Distance Learning | News

Oklahoma To Offer Free Online School

Students in Oklahoma will be able to attend a free online public charter school beginning in the fall. The school, Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, was approved by Choctaw-Nicoma Park Public Schools, and will be governed by an independent nonprofit school board.

The school, using curriculum from K12, is accepting applications from students who will be in grades K through 11 during the 2011-2012 school year. The OVCA will add students in grade 12 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Certified teachers will provide instruction and support in courses including core subjects, world languages, AP and honors classes, and high school electives. Students will be able to work at their own pace, though they will be "expected to achieve a year's academic growth in a year's time," according to information released by the school. Students will also be required to meet accountability standards and participate in state assessment tests.

Textbooks and instructional materials will be sent directly to the students' homes, where they will be able to access online lessons and teacher-led classes.

To provide social interaction throughout the year, OVCA will organize school outings, including trips to museums, zoos, and clubs. According to information released by the school, local clusters of students and parents will be expected to get together regularly, and, "We are also exploring new ways to interact socially using the powerful reach of the Internet. With online discussions and forums, new types of communities can be formed that are based not on geography but on shared interests."

Kristi Gifford, president of the OVCA board, said, "The board is excited to offer this public school option to Oklahoma families.  This school will offer parents an excellent school choice with a focus on personalized learning through the use of a high quality curriculum.  For many families, online schools are the best opportunity for their children to succeed academically.  We thank the Choctaw-Nicoma Park Schools for making this possible."

More information is available at k12.com/ovca.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].