As more and more vaccinations take place throughout America, the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic’s grip on the nation is letting up. Progress has been made, and yet many parents of young children remain concerned about the safety of public education returning to business-as-usual for younger students while there is still a threat from new variants (Delta) of the virus, the lack of a vaccine for elementary students, and many eligible adults who have not yet been willing to be vaccinated.
There are still many unknowns and much uncertainty. This has many families wanting to explore the continuation of online learning for their young children in the elementary grades. Achieve Virtual is pleased to announce a new online elementary school for students in grades K-6 for the coming 2021-2022 school year.
Bringing Mobility and Flexibility to Elementary Education
The principal of Achieve Virtual K-6 will be Matt Dodson. Mr. Dodson has been an elementary administrator and teacher for 16 years in MSD Wayne Township. As he notes, “When we think about our students and what we can offer them, we want to reach as many students as we can. The emphasis is on mobility and flexibility. This gives families the chance to choose and gives teachers more options.”
MSD Wayne Superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts echoed Dodson’s words when he said, “The past year has taught us that students need more options for their education.” Quite a few families were surprised to see how their elementary learners thrived in the virtual learning environment. As Dodson explained about these parents, “They’ve been our at-home teachers this year. A lot of them realized, ‘Hey I like this too.’” Given ongoing concerns about the pandemic, these parents are welcoming the opportunity to enroll their youngest learners in an online elementary school where most of their learning will take place in the comfort and safety of their own home.
Will Achieve Virtual K–6 be Only Online?
The first nine weeks of the 2021-2022 school year will be entirely online for all Achieve Virtual learners. After that period, Achieve Virtual K-6 students will have both online and in-person learning. The online elementary school program will utilize MSD Wayne’s core curriculum, materials, and resources to explore art, music, movement, and computer science through hands-on activities. It will also include special education, English learner teachers, and support staff. The school will sponsor family events similar to a traditional elementary school.
Does Online Elementary School Work for Everyone?
When it comes to public education, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all because students have different needs and respond differently to various learning environments. Some have excelled in the online learning setting while others do better in a traditional physical classroom. Yet others shine when there’s a mix of both online and in-person instruction. Because of this kind of variation, it makes sense to expand the availability of opportunities for different kinds of learning environments.
There are a number of reasons we’re launching an online elementary school program—namely to increase the number of options for families. Parents want their young children to engage their education in the way and environment that works best, and is safest, for them. Online school doesn’t work for every student. But, for families who have discovered it does work for their student learners, they now have an option to enroll them into a full-time online elementary school, with a limited in-person component for the benefits kids get from the physical classroom.
It’s also worth noting how the remote learning that schools had to suddenly adopt was an emergency response to a public health crisis. It was not ideal and, in many cases, the student learning experience reflected that fact.
Virtual learning done right by people who know how to do it is another thing entirely. But if you still wonder whether online learning works for elementary students, review this post and video from Edmentum: Virtual Learning for Elementary Students: Does It Really Work? It gives insights into determining whether or not virtual learning is right for your elementary student(s). Keep in mind that this is something that can also change over time. Online learning might not be right for any given child right now, but the following year it might be.
An obvious limiting factor for many families is whether a supportive adult is available to be home with the youngest learners to help manage their educational experience. Younger elementary school children need that support throughout their school day.
Apply Now for Achieve Virtual K–6 Online Elementary School
Many families have already signed up for our online elementary school program for the coming school year. Start your application now, as space will be limited.
MSD Wayne families must log into the Family Access in Skyward and select the Online Enrollment tab to submit an application. Anyone needing assistance with logging into Skyward can contact their current local school to get help.
Separate applications must be submitted for each child a family wants to enroll. The application process includes a short questionnaire highlighting requirements and family commitments for enrollment. Full-time enrollment for elementary students in MSD Wayne is completely free.
Achieve Virtual: Indiana’s Online Learning Experts
Achieve Virtual Education Academy was the first online high school program in the state of Indiana. We’ve developed deep expertise over the past decade in how to deliver virtual learning that helps students learn and grow to meet their academic goals. Accredited by the Indiana Department of Education, our curriculum is rigorous at every grade level and adheres to all state curriculum standards. The same will be true for Achieve Virtual K–6. Our approach is based in collaboration and flexibility.
All online instruction and each class offered through Achieve Virtual is taught by a real Indiana teacher certified to teach in their subject area and grade level. Our teachers are dedicated professionals who are passionate about student success. Every learner is provided the individual support they need to experience a quality education in the online setting, enhanced further by limited in-person learning sessions. Lessons in Achieve Virtual K–6 will explore art, music, movement, and computer science so students will be ready for the transition into middle school when the time comes.
For more information about the Achieve Virtual K–6 online elementary school, feel free to contact principal Matt Dodson directly via the district’s communication system, ParentSquare, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.