Many students thrive in traditional brick-and-mortar schools, yet others feel limited by a system that simply does not fit their needs. Of the latter group, some students need to be challenged more, others need to catch up. However all students have unique talents and boundless potential. They need to be inspired by a quality education that works for them.
Thus, there is a growing demand for an alternative to traditional, brick-and-mortar schools. A recent national study by NEPC shows enrollment in full-time virtual schools and blended schools (online and face-to-face instruction) increasing at a rapid pace. According to the study, in the 2016-2017 school year, 17,000 more students enrolled in an online school than the previous year, and 80,000 more students enrolled in a blended learning program during the same period.
Families are opting for online and blended education because the models allow for greater customization to meet the needs of each student in ways that many traditional schools cannot. Learning systems used in online and blended schools also empower teachers to more effectively personalize learning — measure progress, adjust pace, and provide extra support when needed for every learner — which is a major advantage for both struggling students as well as high-achievers. This level of personalization can be a challenge to achieve in a traditional classroom.
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