Forming connections: Teachers share experiences working for online school

SHERIDAN — Technology in education will likely increase in the future. More students are likely to participate in something similar to the Cowboy State Virtual Academy, an online school started earlier this year by Sheridan County School District 1.

The CSVA is relatively small, though, serving about a dozen students. Meanwhile, a full-time online school already exists in Wyoming. Wyoming Connections Academy is a public online school that serves students from across Wyoming in grades K–12 under the umbrella of Big Horn County School District 1.

The online school was established in July 2009 as Jackson Hole Connections Academy before changing its name in 2011. The WYCA is part of Connections Academy, a business that began in 2001 and now operates 34 online schools in 29 states.

The Sheridan Press spoke with two WYCA teachers about why they wanted to teach at the online school and how it differs from more traditional public education.

Continue here.

New rule lets Wisconsin high school students take a class in other districts

It’s gotten easier in recent years, thanks to online communications, for students at small, rural high schools like Lake Mills and Lakeside to take classes they would not normally have access to.

But what if a brick and mortar high school in a neighboring district offers one course they’d like to take? Maybe advanced math or science… or orchestra or ag or foreign language?

What if, at a small school that has just one or two teachers per subject, a student and a teacher aren’t meshing? What if the best choice is something short of wholly removing a student from the district via full-time open enrollment? 

Read more here. 

One student vouches for Virtual School following informational meeting

Ranleigh Hall will be a junior at Northview High School, but she's not your traditional student. She says,"I am able to graduate early, which is my goal. So i plan on graduating early.. this year actually."

For some students, the classroom isn't the best learning environment. And now they have an alternative where they can learn at their own pace, their own schedules and in their own environments.

Check out the video here. 

Essential Online Resources to Aid Students in College Planning

Summer, when school is out and schedules are more relaxed, is a great time for students to start thinking about college. While it’s tempting to spend the summer at the pool or playing video games, college planning takes time and shouldn’t be put off.

Depending on a student’s grade level, this could be as simple as reflecting on goals and making a plan of action for the school year. For students in high school, especially those entering 12th grade in the fall, such planning could also include researching colleges and majors, applying for scholarships, and visiting prospective schools.

Wherever you and your student are in the college planning process, these useful online resources can help you and your student make good use of the summer and set the stage for college success.

Read more here. 

Thousands of High School Seniors Find Success with Online School, Graduate with Connections Academy's Class of 2018

More than 5,300 virtual school students graduated across 23 states as Connections Academy celebrated its 10th annual graduating class. The graduates represent schools from California to Maine and received their diplomas in the presence of family, peers and staff at in-person ceremonies. Student scholarships totaled more than $38 million and this year's Class is headed around the world to careers and higher education opportunities ranging from neurology, to professional racecar driving, to political science at Princeton.

Read more here. 

High-Demand Digital Jobs Kids Should Learn About

Generational divides can affect how we view and embrace the career landscape. We grow up seeing the world a particular way, then find it hard to look past that ingrained perspective when our own children venture out into a world that is so different from the one we grew up in.

But it’s important to know, in this time of economic uncertainty and unclear prospects, that digital technology is bringing a huge range of possibilities when it comes to the workplace, and children growing up today have plenty of solid options for lasting careers.

Continue reading here. 

3 ways to increase engagement in virtual classrooms

Online and hybrid education has long been a hot topic in higher education, but the impact of virtual learning on K-12 schooling is continuing to grow. With this growth comes new opportunities for students from all walks of life. With online learning, students with mobility issues can more easily access the materials they need; homeschooled students have more resources available to them; and students at schools that don’t offer AP or language classes can still get the education they need. Most importantly, it gives students the opportunity to interact with and learn from classmates from around the country, or even the world.

Read more here. 

Virtual classroom just the ticket for Oklahoma student

High school student Erika Maples traveled the world with her parents before settling in Norman. 

Erika's dad, Lee, met his wife, Noriko, while stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Okinawa, where their daughter was born.

Erika speaks English and Japanese and started playing the violin when she was in first grade. By that time, the family was living in Tokyo.

Erika's world changed when her father was medically retired after 16 years of service.  

Keep reading here.

For the love of music: Local teen gets ready to help teach at college event

Musical talent seems to run in the Constable family — that and a bit of healthy rivalry. 

“If Chelsea gets something faster than me, I’m automatically trying to do it even faster or better,” Grace Constable, age 16, said with a grin, talking about her older sister, who recently gained attention with the release of a new debut  EP. 

But there is also a great deal of professional respect and support in that relationship, especially as Grace gets ready to not necessarily follow in her sister’s footsteps, but to blaze her own trail. Read on here.