This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Texas Virtual Academy1
Posted March 27, 2015
- a parent
Very difficult to navigate their online system and impossible to contact technical support. Teachers just reference any problems back to technical support, with no ownership or interest in helping to solve problems.
The curriculum itself is fine, but when it is piled on by class connects, work samples, extra testing, and study island my daughter was spending upwards of 12 hours a day on school. She became incredibly depressed, agitated, and eventually she shut down completely. The home room teacher told her to concentrate on ols lessons first and worry about the rest afterwards, then the next week she would send my daughter an email demanding to know why she'd not completed the extra work and tell her to concentrate on that. It flip-flopped for over a month before I finally had enough and told my daughter to work ahead in some subjects to complete them early and free up some time to concentrate on the subjects she had a harder time with. I got the idea because that is how my college courses are set up. Needless to say, she excelled and finished 3 subjects almost completely. Then her teacher called and accused her of cheating saying that she had done too much work. She told my daughter she had until the end of that day to provide written proof of all of the work she had completed. That is the point where I decided to pull her out because I'm tired of the teacher bullying my daughter.
I just started this school this year and I was not prepared for what was coming to me. And as soon as I went to this school and looked at the classes I knew I wouldn't like it here. There is too much to catch up with and dealing with depression does not help because I constantly feel unmotivated and there's no one to help kick in that motivation no counselors or teachers to help boost you up , I've actually felt more depressed going here than going to Public school. This is far more the baddest school I've been to since Dobie middle school. And the work is hard to do.
Our experience with this school has been disappointing on many levels. The materials are not organized an an intuitive way and we ran into many technical issues with our PC operating system (which was brand new). We ended up having to purchase a Macbook to get all the website features to work properly. The system does not seem to be very forgiving from a technical standpoint. Secondly, our representative provided us erroneous information about when my daughter needed to return to Texas from California to take the STARR test. I wasted $900 on airfare as a result. They never offered to reimburse me for their error. What made us decide to eventually leave TVA was their unwillingness to help my daughter take the STAAR test remotely. TVA continued to tell us that the TEA does not allow this, despite clear evidence to the contrary. I provided them information documenting how TTUISD has been doing this. I also gave them a name of a person at TEA who I spoke with that told me any virtual school can do this is they follow TEA guidelines (which were very easy). They evidently thought it was too much trouble and were unwilling to go the extra mile for my daughter.
For those who are saying the 5 Star ratings are fake, I assure you they are not. We started K-12 4 years ago. My daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Ehlors Danlos Syndrome, a heart defect, and was being bullied constantly. She had been harassed, verbally and mentally abused, and the staff and teachers did nothing to help. She had to be put in therapy and after they observed what was happening, they recommended the K-12 program to us.It seemed overwhelming at first. I was scared to death but to my surprise, the staff and teachers were right there every step of the way. She was able to work at her own pace and gets extra help in classes she needs it in and advances in those she doesn't. I can not tell you how amazed I am at the difference the k-12 program has made in my child. My once bullied, sad, struggling daughter is now a member of the NJHS, president of her Girl Scout troop, President and Founder of the Sweet and Sour Lemonade Club (benefiting Alex's Lemonade Stand foundation), a past committee member for our local Relay For Life, and is trying to become a mentor to new students at TXVA. I highly recommend TXVA.
2 yrs experience 9th - 11th grd 1) Some highly experienced teachers. They can only tell if kid is engaged if the kid is communicating with them via email, instant message, phone, etc. Will bend over backward if the communication is there but kid is struggling. Will not if they see no evidence of communication. 2) My kid is ADHD so the workload has been extremely tough on him. He works 7 days/wk. 1st year had to be on top of him, used software controls on his computer to prevent distraction. Getting better as he matures. 3) Insanely bad Learning Management System software. Seven concurrent subjects where the teachers trying to help the kids by giving them detailed weekly learning plans but style of each document plan are different and needs consolidating. 4) The learning material quality is very high indeed. I always know exactly what he is learning and know what he is weak in and what he is strong in. Problem is the number of subjects is limited. For example no AP classes in Studio Art. 5) Social interaction is taking a hit. No working in teams, discussion boards are not a good substitute for face to face. overall okay but need to supplement with outside social.
I trusted my child's education with this and am very disappointed. After juggling 8 classes, assignments overlapping, teachers constantly emailing and requesting assignments at the same time was crazy. Math teacher was very rude when reached out for help. If you are doing assignments for one class how can you read emails and attend live sessions at the same time. My child spent more than 10 hours a day on lessons and project. Now because of math cannot attend graduation ceremony. If a large number of students are failing math then there is a problem with the program and teacher. I wish we had continued with public school because this was a poor choice. Face to face contact is better. I hate I trusted this program with my child's education. A very frustrated parent.
Well my child is in TXVA, I will start by saying it's not for everyone!! The work is not simple! It may take you lots of time to get the hang of things and learn how to communicate and be successful! Communication is the key word!! Once you figure it out and learn the ropes it sure makes things a lot easier and well worth it in the end. I say that the 6 hours a day may be for some but I'm sure it's not for most!! I know my daughter may at times put 8,10,12 hours a day depending on what is needed for her to get things done and do well!! So you have to be welling to do what it takes to stay on track and parents have to stay involved and support them! It is a great opportunity for many that can manage the independence and work load. This is not an easy way out, you will put in many long hours of schools the same as regular school in most cases many more. I have to say the teachers are great and the program and school support has been a good! We are grateful for TXVA! Looking forward to the rest of high school with TXVA
The 5 star reviews for TXVA have got to be fake. This school was very difficult to keep up with and keep on task. It takes a tremendous amount of organization on the parent's part, especially for the high school years and a tremendous amount of time on the part of the student. Since it is a public school, it is still required to follow all of the regulations by the state of Texas for public school which includes the 6 hour mandatory attendance rules daily. In such it piles on busy work for the student to take up the full 6 hours and then some (as they expect "homework time" of an additional 2 hours on the student's part.) This is actually a flaw in this system because the 6 hours per day time at school includes time for lunch and breaks between class periods. For TXVA you are required to log the full 6 hours. Many of the subjects, especially Algebra and Chemistry are extremely difficult to convey over the material they present. It just isn't enough. They expect the child to read a few pages and then take a quiz on the subject they just read without giving them the ability to look back on the information. This is not a good teaching method.
My daughters, my nephews and my niece are enrolled in this school and have found it great. The teachers make it a point to call each student and work to meet each students individual needs. I have seen my girls grow and blossom even though it is virtual. They have enough interaction and are free if social pressures to study and grow.