April Sorensen.

Much of a child’s achievement in school starts with reading. One Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA) teacher, April Sorensen, has gone above and beyond to ensure her students’ reading success. Two of Sorensen’s students, Aza L. and Jayden P., made huge reading gains after her work with the families.

Aza L.

Aza L. from Fall City, Washington, is a rising second grader at WAVA.

Shelby, Aza's mother and learning coach, says the transition from homeschooling to WAVA has been the perfect fit for their family. “We started off homeschooling Aza in preschool and found that coming up with the lessons on our own was very time consuming and frustrating. Aza started Kindergarten with WAVA and it was a perfect fit for us. It was wonderful that we were able to work at Aza’s pace and have a resource like April.”

K12 Inc.'s picture

GCA’s Golden Girl Aniya Louissaint Punches Her Olympic Ticket

Aniya Louissaint graduated from Georgia Cyber Academy in May.

When recent Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) graduate Aniya Louissaint was 14, she watched the remake of The Karate Kid with Jaden Smith and decided she wanted to learn martial arts.

It wasn’t an uncommon theme.

“When I was younger, I’d watch dance movies and I’d want to be a dancer; I’d watch a movie about a piano player and I’d want to be a pianist,” she said. “When I saw The Karate Kid, I really wanted to learn.”

One day, Aniya’s father, Richard Louissaint, surprised her and her younger sister, Kianna, by taking them to a taekwondo class. It didn’t go too well.

“I got beat up by everyone there,” Aniya said.

Katie Hart's picture

Is This Thing On? How the Virtual Teacher Hears the Voices of Their Students

I love that “AHA!” moment.  When I was a student teacher there was a time I thought I should throw in the towel, but then it happened.  I was able to help a student figure out exponential relationships using the tale of Alice in Wonderland and exploring how Alice’s eating and drinking habits affected her overall size.  When the student finally understood the concept, his eyes lit up, his posture straightened and a literal gasp escaped his lips.  Not only did he understand an exponential relationship, but I knew I was hooked on teaching.

Many think it is a challenge for online teachers to experience that “aha” moment because we are not physically in the same room as our students.  For me, teaching online does not mean I don’t hear the voice of my students.  There are many tools we use to allow students to communicate with their peers and their teachers.  Students are able to give green checks for approval, or red x’s for a negative response.  Writing on the whiteboard by hand or typing with unique fonts are all ways to hear the voice of the student.   

Jeff Kwitowski's picture

Welcome To Hotel California

In an editorial on Monday, The Wall Street Journal characterized the California Attorney General’s now-concluded investigation into K12 Inc. and the 11 California Virtual Academies (CAVA) as a coordinated ambush targeting K12 and the online charters schools after they dared to resist the California Teachers Association’s (CTA) unionization campaign.  (Read the entire WSJ editorial here.)

In 2014, the CTA launched its unionization campaign of the CAVA schools.  Over the next 2+ years the teachers union spared no expense, marshalled all of its political allies, spun the media, and hurled dozens of allegations against K12 and CAVA schools no matter how unfounded. The union fired every arrow in its quiver. 

In early 2015, the CTA recruited several state legislators, all recipients of the union’s massive political campaign war chest, to pressure the CAVA schools to bow to the union’s demands.  When that failed, the union crafted a bill aimed at shutting down the CAVA schools and other charters that contract with private providers.  The CTA was successful lobbying it through the Legislature, but Governor Brown vetoed it in September 2015.  Shortly thereafter, Attorney General Harris launched her investigation into so-called “for profit virtual schools” (public virtual schools in California are nonprofits).