Madison Ballet high school student turns to virtual classes to pursue dreams

MADISON (WKOW)-- As Madison Ballet prepares for another Nutcracker season, some high schoolers are changing how they study, to deal with the demanding schedule.  

"I feel like it's given me a lot of maturity," Maurissa Powell said.  The 16-year-old started dancing at three and has made the necessary sacrifices to make it on stage.

"It's always been my passion, so I feel I would take performing in the Nutcracker any day over going to the prom," she chuckled, but she's dead serious.  Maurissa already has a tutu and that's where her head is.

"You kind of just have to train while you have the ability to, you have the youth and everything," she said.

Madison Ballet Assistant Ballet Master Rachelle Butler likes the Wisconsin Virtual Academy program that about 10% of her students use. 

Read more and see the video here. 

Virtual school is changing a Utah teen's life

MILLCREEK (ABC4 Utah News) - Lilith Shlosman has a habit of taking in strays.

"Just yesterday I found a dog and then maybe another month before that I found another dog," Shlosman said. "Maybe four dogs in the last two months."

The 16 year old aspiring veterinarian from Millcreek describes herself as an outcast,who experienced bullying in high school. She says it all started when she asked a popular boy out.

"The guy that I asked out was talking crap about me with his other friends who would spread it around school. Eventually it evolved to cyber bullying," Shlosman told ABC4 Utah News. "I would feel anger, sadness, regret...hate to myself rather than them."

Read more here. 

Jeb Bush in Nashville: Education reform moving too slowly

Education reform in America is encouraging, but it is moving too slowly, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in Nashville on Thursday.

Bush was the keynote speaker at the morning session on the ExcelinEd summit in Nashville. ExcelinEd supports improving education both in traditional public schools and outside them and supports school choice. Bush serves as the group's chairman and president. 

Bush talked about the intersection of education and politics and offered some critiques that education reform tends to fall out of the national dialogue in non-election years.

More here. 

Online school helps figure skater balance studies, practice

When Courtney Phillips attended Claremont’s Chaparral Elementary School, each day started at 5:30 a.m., when the young figure skater glided onto the ice for practice. After that, it was off to a full day at school before she returned to the rink for more skating in the afternoon.

Now a ninth-grader, Courtney practices 20 hours a week, and has aspirations of qualifying for the Winter Olympics in 2022. The Claremont resident has been skating for about six years, and recently placed second in a regional United States Figure Skating competition that included 56 competitors. She will compete this week at the sectional competition in Spokane, Washington.

Continue reading here. 

How an online school benefits families

My child attends University View Academy, Louisiana's top academic performing K-12 online school. My child is in 10th grade, and her lessons are tailored to her style of learning.

She connects every morning with her teachers and fellow students online, where she is “virtually” in the classroom. We’re all thriving under this arrangement made possible because you supported education reform in Louisiana and allowed me, as a parent, the ability where best to send my child.

Read more here. 

Virtual charters offer real access to NC students

The intent of North Carolina’s Charter School Act was to create public school options for families and expand learning experiences for students, including those identified as at-risk and academically gifted; to promote creative teaching methods, share best practices, and offer new professional opportunities for educators. 

Today, North Carolina has 173 brick-and-mortar charter schools in 60 counties. They have done a tremendous job bringing educational opportunity to students. But despite high demand, charter schools remain inaccessible to many families.

Keep reading here. 


World’s youngest professional magicians and illusionists are also virtual school students

ZELIENOPLE – If you ever wondered what it would be like to watch noted literary and film wizard Harry Potter team up with his sister for a magic show, come to the Strand Theater in two weeks.

The Zelienople theater is presenting “Kadan Bart Rockett & Brooklyn,” on Nov. 18 and 19. Kadan is 12 and his assistant, his sister Brooklyn, 10, are considered the world’s youngest professional magicians and illusionists. Their father, Bart Rockett, a ventriloquist and magician, also appears in the show.

When they appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” judge Simon Cowell said, “He’s a real life Harry Potter! Fantastic, creepy and I have no idea what just happened.”

Their act made it to the second round of the semi-finals. “It was amazing, an amazing experience. A once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would like to have again,” Kadan said. “I was a little nervous, but not terribly. Just some butterflies in my stomach.”

Continue reading here. 

EdTech Hero: Candice Dodson, Indiana’s champion for blended learning

Candice Dodson’s greatest strength, as an educator and an innovator, is bringing people together, her colleagues say.

As director of elearning at the Indiana Department of Education, Dodson has nurtured a handful of major initiatives, urging school leaders across the state to embrace blended learning, technology integration and open educational resources. 

One of Dodson’s proudest achievements, she told EdScoop, has been helping school corporations in Indiana design and implement blended learning days in their 180-day academic calendars. Now part of the IDOE eLearning Day Program, which launched in the spring, these flex days can be invoked during inclement weather, planned virtual days, or any time school administrators want to encourage digital learning.

Read more here. 

“It’s never too late”: Virtual school helps people get diploma

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Working mom Erica Royer never finished high school. Now, thanks to a program through Topeka Public Schools, she has the chance to finally get her diploma.

Royer is enrolled in the Topeka Public Schools Virtual School. It’s a web-based program geared towards people over 19 that didn’t earn their high school diploma in four years. It allows people to complete any unfinished credits and transfer them back to their home high school.

The lessons are taught by virtual teachers and assignments are completed online, which makes it more convenient for people like Royer.

“I get off really late in the evening and it’s really convenient to get on the laptop and be able to do it right in my bed,” said Royer.

Read the story and watch the video here.