K12

A Parent’s View On Online Schools

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My daughter, who was adopted from Tanzania in 2008, has greatly enjoyed K12 Virginia Virtual Academy (VAVA), which is a public school option in Virginia. I am a former school public school teacher in Martinsville City Schools and have four older children who went through public school, so I am not anti-public (brick and mortar) schools.  

I heard of K12 many years ago through my sister and another friend who used it in Pennsylvania with their children.  I had kept it in the back of my mind if I needed a change for my children and was delighted to find out it is available in Virginia. I believe virtual schools will be a more important option in the future as they have the ability to customize a program according to a student's needs.  K12 is a quality program with quality curriculum and excellent teachers.  It is wonderful to have regular conferences with the teachers who are in touch with the individual students needs.  

My daughter was adopted from Tanzania when she was in the first grade.  She did well in public school for the first few years and it gave her a good start in learning English, however, she was coming under too much pressure to fit in with other students because she felt so different (being from Tanzania). This led to some wrong choices. As a former teacher, there are things I saw and dealt with that made me vow, if I ever saw these problems in my own children I would not let it simply continue, even if it meant changing their academic program. I didn't have to do that until now and I am so thankful for the K12 program, which gave me a great option.

My daughter thrives at VAVA. She is learning more than she ever did in school and is very motivated. K12 is a quality program and should be available to all Virginia students not just through a few districts. The online sessions and availability of teachers means that there is someone to help troubleshoot if a student is having problems. 

As far as socialization, it is not a problem. Between church activities and time with cousins and a home school group, my child has plenty of socialization and is a much more happy and contented child.  VAVA also provides many opportunities for outings, although, few in our area. I think there could be more offered in our area if VAVA grows and there was open enrollment throughout the state.  

It is my firm belief from experience as a former teacher with our local education association, that those (such as the NEA) who are against such a program are only interested in protecting their own turf and promoting their own agenda. They are not in any way interested in what is best for students, parents and families no matter what they say. As children learn differently and thrive in different environments, it is good for parents to have a choice in how to educate their children.

Sincerely,

Regina Chacha

Martinsville, VA