K12 Inc.'s picture

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/

Margaret Jorgensen's picture

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.  

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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.