New Tennessee Virtual Academy attracts thousands

New Tennessee Virtual Academy attracts thousands

Posted:

By JAMIE LYNN DROHAN
6 News Reporter 

CORRYTON (WATE) - Tennessee schools are trying out lots of new ideas this year, including the concept of no building at all.

It's the first year for the Tennessee Virtual Academy, an Internet-based learning system. While Union County oversees the school, its students are logging in from across the state.

It might not look like a school from the outside, but inside a mobile home in Union County class was in session Friday.

First grade teacher Brooke Irvin conducted a virtual reading assessment with one of her students. It's just one part of the new virtual academy.

The school currently has over 1,000 students from across Tennessee enrolled in grades K-8.

"There are still thousands waiting to be enrolled, going through the enrollment process. We are hiring teachers every day and students are being added every day," Irvin said.

Classes began August 8 with half-day orientations. After Labor Day, the classes will go full time.

Irvin became a certified teacher in 2010, but this is her first full time job. She says it's the best way to really teach students.

"I also have the ability to individualize their learning. If I have a student who needs a higher reading level, I can get that done in a much quicker pace than a public school system could in the brick and mortar," Irvin explained.

Josh Williams is head of schools for the Tennessee Virtual Academy. He says he's been flooded with calls and interest about the curriculum. One family moved to Tennessee just to enroll their kids.

"By being as flexible as we are and setting that curriculum per child, what we can do is help them more in math or English or science or social studies," Williams said.

"We are pioneers of education. It's a great experience, a great opportunity because this is brand new to Tennessee. Everyone is excited about it and to know that I was there from day one is amazing," Irvin said.

Virtual academy officials say they plan to add grades 9-12 soon.

If you're wondering what kind of students attend, officials say they include athletes, students with long-term illnesses and even average students.

For more information on the school and how to enroll, visit the Tennessee Virtual Academy website.

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