HERNDON, Va., Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- K12 Inc., the nation's leading provider of proprietary curricula and online education programs for students in pre-kindergarten through high school, today announced the winners of its 2012 Transformation Award, which recognizes schools, districts, and organizations that partner with K12 and have transformed education for their students through innovative online programs. Each winner was selected for a unique practice that resulted in improving the overall effectiveness, efficiency and success of online learning, ultimately leading to improved student outcomes.
The winners were honored last week at the Virtual School Symposium, a conference hosted by the International Association of K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), in New Orleans, Louisiana. The awards were presented by John Olsen, Executive Vice President of Operations for K12, who said, "This year's Transformation Award winners are true stand-outs, as they are making their visions of individualized learning for their students a reality. We are very proud of what each winner has been able to accomplish through online learning." The following are K12's 2012 Transformation Award recipients:
A.B. Graham Academy ( Ohio) – Award Winner for Combining Blended Learning with Hands-on Support to Raise District PerformanceLocated in the nation's heartland, A.B. Graham Academy is a full-time, blended middle and high school with a state-wide charter. Since 2009, the school has provided the Aventa Learning® by K12 online curriculum, along with access to five computer labs, to approximately 140 students each year. The school uniquely combines face-to-face instruction by district teachers within the school lab and classroom environments, allowing students to go at their own pace and still get hands-on help when needed. This model enables both teachers and students to focus on education by minimizing the day-to-day distractions that middle and high school students usually battle. Since implementing Aventa three years ago, the school has raised its District Performance Index, a measure of academic performance determined by the Ohio Board of Education. Alexandria City Public Schools ( Virginia) – Award Winner for Increasing Learning Options and Graduation Rates by Further Extending Learning Opportunities In 2010, the Virginia Department of Education designated T.C. Williams High School of Alexandria a persistently lowest achieving (PLA) school. With more than 3,000 students in grades 9-12, T.C. Williams has a vastly diverse student population including more than 50 percent of students eligible for free or reduced meals and more than 20 percent requiring English Language Learner (ELL) services. Further, the schools' population has grown steadily annually as a result of the school division's nearly 25 percent increase in enrollment over the past five years. As part of its transformation plan to address PLA issues, the school implemented a full program of online courses that include Advanced Placement® (AP), core, electives, world languages, online tutoring, and health and life skills using the K12 family of curricula. In addition, Alexandria City Public Schools launched the T.C. Satellite Campus, the first comprehensive, non-traditional satellite high school campus in the metropolitan area. The satellite program provides an online curriculum, flexible scheduling, internships, and one-on-one interaction with content-specific learning coaches, all designed to help students that need to balance family or work obligations, or who want to accelerate their learning. Last year, the school's dropout rate fell, and 84 percent of graduates went on to college. This year, AP enrollment is at an all-time high. Provo City School District ( Utah) – Award Winner for Leveraging Online Learning Success to Give Local Students a Global Outlook Providing online learning for just three years, the Provo City School District has already been recognized by the state of Utah for the Provo eSchool, the district's highly successful full-time online and blended school for grades K-12. However, determined to arm its students with the skills they need to be competitive in a 21st Century global marketplace, the district was challenged to offer its students world languages. With limited resources, and its geographic location between two larger school districts, the district found that attracting and retaining qualified world language teachers was not easy, and not cost-effective for those languages that garner lower enrollment. Last year, the school decided to launch the Elite Language Academy, which offers students throughout the state multiple dual immersion and online programs spanning seven languages. The Elite Language Academy is based on curriculum from Middlebury Interactive Languages, a K12 subsidiary. Today, more than 400 students are taking world languages through the Elite Language Academy and Provo eSchool. Salinas Union High School District ( California) – Award Winner for Flexible Time and Place Learning Options Raise District-Wide Credit Completion among At-Risk Students Salinas Union High School District has a substantial high-risk student population, with 60 percent English Language Learners and 70 percent qualified for Title I funding. After a successful online summer school pilot in 2011, the district decided to implement a district-wide credit recovery program using the Aventa Learning by K12 curriculum. Their approach was to provide different options for students at each of the four comprehensive high schools and two alternative schools, where more than 25 percent of students are parents and can take advantage of onsite child care. The options ranged from before and after school classes, to in-class time, to a 4-hour block class for targeted at-risk students. The district uses iNACOL standards for measuring online teachers, online courses, and the effectiveness of program implementations. Further, Salinas has implemented a unique onboarding process that requires students to meet with teachers and administrators during the first few weeks of the online program, to ensure they are engaged. This process has proven to dramatically increase completion rates. After one year, the district has seen excellent results, with 465 students successfully recovering credits. Virtual Independent School Network ( North Carolina) – Award Winner for Removing Barriers to High Quality Online Learning Resources for Independent Schools The Virtual Independent School Network, VISnet, is an online learning and professional development consortium supported by independent school associations. VISnet provides its member schools with access to top quality online resources, such as online courses, blended learning content, learning management systems, and academic support, as well as professional development opportunities. VISnet is the result of the visionaries at the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, who understand that in order for independent schools across the nation to provide their students with a 21st century education, they must have easy, cost-effective access to a wealth of fully vetted online learning resources. This year VISnet opened up its services to Florida, South Carolina and Virginia. In addition to offering member schools the K12 and Aventa Learning by K12 curricula, VISnet also augmented its offerings this year with the Middlebury Interactive Languages ™ curricula. K12 provides schools and districts the industry's most complete continuum of proprietary pre-kindergarten through high school online learning solutions for full-time virtual, blended, and traditional classroom learning environments. Over the past decade, the company has served more than 2,000 districts and delivered over 4 million online course enrollments from its award-winning portfolio. MDR's market research service EdNET Insight recently reported that K12 is the leading provider of online curriculum to school districts across the United States.