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Student Story: A Fresh Start and Personal Connections Through Virtual Learning

Student Story: A Fresh Start and Personal Connections Through Virtual Learning

At EdOptions Academy, our vision is empowering futures, one student at a time. The only way that happens is by recognizing each student as the unique person he or she is. Zach is one EdOptions Academy student who truly benefited from this personal approach.

Getting a Fresh Start with EdOptions Academy

When Zach had a second-offence disciplinary situation late in his junior year of high school, it was clear that he needed a different approach to keep moving his education forward. His school’s administrative team recommended that he take his senior year fall semester courses through the district’s virtual alternative learning program, which is powered by a partnership with EdOptions Academy, and then the school would reevaluate for the spring semester.

Finding Success in Virtual Learning

At first, Zach had some reservations about making the switch to virtual learning—friends who had previously taken other online courses said that they preferred being at the high school. However, Zach was motivated to turn his academic career around, and although the placement wasn’t his choice, he went into his EdOptions Academy virtual courses ready to work and approached it with an open mind. Zach found that the flexibility of virtual learning was a good fit for him and appreciated the option to complete work at home as he needed to.

“It’s not every day that you’re in the same four walls with the same people that you see every day,” Zach noted.

He was also in regular communication with all of his EdOptions Academy teachers, and he found their regular check-ins and reminders about assignments very helpful in staying on track. Most importantly, though, Zach made the effort to connect with his virtual teachers. That experience of one-on-one interactions and getting to know one another as people—not just as student and teacher—made all the difference in his success.

Building Lasting Connections for Future Success

As the semester progressed, Zach made an especially meaningful connection with his EdOptions Academy Physical Education teacher, Mrs. McRandal.

“It was the little personal stories here and there that we would share that I never knew about, and it was just that immediate connection,” Zach described.

Physical Education ended up being Zach’s favorite course through EdOptions Academy, and he and Mrs. McRandal have continued to stay in touch.

Zach’s experience with EdOptions Academy during the fall semester was so positive that, when he was given the option to return to his high school for spring semester, he chose to stay in virtual learning.

“I wanted to stay with [EdOptions Academy] because I had a connection with all of my teachers, . . . especially Mrs. McRandal,” Zach elaborated.

Ultimately, Zach built on his fall semester success and graduated with his high school diploma on time in the spring. Now, he’s continuing his education at a local community college and plans to earn his associate degree before transferring to a state university to complete his bachelor’s degree.

“My plan is to do business management. But, if, this first semester, I don’t like my business courses and I want to change my major, then I’m considering changing it to special education teaching,” Zach stated.

Virtual learning through EdOptions Academy helped Zach turn his own education journey around and begin to see and build a bright future for himself. So, what is Zach’s advice for other students considering virtual courses?

“I loved it, and I’d recommend it to anyone,” Zach said. “Try and have a connection with your teachers and share personal stories because, if you [do] that, then the connection is only going to get stronger as you go.”

Interested in learning more about EdOptions Academy and how your unique students can benefit from Edmentum’s personalized approach? Check out this blog post on 5 Ways Our Teachers and Instructional Methods Help Students Stay Engaged!

sarah.cornelius@edmentum.com's picture

Sarah Cornelius is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Edmentum and has been with the company since 2014. In her role, she works to provide educators with engaging and insightful resources. Sarah received her B.S. in Professional Communications and Emerging Media from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.

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