I am a full time senior at Green Mountain High School and decided to take a couple of "on-line" classes at Virtual Academy beginning Fall semester. I love High School BUT... I am not at all a "strong" academic student! In fact, the academic struggle through high school has often left me feeling very defeated!! The curriculum Virtual Academy uses is completely aligned with the curriculum in my brick and mortar GMHS - BUT... the way it is presented on-line, combined with my learning style, and TRULY AMAZING TEACHERS has changed my life!!! This school has given me confidence ! I am able to learn! I like learning! I find that instead of doing the minimum amount of work on assignments- I spend time absorbing myself in a cool assignment and dig into the internet to research and learn more! Bottom line... I WISH I HAD EXPLORED THIS JEFFCO OPTION FOUR YEARS AGO!!!!
The teachers at this school are absolutely fantastic. They're teachers who actually want to be teaching, and they focus on individual students more than any "brick and mortar" school. My daughter says "It's better education than a regular high school, without all the bullies and things that make high school terrible. I'll get to tell my kids that my high school experience was great!" The new principal is one of the nicest men you could meet, and he's a complete goof ball that all the students love. It's unbelievable how much my daughter has grown through J21VA and we plan on keeping her there until she graduates.
My son is taking a math course at Jeffco Virtual since the course isn't offered at his school. Signing up wasn't too hard, but he did have to take a somewhat long intro to online learning class. For math, they use a "prepackaged" online class, so the instructor isn't making up the material as he goes along. (Having taken some poorly thought out online classes myself-- that's definitely a good thing!) I was worried about him learning math alone by just reading, but the curriculum is so well designed that he is able to get the concepts that way after all. He likes that he he can practice at his own pace, and that he can see the results of most tests/quizzes quickly. I can log in to his account, too, so that I can occasionally look in on his grades and see if he's having any trouble, which is a nice feature. The one thing I might change is that he usually finishes up the whole week's math in just two or three hours, which doesn't really seem like enough time to spend on the subject. I think they should up the rigor a bit or maybe offer an honors option. Overall, though, I am very grateful that JeffCo has this great option for our kids.