K12 Inc. Report Shows Achievement Gains At Wisconsin Virtual Academy

June 23, 2015

HERNDON, Va., June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- K12 Inc., America's leading provider of K-12 online school programs, released a new report highlighting how a community of educators, students, and families working together to build strong relationships can drive strong academic performance at Wisconsin Virtual Academy (WIVA). WIVA is a statewide online public charter school authorized by McFarland School District, serving students in kindergarten through high school.

Wisconsin Virtual Academy

The full report can be found here.

"In this report, we describe the academic performance and positive gains at WIVA, a mature and pioneering institute in the national network of online public schools managed by K12," said Dr. Margaret Jorgensen, K12 Chief Academic Officer. "After analyzing the academic data, we highlight the school's focus on building relations between teachers and students to individualize learning experiences. We also share how unique relationships among educators lead to shared best practices in virtual learning environments."

Since 2011, WIVA's enrollment has increased by 189 percent and while rapid growth in enrollment can present challenges to educators, WIVA demonstrated a graduation rate increase of 18.1 percentage points. 

Much of the academic success at WIVA can be directly attributed to the importance of building strong relationships. WIVA school leaders emphasize that the relationships teachers have with each other and between students, the partnerships between school and family, paired with school and district contributed to WIVA's success.

"WIVA teachers build strong professional relationships through focused and strong collaboration, keeping track of student performance data, and delivering student-specific instruction," said Dr. Leslye Moraski Erickson, WIVA head of school. "WIVA teachers support one another through coaching programs, where experienced and effective teachers serve as instructional coaches to ensure best practices are implemented appropriately. Additionally, WIVA focuses on building strong relationships with families through initiatives like FAST (Family Academic Support Team). FAST members work with families to overcome social or emotional obstacles that may prevent students from fully engaging with learning."

Compared to demographically similar district, Racine Unified, WIVA students outperformed the district in Reading across the past three school years and in all grades tested (3-8). In Mathematics, across the past three school years with the exception of grades 4 and 5 in 2011, WIVA students outperformed the comparable district.

WIVA also demonstrated that economically disadvantaged students grow stronger over time. In the 2013-2014 school year, 57% of the more than 1,900 students enrolled were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (FRL), a higher percentage than the national average.

In Reading, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, WIVA's FRL-eligible students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages in all FRL groups. The gap between Reduced-Price Lunch Eligible students and Not Eligible students narrowed from 35 percentage points for students enrolled less than 1 year to 18 percentage points for students enrolled 3 years or more. In Mathematics, compared to students enrolled less than 1 year, WIVA students enrolled 3 years or more achieved higher proficiency percentages in all FRL groups.

WIVA leadership understands the need to focus on building support systems to help struggling students overcome obstacles and achieve their maximum potential. WIVA plans to continue building and extending the network of strong relationships that has contributed to the school's success.

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) is driving innovation and advancing the quality of education by delivering state-of-the-art, digital learning platforms and technology to students and school districts across the globe. With nearly a half-billion dollars invested in developing award winning curriculum, K12 serves over 2,000 schools and school districts and has delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 is a company of educators with the nation's largest network of K-12 online school teachers, providing instruction, academic services, and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. For more information on K12 Inc., visit www.K12.com

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