The 2018-2019 school year for the Virginia Virtual Academy has come to an end this week. Students, parents, teachers and staff all took time during the last week to celebrate a highly successful 2018-2019 school year with events across the Commonwealth.
Students had a chance to connect with classmates and friends before the start of the summer at events in Richmond, Fairfax, Roanoke, Big Stone Gap, and Virginia Beach. These functions are great opportunities for the students, parents and staff to get together and talk about upcoming summer plans, remember big moments from the school year, and look forward to the next school year, which for the Virginia Virtual Academy is going to be a milestone.
The Virginia Virtual Academy started 10 years ago with grades K-3 and a few hundred students. Today, VAVA offers grades K-11 and had over 2,100 students enrolled this school year. Obviously, there is a need for virtual education in Virginia with enrollment growing the way that it has, and it’s critical that parents have this option to meet the education needs of their children.
However, one of the most exciting events of the school year was the announcement that for the first time in school history, the Virginia Virtual Academy will be a full K-12 school next year with the addition of 12th grade. This is excellent news for students in the 11th grade, knowing that they can complete their high school work at the Virginia Virtual Academy.
Other highlights from the year included field trips, community service projects, and an anti-bullying campaign to highlight October as anti-bullying month.
At the many events around the state one theme was crystal clear when talking to parents. Every parent said it was essential to have educational choices, including virtual. Parents repeatedly talked about why they choose VAVA and how important it was that this choice was available to them. Many are military families, parents who have students who suffered from bullying, or had unique medical challenges that prevented them from going to a traditional brick and mortar school. No matter the reason, parents were grateful that this education choice was available for them and their students.
The series of events this week in Virginia provided a great opportunity to celebrate the past school year. It was also a great time to talk with parents about the importance of protecting their right to have choices in education.