Miami, Florida, March 20, 2020
Academica Virtual Education (AVE) is supporting online learning during the COVID-19 school closures. More than 60,000 charter school students attended live classes online this week. More than 2,000 teachers led their classrooms with live instruction.
Despite school closures due to COVID-19, Academica-supported schools kept their doors open — online. Well before closing, schools surveyed their families to ensure they had Internet service and devices. Families in need received devices and help with Internet service.
AVE provided online classrooms for all teachers. The AVE online platform connects every child with their classroom teacher — live. They learn together with their classmates as they would in the classroom. They are in class live on the same video feed with the teacher.
The students interact with their teacher and classmates in real time. Students are in uniform. They raise their hands to ask questions. Teachers call on students to keep them engaged. “Having the tools and technology made switching from brick and mortar to online seamless. Students in my class continued the same lecture formats with minimal changes to the class…Students also enjoyed the new medium and felt more confident… to participate…” said Daniel Gomez, a World History teacher at Mater Grove Academy.
Although the venues have changed, student learning continues undisrupted. Teachers are accommodating the needs of English Language Learners and Exceptional Education Students. Families are active assisting in children’s education.
The goal is to make this as least disruptive as possible for all. Schools reported having online attendance equivalent to, or more than, their regular in-person attendance. Schools supported by AVE include Mater, Somerset, Doral, Pinecrest, SLAM and others.
Parent feedback is enthusiastic and positive. Parents are grateful for the hard work by their teachers and schools. “I’m in awe of how prepared for this pandemic you are… The kids can feel a sense of normalcy and security during this time. Thank you so much for organizing this, you are rockstars!,” expressed Tori Spivack, a Ben Gamla Palm Beach parent.
Students are enjoying interacting with classmates and teachers online. Some are even asking for longer class times. Principals continue classroom “walk-throughs” visiting live sessions to observe teaching and greet students.
The transition hasn’t been without some hiccups. The high usage has taxed some of the websites. There are also many light-hearted moments. One grandmother joined her grandchild’s class intrigued by how a prism reveals sunlight has many colors. “Abuelas don’t often join in class, but we need to be compassionate and supportive right now,” said Sheila Gonzalez, Mater Grove Principal.
Some Academica-supported schools are on spring break. When all are online, more than 120,000 students across the country will be learning each day.
The online schools provide students with a familiar routine, companionship and support. “In many ways, we have been preparing for this for more than a decade,” said Antonio L. Roca, AVE’s Managing Director. “Online learning can be a dynamic model that offers a robust and enriching experience. We will help our families succeed during these difficult times.”
About Academica / Academica Virtual Education: Academica is a leader at maximizing and developing human potential and achievement. The organization supports a global community of lifelong learners. Academica supports college and career education K-16 (kindergarten through college). It also serves the largest group of public charter schools in the nation. Students worldwide learn with Academica Virtual Education (AVE) and Academica International Studies (AIS). For more than a decade, AVE has provided content and services to students and educational institutions. AVE and AIS serve students in the US and in over 14 countries.
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