Washington Virtual Academy Launches State's Premier Online Public School Program

June 21, 2006
The Washington Virtual Academy is a statewide public school program that will serve students in grades K - 8 using the innovative and nationally acclaimed curriculum by K12 Inc.

Seattle, WA – Parents across the state of Washington now have access to a new high quality option in education for their kids with the announcement of the Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA)--the state's premier online public school program.

WAVA families, teachers, and administrators, along with a member of the Washington House of Representatives, gathered today at the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center in Seattle to introduce the Washington Virtual Academy. WAVA teachers and students also conducted a lesson demonstration to show how the online school program utilizes powerful technology and a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum to deliver education to students wherever they reside in the state.

The Washington Virtual Academy, which will serve students in grades K - 8, is accepting enrollments from new students, hosting numerous parent information sessions throughout the state, and hiring highly qualified teachers who are certified in the state of Washington. WAVA will begin this September.

The Washington Virtual Academy (www.wava.org), uses the nationally acclaimed curriculum by K12 Inc. – a leading provider of high quality curriculum and academic services to schools across the country.

The Washington Virtual Academy is sponsored by the Steilacoom Historical School District No.1. Over the past two years, the district was operating the Steilacoom Virtual Academy – an online public school program that used the K12 curriculum to serve approximately 50 students in the district. The school program and the curriculum received high marks from families.

"This is an exciting program that has worked for students in our district," said Dr. Art Himmler, Superintendent of the Steilacoom School District. "We are excited to see it now become available to kids statewide through the Washington Virtual Academy. This program uses technology to deliver high quality curriculum, teacher support, and student services. We are confident that WAVA will be an excellent education option for many families."

Rep. Gigi Talcott, who represents the Steilacoom School District in the Washington House of Representatives, applauded the opportunity the WAVA provides students across the state.

"Washington is moving in the right direction by allowing online education to flourish across the state," said Rep. Talcott. "The Washington Virtual Academy now gives kids access to the outstanding education program that was enjoyed by students in Steilacoom. WAVA provides a rigorous online instruction using a mix of technology and traditional education materials. The program fosters both personal and professional relationships with teachers and families. Students with special needs, geographic isolation, or who hold a wide variety of other interests will love this challenging new educational opportunity. I only wish this option had been available in Washington when my son was in school."

Students who enroll in the WAVA will have access to the exciting K12 curriculum, which is widely recognized as the highest quality and most innovative learning program used in online public schools across the country.

Developed by a team of experts, the K12 curriculum is a comprehensive, rigorous, standards-based learning program that incorporates the best materials and methods of instruction.

The curriculum challenges the student and gives them a solid education foundation by introducing them at an early age to critical scientific concepts, fundamental mathematical skills, problem solving, critical thinking, reading comprehension, and a love for learning. The K12 program continuously builds on the base of knowledge acquired by the student through a "mastery-based" approach of instruction and assessment to ensure every student fully understands the concepts of every lesson before moving on through the learning program.

Parents who enroll their children in WAVA will join a growing nationwide network of families who are using the K12 curriculum in both online public schools and traditional classrooms. Families and teachers in WAVA will have access to the latest cutting-edge education tools, resources and programs developed by the experts at K12 Inc.

Dr. Bror Saxberg, the Chief Learning Officer for K12 Inc., leads a team of education and curriculum specialists who are continuously building and improving the curriculum, designing new ways to bring cognitive science to bear on the program's implementation, and developing best practices to enhance the learning environment for all students.

Dr. Saxberg is a graduate of the University of Washington, winning the President's Medal for top academic honors in 1980, with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Honors Mathematics. From the University of Washington, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and then continued on to Harvard Medical School and MIT, where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D degrees. .

The Washington Virtual Academy will work in close partnership with Dr. Saxberg and the full K12 team to implement K12's best practices, giving parents confidence that this school will have the strongest commitment to rigorous academics, a focus on student achievement, building a family-friendly school environment, and providing families with the highest quality education programs and support structure.

How the Washington Virtual Academy works:
The Washington Virtual Academy is a statewide public virtual school program serving students in grades K-8.

WAVA students work from home with the assistance of a parent or other responsible adult. Parents are active participants in their child's education, guiding them through lessons as needed, and developing a close working relationship with their child's teacher.

Students who enroll in WAVA receive access to the complete K12 learning program, including the K12 Online School, lessons, assessments, books, materials, planning and progress tools, access to the school community and much more.

Every student in WAVA is assigned to a Washington-certified public school teacher. WAVA teachers work in partnership with the parents to build an academic program using the K12 curriculum that best meets the learning style and needs of each student. Teachers work remotely, providing instruction, guidance and support. Teachers review work, help design learning plans, and communicate with students regularly through e-mail, phone conferences and academic workshops. Teachers also coordinate a variety of academic and social outings.

Students in WAVA must meet academic and attendance requirements, just like all students in Washington. WAVA students are required to participate in state and district assessments.

WAVA is sponsored by the Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1. As with all public schools, there is no cost to enroll.

More information on the Washington Virtual Academy can be found at www.wava.org.

About K12 Inc.
K12 Inc. is a leading provider of high quality education programs and academic services. K12 has developed a comprehensive, research-based learning program in traditional subjects, including curriculum, tools, materials and an innovative lesson delivery system. The K12 core curriculum covers the subjects of English/Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Art, and Music.

Central to the K12 learning program is the Online School (OLS), which hosts over 10,000 interactive, engaging and comprehensive lessons presented in a mix of printed and multimedia forms. The Online School also includes lesson assessments, planning and progress tools, and an attendance tracking system to determine the number of instructional hours completed by the student.

The K12 learning program is used by over 70,000 students across the country in a variety of learning environments, including traditional classrooms, public virtual (online) schools, and in other education programs. There are currently 15 states with public virtual schools that use the K12 curriculum. Online public schools that use the K12 learning program regularly outperform other online schools.

More information on K12 can be found at www.K12.com