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Tennessee Students Grades K-8 Can Now Attend School Online

By Jeaneane Payne

A dynamically innovative new online public school program is now serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade in Tennessee.

Developed by K12 Inc., the largest provider of online school programs in the nation, the Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA) prepares every student with the opportunity to achieve success. The academy offers students a highly individualized learning program using online lessons, assessments, state-of-the-art technology, and highly trained online school teachers. Teachers provide instruction, guidance and support, and interact regularly with students through innovative web-based "e-classrooms." The online school also encourages parents to be active participants in their child's education.

Online learning is growing rapidly in the U.S. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning estimates that enrollments in online learning have grown from 40,000 students to more than 4 million students since 2000.

Tennessee Virtual Academy is a tuition-free public school program that uses the K¹² curriculum, which is accessed via an Online School (OLS) along with more traditional methods. Materials are delivered right to the family's doorstep including books, CDs, and even microscopes and cell samples for science projects.

TNVA partners with parents and students with a highly qualified, Tennessee-certified teacher to guide and track their progress and achievement through the curriculum. There are frequent face-to-face meetings and events as well.

Student-to-student interaction is also emphasized, so TNVA students are provided with a variety of opportunities for social activities and engagement.

Because it is part of the public school system, Tennessee Virtual Academy is tuition free. The entire K¹² curriculum is provided free of charge.

The online lessons blend text, photos, illustration, animation, audio, and interactivity, giving students an opportunity to see and examine aspects of the world that might otherwise be out of reach.

The high school course currently offers 105 online courses with multiple levels of core subjects. High school students can also study up to four years of a world language. A variety of electives include anthropology, web design, and digital photography.

The Union County, Tennessee public school system will be participating in the new program beginning in the Fall of 2011. Brian Oaks, Chairman of the Union County Board of Education, said, "Our Board is excited about the potential of this new online public school. It's a great opportunity to expand our district's education programs and services for children. We're pleased to partner with K12 to offer the Tennessee Virtual Academy."

State Senator Mike Faulk, who represents Union County Public Schools, praised the district for its leadership in launching this innovative education program. "I salute Director Goforth and the Union County Board of Education for its willingness to move Union County to the cutting edge of education reform," said Senator Faulk. "I encourage parents and students to take advantage of this terrific opportunity. It's a new world we live in and this online school will help our students be better prepared for it."

The award-winning K12 curriculum is used by school districts in states across the U.S. for full time online schools, blended learning programs, and part-time supplemental course offerings.

TNVA will follow all the same accountability standards of other public schools. Students in grades 3-8 will take the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Achievement Test each spring.

More information on the academy can be found at

Published July 8, 2011

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