West Virginia Academy is primarily a live instruction school, but our foundational topics including mathematics, reading, and language arts will all be available in multiple modalities. Every live class session in a foundational topic is paired with an online version, which we refer to as our Online-Component (or OC). The OC enhances the live instruction in foundational topics both as a supplement and as a backup delivery method in the event that live attendance is disrupted.
While perfect attendance in live classes is ideal, it's also unrealistic in most cases. Parents are all too familiar with disruptions to live instruction in public schools. Within recent memory, several instructional days have been missed due to COVID, natural disasters, and severe weather incidents. These absences are in addition to any missed classes arising from sickness or other personal reasons. State wide test scores indicate that these disruptions have proven to be a major impediment to student outcomes and progress. At West Virginia Academy, in every instance where a student is unable to attend a live instruction class in a foundational topic, the OC will be immediately available and serve as the primary method of instruction. A child that is home sick will be able to immediately log into their classes online and complete the material through the OC at the same time that the class is being taught live. If the child is not able to complete the class at home, then the OC will be utilized once the child returns to school to ensure that the child is up to speed on the material prior to returning to live instruction.
The OC can also be used as a supplemental program to provide remediation for students that need additional time with the course material. This gives every student the flexibility to learn at their own pace and avoid falling behind as is commonly the case in traditional public schools. West Virginia Academy's school year will operate on a balanced calendar where students attend for nine weeks followed by a two or three week break. During this break, students who need extra support in foundational topics will receive remediation through a combination of live courses and the OC. All students will then start each term with an increased capacity to meaningfully participate in their classes. This approach eliminates the tired tradition of allowing students that need remediation to get further and further behind all year only to then be forced to take a summer makeup class that is often ineffectual.
Lastly, the OC will be implemented in creative ways that will benefit students that are medically fragile, English Learners (EL), and international students. The OC will allow West Virginia Academy to better accommodate family travel, leaves of absence, and religious holidays that might otherwise conflict with the standard school schedule. In such cases, students will be able to stay up to date on foundational topics through the OC even while away so they won't miss a beat when returning to class. The OC is one of many ways that our academy will innovate by placing the needs of our students first.