Avondale district continuing online option after remote learning success

May 12, 2021, 4:45 AM

(Courtesy photo/Avondale Elementary School District)...

(Courtesy photo/Avondale Elementary School District)

(Courtesy photo/Avondale Elementary School District)

PHOENIX — The Avondale Elementary School District will continue an online learning academy used during the COVID-19 pandemic next school year, building upon the success of students who did well in the remote environment.

“When COVID and the pandemic hit last spring, we all very quickly went into remote learning,” Avondale Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Betsy Hargrove told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“As we were finishing out, we definitely observed many of our students who have thrived in that environment and we found that many of our parents are just thrilled with the opportunity that they’ve had with learning in our digital academy this year.”

Hargrove said the district heard many stories of students who didn’t feel comfortable or confident in sharing their work in person have “come out of their shells and blossomed in this environment.”

“We felt so strongly about being able to continue to offer those opportunities for children who have just taken off in this modality that we did not want to take this opportunity away,” Hargrove said.

The online academy – known as “Avondale Virtual Innovation Academy” – will be taught by Avondale Elementary School District teachers and follow the same curriculum expectation and outcome as in the traditional classroom, including participating in group and project-based learning.

“As far as the bottom line expectations for children and the standards and objectives that they need to be ready to master will be the same as if they are in a regular brick-and-mortar school,” Hargrove said.

She added the academy also isn’t solely an online option as students will be able to participate in extracurricular activities like sports and support programs.

“Because we have our traditional brick-and-mortar as well as our online academy, our families can live in both worlds,” Hargrove said. “They can have the flexibility to be able to say I want our online learning to continue … and I also want them to have those leadership opportunities.”

The online academy is available for students in third through eighth grades and any parent across Arizona can have their child attend.

Interested parents can register their children for the academy online.

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Avondale district continuing online option after remote learning success