The pandemic’s effect on education has been disruptive for many children. But some kids are benefitting from the experiment with remote learning. They are finding it easier to focus outside of the classroom, even thriving, thanks to their newfound learning independence. Still others are experiencing less social anxiety in the online space.
What will happen to these students when we move beyond the pandemic? School leaders across the country are grappling with this question. They are trying to figure out how to meet the personalized needs of these children and their families.
One solution is to create virtual academies. A 2020 RAND study found that 20 percent of school districts nationwide have already created virtual academies or plan to do so post-pandemic. Districts that say they’ll offer a remote option next school year include Corona-Norco and West Contra Costa Unified School Districts in California, Jordan School District in Utah, Park Hill School District in Missouri, and Pickens County School District in South Carolina, to name just a few.
High-quality virtual academies allow a cohort of students to learn from home while maintaining excellent instruction. Over the past year, we have learned a tremendous amount about how to craft this model. I’m working with Ritenour School District, in St. Louis, Missouri, to build a virtual academy as an option for students and families. Though all models need continuous improvement, based on research and feedback, it is becoming clear that the success of virtual academies depends on finding solutions to the six areas described below.
Be the first to read the latest from Shaped.