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Lodi Unified School District opens K12 Virtual Academy

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Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:29 am, Tue Aug 9, 2011.

Lodi Unified School District's new K12 Virtual Academy quietly opened last Monday alongside its brick-and-mortar counterparts.

The online program is considered a different program delivery, but is still part of the district. It runs on the same schedule as the rest of Independence School.

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  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:26 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    The sad part of this is that it is overseen by the teachers and staff of Independence School, whose name is quite appropriate considering the staff leaves students the "independence" to figure out what they need to graduate (this from personal experience) and generally pass the buck to each other in formulating a course of study for individual students.

    After two weeks of, "Here, take this history book and just read it," I pulled my daughter from this worthless program and was lucky to have SJ County Office of Education refer me to Delta Charter High School in Tracy. It is a public school and there is no cost to attend.

    Students are assigned a Teacher/Mentor who designs their curriculum, assigns a combination of online courses (Math, History, American Government, or whatever the student needs credits in), along with on-campus courses that can be scheduled all in one day if, as in our case, the student must commute. She completed her Senior year of study in 6 months and had the opportunity to take a variety of optional courses that included videography, photography, instrumental music, etc., many geared toward career opportunities. Monthly student/parent/teacher meetings monitored progress to ensure the student was completing all assigned work and little leeway was allowed for late or incomplete assignments.

    I found the staff to be committed and caring, supportive, yet no-nonsense - in other words, the message was, "we can only do so much, the student has to want to succeed." For any parent looking for an alternative school, I highly recommend it.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 1:14 pm on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    This seems to be more of a quasi-cyber school. The ones I advocate actually hold classes, only the kids (mostly high school) stay at home, on the computer, in front of a monitor that tells the teacher they are still there. The teacher is at the "school" on a monitor and can be seen by each student. The student can ask questions, get information and even participate in discussions as a class. I believe the name of one of the school's was HS 2010 or something like that. I sat through several seminars while I was on the board and found it very interesting and useful.

    I am not sure of today's construction costs but I know it was around $200K for a classroom, and it cost about $50 a day to run it. Sixty teachers can teach 1500 kids at home for a whole heck of a lot less of money. Imagine...a GHS cyberschool would save the taxpayers about $3million a year...and get better results.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:28 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Nationwide operation with approximately 68,000 students? You hit the talking points that I hoped someone else would research besides myself, otherwise this would have been just another conspiracy theory. You made some very valid points, Darrell, and that's the same conclusion that I come to. The point I'd like to make is that the LUSD educational system is broken badly, Thanks to Mr. Huyett and those school board members under his reign and now conyinues on with Nichols-Washer and the new board members, who seem to fear the almighty teachers' union, especially ttheir rumored corrupted and dysfunctional leaders.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:48 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I just went online to K-12 online... and it is a national operation. Evidently, this organization needs the school district for funding purposes. This organization can offer the same educational opportunity without the district, but then the parent would have to pay tuition fees. If the consumer opts for free education, the online program simply splits the tax payers moneys 50/50 with the district. The district then offers service that they already offer to home schooled students who meet periodically to review homework and grades.
    This is a positive direction but in my opinion, the tax payer is getting ripped off while the district and 12 K on line is very happy with the results. State funding should be reduced for this option considerably.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:31 am on Wed, Aug 10, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Pat.. I agree that this is a very positive and welcome direction. It is a good start.

    What I am disappointed in is the cost factor. If the school district does not have to provide the physical space or teacher for the student, you would anticipate the cost or expense to decrease. Instead, it appears to be extremely expensive for the tax payer considering what is offered.

    I home schooled my son for two years but got the materials and books from the school district and reported grades to the moderator so documented grades were available in the district. I assume that the district received income from the tax payer since I participated in the district home school program. I did 99% of the teaching and grading and once every quarter I sat down with the district and reviewed grades, homework and progress. The district involvment was mimimal. The online program would be for superior from my perspective.

    I understand the district and online program costs money and should be compensated. But as a tax payer, I would expect the online program to save a great deal of money since staff and administration expense is greatly reduced. Hopefully, this will evolve appropriately.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 1:30 pm on Tue, Aug 9, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Just another non-profit corporation sharing in the proceeds from their share of the government welfare system. Why does LUSD need this "group" when they should be gleaning all of these students' fuds for themselves? Who are the administrators of this program and how much money do they siphon off the top for themselves?

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 6:03 am on Tue, Aug 9, 2011.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Finally...after 8 years...someone listened! The delivery system for education has to change...for at least some of the students...it is time to stop teaching to the lowest common denominator. Let the kids expand their horizons.



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