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. 

14-year-old Denver entrepreneur says online school is part of her recipe for success

DENVER - A 14-year-old entrepreneur from Denver is running her own baking business, and she thinks her online school is part of her recipe for success.  Rain Adams has her own baking business called Bakeology, making specialty cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

The business is going well.  She had $1,000 in orders last month.  But, it requires a lot of time and a flexible school schedule.

Read the story and watch the video here. 

Online Charter School Activists Head to State Capitol Wednesday

Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families Hosts Back to School Rally

[Madison…] Hundreds of parents, students, teachers, administrators and advocates of online public charter schools will gather in Madison on Wednesday, September 17, 2017 for their Back-to-School Rally and State Capitol Field Trip.

“We’re gearing up for another great school year,” said Peder Berg, President of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families. “On Wednesday, we’ll talk a little education policy, empower parents with information and take our message to the Capitol to encourage lawmakers to have the wisdom and the courage to say ‘I Trust Parents.’”

State Senator Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield), a longtime champion of online schools, often called virtual schools, will address the group at the Monona Terrace. The McManus family of Elm Grove will be honored for their more than decade long advocacy on behalf of the coalition. Radio host Jerry Bader of WTAQ in Green Bay will broadcast his show live from the event. In the afternoon, the students will take a guided tour of the Capitol, which celebrates its 100th year in 2017.  WCVSF members will also be dropping off letters to their state legislators and the governor, urging them to support choice in education, specifically to eliminate the bureaucrats’ veto.

Under Wisconsin State Law, open enrollment is basically year round. The wide open enrollment window closed on April 28th, but the only way a student cannot enroll in a public school that is willing to accept their applications after the deadline is if their 'home' district and the State Department of Public Instruction block them.

Last month it was discovered that school district administrators in Manitowoc are currently vetoing applications for residents to open enroll in public online charter schools, holding children in their community hostage and milking them for the state aid that accompanies their forced enrollment. This move violates the intent of state law and forces parents to appeal to bureaucrats in Madison to determine if children who live in Manitowoc can go to the public school of their parents' choice.

“We’re looking for champions in the state legislature who will be willing to take up our cause, trust parents and eliminate the callous bureaucrats’ veto,” said Berg. “Wednesday is more than a show of force, however; we’re rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, sharing our message that when lawmakers trust parents, everybody wins.”

Created and led by parent volunteers, the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families was formed in 2005 to protect our educational choices and make sure parents’ and families’ voices are heard in the Capitol and around the state. Together with our fellow parents, families, teachers, and friends, we will educate policy makers and others on why we chose a virtual school for our children; how these schools work; the close, working relationship we have with our teachers and administrators; and much, much more.