Saturday, June 9, 2012
New Jersey’s First Virtual Charter School
The importance of a quality education has prompted the New Jersey Virtual Academy School (NJVACS) to contract with the for-profit online education company, K- 12, Inc. to provide an online school alternative for the state. New Jersey has asked the company to come up with New Jersey’s first virtual charter school. Project visionaries see students learning from the comfort of their own homes. This learning project is due to begin during the fall of 2012.
According to K 12’s senior vice president, Peter Steward, K-12 is set to bring out new and valuable online learning opportunities to New Jersey students who are looking for an alternative to the traditional educational setting. He also noted that their company specializes in helping get students up to speed more efficiently than brick-and-mortar students, many of whom are normally a grade behind in their academic proficiency. He credits the online classroom’s better ability to teach students and sees growth in their learning. He thinks they will eventually become as proficient as their peers.
The virtual charter school program, which has already started recruiting students, has up to 300 students who have already showed interest in this program. Despite these virtual charter school recruiting figures, they are close to reaching capacity, because they only intend to recruit 850 students during their first year of their virtual school launch. This program will enable students to work hand in hand with potential teachers who might be next door or across the country and help their online students to realize higher grades and become more proficient learners.
New Jersey’s first virtual charter school project will have a more comprehensive educational impact on disaffected and un-reached students. It will encourage school drop-outs to continue with their education by offering them particular programs that will enable them to build on previously earned credits and finish their high school education. This virtual charter school will not be any different from any other online charter school because it will use the same standards and follow the same regulations as for state mandated K-12 curriculum requirements.
Although questions remain during the initial phases regarding various details, there are negations between K 12 and the Newark educational system and people are eager to find out whether the online charter schools will be given a go ahead to operate. While virtual schools are still being reviewed, Tim Nogueira, the Superintendent of the Monmouth Ocean Commission said that he is positive that these online schools are going to be in operation in the fall as per the indications from the meetings.
Online charter schools will be a new learning center that will have students from different parts of New Jersey interacting within the same medium. This is the first school project that K 12 has come up with and is unique to any other state. In fact, reports, have it being cheaper than a traditional cost for a brick and mortar school. It will only cost the district $10,000 per pupil for an online student, which is $3,000 less than a brick and mortar school.