River Valley Virtual Academy anticipates increased spring enrollmentTuesday, December 5, 2017 8:48 pm
VBSD’s River Valley Virtual Academy opened in August, giving local students expanded options for learning. The new charter school has helped students across grade levels, allowing them the opportunity to work at their own pace, while benefiting from District programs and services.
Flexibility/Self-paced Learning RVVA Coordinator Jennifer Feeny is thrilled with how the first semester has gone for her and her students. She believes that virtual learning is a wonderful option for individuals who need additional flexibility or who have struggled to find success in the typical classroom setting.
“Virtual learning for students is a rapidly growing sector in education,” noted Feeny. “RVVA provides flexible and portable education options for students in the River Valley, but is unique in the fact that students have the option to visit our campus for additional support, as well as participate in extra-curricular activities through the school district.”
Fourteen year-old Kayli Holloway appreciates the flexibility that RVVA offers her in her studies. “I get sick a lot and before I would have to miss a lot of school,” she explained. “Now I don’t get behind on work. I can even do my assignments in bed.” Holloway also enjoys being able to work ahead and take days off to pursue her hobbies. “I like to work ahead during the week and spend my Fridays baking.”
Having previously participated in other virtual academies, freshman Elaum Purifoy feels that he has finally found a home in RVVA. “I like the freedom that comes with online learning,” he explained. “You can speak your mind and know that you are being evaluated on your answer, instead of being judged by what you wear or what you look like. I don’t have to worry about being bullied either.” The positive experience has inspired Elaum to want to pursue education and work as a virtual learning teacher.
Eight year-old Sheridyn Buchanan likes being able to work ahead and has been known to get a jumpstart on her assignments. Having come from a homeschool background, she is accustomed to working at her own pace. “One day she sat down and spent several hours working on her art,” noted Feeny. “She was able to complete the entire nine weeks’ worth of projects.”
Self-paced learning also provides great flexibility for families wanting to weave in unique experiences throughout the school year. “I had one student who went to Houston to help following Hurricane Harvey,” noted Feeny. “Another student worked ahead in order to take time off to attend a family gathering. This format definitely provides families more opportunities to explore and freedom to do other things.”