Iowa Districts to Offer K-12 Online Options in the Fall

Families in Iowa are soon going to be presented with the option of being able to enroll their children into full time online education in the state.

Officials from the Connections Academy and K12, who will be launching Iowa’s first two full-time online public schools for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, will be there to answer questions in a series of meetings with families in the Des Moines area, writes Grant Rodgers at the Des Moines Register.

Allison Bazin, a spokeswoman for Connections Academy, said:

“There’s a lot about full-time virtual school that is still kind of mysterious to people.”

Iowa Connections Academy will be Connections Academy’s first Iowa school and will open its virtual doors to students in the fall. The school will be run in partnership with the CAM Community School District in Cass County.

The other virtual school opening in the state will be the Clayton Ridge Community School District, which will be operated by K12 and will be called Iowa Virtual Academy.

Iowa will be the 30th state in the country to have a K12-run school.

Allan Nelson, Superintendent of Clayton Ridge Community School District, said:

“The Clayton Ridge Community School District is excited to offer the Iowa Virtual Academy to students and families in our state.

“There is a strong need for personalized learning programs that can reach children in new ways and help them succeed.  We believe IAVA will be an excellent option for families and a success for students.

“During the extensive planning and preparation, our district worked closely with the Iowa Department of Education to ensure full compliance.  On behalf of our district and school board, I would also like to thank the Department for their guidance throughout the process.  We look forward to continue working closely with the DE to ensure the success of our online public school.”

Students will engage in online lessons, assessments, and innovative technology and will be monitored by Iowa-certified teachers. These teachers, in addition to providing instruction, will offer oversight and support and will regularly interact with students and families.

Teachers will engage students through real-time web-based classes and one-on-one sessions. Daily face-to-face support from learning coaches will be offered to students, with coaches available to assist students as they progress through their individual education plans.

The schools and students will be expected to follow state and district accountability requirements, including full participation in the Iowa Assessments.