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Avondale Virtual Innovation Academy seeing more enrollment due to ongoing pandemic

Posted at 7:10 AM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 10:10:51-04

AVONDALE, AZ — During the COVID-19 pandemic, online classes thrived across Arizona. Now, districts are looking to establish online schools, if they haven’t done so already.

The Avondale Elementary School District is looking to extend its online school, post COVID-19 pandemic times.

The Avondale Virtual Innovation Academy has room for 260 students in 3rd-8th grades.

Adaline Browning, who is entering 8th grade, says she is staying online for the upcoming school year. “When I finish all my assignments for the day, I’m able to do activities that I I like, like art and volleyball,” said Adaline.

She’s one of those kids where online learning was a total success says her mother Mary. “It’s worked out really well this past year for us,” said Mary.

Now that the district has announced the continuation of the online school, the Browning family is making sure that Adaline stays online as well.

“We have our Avondale educators leading it, and so they already have relationships, they already know the Avondale culture and the expectations,” said Superintendent Betsy Hargrove.

One of the other upsell’s for the Browning family is that Adaline, along with the other kids at the academy, will belong to a physical home school, allowing them to participate in school activities.

“If the children want to participate in NJHS they can. If they want to try out for a sports they can. Those are opportunities as well,” said Hargrove.

Avondale joins a growing number of districts getting approval to operate online virtual schools.

To date, the State Board of Education has approved 43 districts to establish new online schools and has approved the extension of 25 existing online schools.

The State Board for Charter Schools has approved the expansion of 26 existing online schools and is in the process of approving four more.

Mary Brown he says she knows online school isn’t for everyone but if a parent is considering it, she’s got some advice.

“Parents need to be involved, They can’t just assume that their student is going to do the work throughout the day, especially if the parent is not home with them throughout the day,” said Mary.

Students who attend the online academy do not need to reside within the district boundaries, Superintendent Hargrove says the students can be located anywhere in Arizona.