Welcome to my classroom…..my virtual classroom. The below article, Multiple Modes of Learning at Orient School District, was featured in The Statesman Examiner, August, 2013. This article gives an “snapshot” of how the CVA virtual classroom operates. The below pictures are of myself and two of my CVA families who live on the west side of the state. The third picture is Orient, a town in the northeast corner of Washington, where I live.
Multiple Modes of Learning at Orient School District
Education occurs in different environments with a focus on our hopes, dreams and plans for our children to be the best and most successful people they can be. Today, there are several choices of where learning can occur, including: the formal brick and mortar setting; the informal family trip with observation of wildlife and topography; or the formal delivery of curriculum in the informal setting of the home. Choices of where, when and how our children learn becomes more prevalent as technology surpasses the traditional exchange of information. In recent history, educational information has been delivered in the brick and mortar classroom with much conversation taking place to directly assess student learning. Due to technology, this same assessment can now take place virtually. Orient School District participates in both the traditional and the virtual exchanges of information, providing choice in public education to parents. In Orient, Columbia Virtual Academy (CVA) is the virtual school operating under the roof of the traditional brick and mortar school. The hours students attend the virtual school are the same as the hours expected of the brick and mortar students. The curriculum used by CVA students meets the requirements of the new Common Core Standards. CVA students have many choices of curriculum to choose from. Through the collaboration of an academic advisor (a certified teacher), the supervising teacher, parent and student, an individualized education is created and then delivered in a home setting. Each student has an individualized Written Student Learning Plan (WSLP), which is one of the four basic requirements of CVA. The WSLP specifically outlines the state-required objectives to be met for the specific curriculum chosen for each subject the student takes. To further the accountability of student learning, CVA’s second requirement is a Monthly Review the teacher prepares, with input from the parent and evidence of learning from the student. Satisfaction of the Monthly Review is determined by the weekly attendance and contact, CVA’s third requirement. The student shares examples of problems, application of thought processes, and new understandings of concepts with his or her CVA teacher each week in order to meet this requirement. Specifically asking students to explain concepts learned for the week in each subject allows for a higher level of knowledge integration. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, which serves as the basis for the objectives determined by the state, high level and in-depth learning takes place when students apply, explain, evaluate and synthesize information. These skills are obtained when CVA students turn in their weekly attendance. Just as students are tested in the brick and mortar setting, the fourth CVA requirement is annual testing. CVA students are encouraged to take the state assessment, although alternative assessments can be utilized. How to educate a child can be one of the most important choices a parent makes. Orient School District recognizes each family’s desire to diversify, individualize and implement an education which serves the purpose of realizing their dreams for their children’s future.