Steilacoom Historical School District’s Virtual Academy

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Steilacoom Historical School District #1 offers, in addition to its traditional schools, The Steilacoom Virtual Academy (SVA).

The Steilacoom Virtual Academy is intended for students in Kindergarten through the 8th grade who may benefit from individualized instruction using a rigorous academic curriculum. Included with each child’s enrollment are the K12 Inc. On-Line School (OLS) that provides a framework for all instruction and all materials necessary for students to complete their assigned course of study.

DEBBY ABE of the The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA reports that the number of K-12 students studying online and receiving course credit from public schools in the state of Washington has more than tripled over the past five years: from 3,012 in 2000 to 10,161 last school year. That is now about one percent of the state’s student population. School counselors, parents and students are increasingly aware of virtual learning options. Early evidence suggests that motivated students who adapt to the online learning style and take high quality courses learn as much or more than students in face-to-face classes. At least a half-dozen districts in the South Sound offer virtual education programs. Most purchase curriculum from commercial providers. But a few districts, including Federal Way and Bethel, offer staff-written courses.

Kudos to educators involved in the venture to make learning available in schools besides through face-to-face attendance.

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.