Chicago School Proves the Effectiveness of Blended Learning in an Urban Environment

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, K12 Inc. released a whitepaperon the effectiveness of blended learning in urban communities. Featuring data and analysis from the Chicago Virtual Charter School(CVCS), Chicago’s first ever online charter school, the paper provides compelling evidence that students in urban communities can achieve academic success with effective online and blended learning programs.

Keep reading here.

When School Doesn’t Offer Physics, Rural Students Head Online

In Jefferson County in eastern Missouri, the high school, middle school and elementary school that make up the Grandview R-II School District all occupy the same campus.

“Which is out in the middle of nowhere,” says Superintendent Matt Zoph. “Literally in the woods, in a place where you can't buy a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas.”

Zoph started as a social studies teacher at the high school before becoming a principal and then superintendent. Today, he oversees about 750 students and 65 teachers.

Continue reading here.

Out of the comfort zone

In my experience as a teacher in a virtual environment, online students have some distinct advantages over students in traditional “brick-and-mortar” schools. In addition to a myriad of services, virtual schools let teachers monitor their students’ class work and assignment completion in a closer, more comprehensive way. They can better help students keep up or catch up with their schoolwork. For students who have experienced bullying, a virtual school is an emotionally safer environment. The wall of privacy works to level the social environment and helps students enjoy more equity and safety. 

More here.

Wisconsin: Charter, virtual schools could expand statewide under Senate GOP budget

The number of independent charter and private virtual schools in Wisconsin could expand under the new state budget proposal put forward by Senate Republicans this week.

The proposed spending plan authorizes a state charter school office to create charter schools statewide without the approval of local school boards. Currently the office is limited to creating the schools in Madison and Milwaukee.

Read more here.

‘Lost in the Cracks’: Alabama District Brings Personalized Learning to Incarcerated Youth

The American prison system has been criticized for being a place of punishment instead of rehabilitation. In states such as Alabama, where youth as young as 14 can be tried as adults, going into the system can mean a lifetime of condemnation. However, one school district hopes a personalized virtual school program will offer incarcerated learners a second chance.

Read more when you click here.

A schoolteacher defends her virtual classroom

I am still in my first year of teaching a math course for Florida Virtual School, and I believe that associate professor of political science Michael Hristakopoulos needs go back to school, take a research class and have more than a “short career in high school” (New Voices: “Virtual schools at risk of teaching without love — how to fix it,” Orlando Sentinel, July 6).

Click here to read the rest.

New private school gives middle-schoolers a non-traditional option

A new private middle school geared toward personalized, experiential learning will open its doors in St. Augustine this August.

The Pioneer School will offer a hybrid model of instruction, with students in grades 6 to 8 taking online classes through the Florida Virtual School, as well as hands-on enrichment activities such as boat building, gardening and robotics.

Keep reading here.

Virtual charter an option when one-size school doesn’t fit all – Nathan Currie

Why would students choose to go to school online?

As a superintendent of a tuition-free virtual public charter school, this question comes up a lot. Why would children choose to go to school online? 

For so long, students have had one option – their local brick-and-mortar school – but schools of thought around education have evolved to understand that learning is not one size fits all, and while traditional school might be a great fit for some students, others learn better in a different environment.

Take for instance Madison Kimrey, a high school student at North Carolina Connections Academy. Previously homeschooled, Madison was seeking an education option with diverse courses and the support of teachers. Her research led her to North Carolina Connections Academy where she found that the course catalog provided a range of core courses and unique electives, and fulfilled requirements for colleges she plans on applying to.

Continue reading here.

ZIP CODE SHOULD NOT DETERMINE EDUCATION CHOICES

By Will Flanders, Ph.D. and Collin Roth

Education reformers like to say that a child’s zip code shouldn’t determine their future. It has been one of the core arguments of school choice for decades. But in Wisconsin, despite the best efforts of education reformers, we’ve created an unequal system where zip code doesdetermine what education options are available to parents. Bringing uniformity to school choice access in Wisconsin remains one of the key sticking points in current budget negotiations in Madison.

More here.