Families in Iowa can now consider an online public school as a viable and innovative option as the Clayton Ridge Community School District has announced the launch of the Iowa Virtual Academy (IAVA).
Starting next year, the online public school is set to serve students in the district and across the state in grades K-6 and will gradually expand to middle and high school in subsequent years.
K12 Inc., America's largest provider of online learning programs, has provided the curriculum, technology and school services.
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.
Over half of all school districts in the country have some kind of distance learning course offering and nearly three-quarters of districts with online learning enrollments are looking to expand. The trend is truly in full swing across the country — and now Iowa is now to offer its own students the same online options.
Iowa's Open Enrollment period ends March 1, 2012.