Sometimes I'm the Last to Know!

Sunday in church, a woman told me about a new program her son is participating in. This program has been going for awhile and is affiliated with about 12 different regional service centers in the state of Texas. I have to wonder how I managed to not know about it until someone outside of education told me!

Anyway, it is the Texas Virtual School (TVS). This is an alternative which is affiliated with the public school system. Students can take core classes, AP classes, foreign languages, and driver’s ed — all from the comfort of their home. I see this as an excellent option for those seeking credit retrieval, early graduation, or who are from rural school districts who cannot offer the rigorous AP courses. Post a comment here if you have had any experience with the virtual school — do you teach a class? have you known students who’ve attended? I’m really curious about whether this could be a way to cushion the impact of the new 4×4. Give me your thoughts!

Comments

  1. Rebecca

    I was quite glad to you posted this comment. I have a daughter who is impacted by the 4×4, so I have an e-mail out to region 4 to see if my school district is a partner.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jennifer

    Elaine,

    Texas Virtual School is a great resource for schools! I am actually the contact for my Service Center (Region 16) and we partner with Region 4 as well as several other Regional Service Centers from around the state. They are highly qualified, certified Texas teachers who go through a rigorous process to learn how to be an effective on-line instructor (because that type of teaching is different). Region 4 has done an excellent job of making sure the teachers that teach with TVS are of the highest quality.

    Region 16 has several smaller districts and I see the impact mainly in your foreign language classes and AP classes for those smaller schools that can’t afford to hire a French teacher for 1 or 2 students, but can participate in TVS and the cost is much lower than hiring a full time teacher.

    One of the many applications that this may have, also dealing with 4X4, is when you have a student move into a small district, who took a year of French at the school they came from. The district he moved into, does not offer French and for him to get the credits he needs to be on the “top rung” of the 4X4, now has to take 2 years of Spanish because that is the only foreign language that school offers.

    If more of you are interested in learning about TVS, a great place to start is by visiting the website http://www.texasvirtualschool.org and seeing if your Regional Service Center is a partner. If they are, contact your school and have them contact the person listed as the contact for that Service Center. If they are not, Region 4 is a great place to start to get further information.

    Thanks for highlighting TVS! :)

  3. Susan

    We have been on board with Louisiana Virtual School for several years and it has proven successful in offering core, elective, and AP classes to students who, due to scheduling conflicts or other maladies, are able to secure credits that otherwise might not be available. I have served as a facilitator for our campus for the LVS lab. I am happy to report that the LVS led us into forming a Distance Learning Lab via live feeds and that has a powerful impact as well!
    ~Susan

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