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Virginia Educators See Success with EdOptions Academy

Virginia Educators See Success with EdOptions Academy

Like everywhere else in the U.S., the education environment has changed in Virginia since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools experienced online needs like never before and adapted to new modes of educating. Whether conducting class in a brick-and-mortar, hybrid, or fully virtual setting, districts continue to feel the impact of the pandemic. Teacher shortages are common, and communities are asking for more flexible learning options. 

Whether you need to address these shortages and keep your students in district, offer a virtual option that is research-based and pedagogically sound, or address individual needs with flexibility, utilizing an established, accredited online school to fill your needs is a sustainable solution.

We spoke with Virginia educators Patricia A. Maxey, program director of innovative learning from Forest Park Academy at Roanoke City Public Schools in Roanoke, and Barry Williams and Page Sorrell, teacher and social worker, respectively, with Gloucester County Public Schools in Gloucester. We asked them how they solve the aforementioned challenges and more using Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy, our fully accredited K–12 virtual school that pairs award-winning, approved MOP (multidivision-online-provider) curricula with Virginia-certified teachers; expert program management; and holistic student services. Take a look at some of the key takeaways from our conversation.

Accessibility

Barry and Page: I can’t imagine the problems we are facing are terribly unique. We simply could not be providing the required services to the number of students we have on homebound without EdOptions [Academy]. . . The students work with a certified teacher in each respective course, so you avoid being forced into having an English teacher try to help a student face-to-face in algebra.

Patricia: EdOptions is helping us provide our stakeholders with an additional virtual option. As a result of the COVID pandemic, the number of parents and students asking for virtual instruction has grown and fluctuated throughout the school year. EdOptions provides our district with a standalone virtual learning opportunity where parents and students are in control of learning outcomes.

Easy Student Data

Patricia: We have been using EdOptions since mid-October [of 2021] and have been able to provide students and parents with a full semester of virtual learning. As a district, we are able to track student access to classes and academic progress. Having the ability to track student data has allowed our district to use our school-based student supports (school counselors, social workers, attendance accountability specialists) to encourage and support student success.

Barry and Page: The student information is also very easy to access and monitor, which has made it very easy to communicate with students about their grades and pacing to help avoid any problems and provide a little more support to the students as well. Our parents have also been very pleased both with the courses and the teachers.

Consistent Communication

Barry and Page: Not the least important is the level of communication, both with support staff and teachers. Communications between teachers and students are frequent and are logged in the system, creating a very useful paper trail in the event of any type of student/parent disputes.

Simply being able to provide timely services to our students has to be considered a great success in this crazy environment. We have also been able to utilize our pacing guides to share with the EdOptions teachers so they can communicate directly with classroom teachers to make sure students who receive services for time spans covering parts of semesters or quarters are able to transition back to the regular classroom as seamlessly as possible. Teachers have also been able to provide [Section] 504 and special ed accommodations rather seamlessly, as well.

Flexibility

Barry and Page: We have had an enormous influx of new homebound cases this year related to COVID. At the same time, we have seen a decrease in teachers available to work with homebound students. We simply could not provide services to the vast majority of our homebound students without EdOptions. The catalog of courses is also extensive, which has really helped us to keep students on pace for graduation while they have been on homebound and taking courses through EdOptions.  

Patricia: EdOptions provides us with the flexibility to enroll students throughout the semester. Students who move into the district or have specific learning challenges that hinder enrollment in a traditional brick-and-mortar building can transition into EdOptions at any time. The flexibility in EdOptions allows students multiple opportunities for a successful completion of the coursework. 

EdOptions Academy’s sustainable, in-district virtual learning enables you to fully support student success whatever the conditions. To learn more about how we can help your district, watch this EdOptions Academy Overview webinar, take a look at the course catalog, and contact your local Edmentum representative.

Sian.Reilly@Edmentum.com's picture
Sian Reilly

Sian joined Edmentum in 2019 and serves as a Senior Marketing Specialist. A former teacher and administrator, Sian believes that individualizing education for the whole learner with quality academic and non-academic curriculum and assessment can powerfully transform students, campuses, and communities. Sian is passionate about connecting educators with content to meet their specific needs in an ever-evolving education environment.