Over the past decade, districts around Ohio have observed a significant number of students leaving their local school districts to attend large online charter schools like QDA, ECOT, OHVA, OHDELA and Beacon Hill Academy. Garaway is faced with thousands of dollars in lost funding from students leaving the district. As a result, we have decided that we can offer a significantly better, flexible online program to students. Our online program empowers teachers to reach students who want access to alternative forms of education.
Garaway Local Schools launched a digital program option in July 2015, Garaway Virtual Academy (GVA), following a successful pilot program that concluded this past school year. GVA is guided by the same values and staff that have made our school district highly rated. Parents and students will want to join and utilize the GVA option to stay connected to their school community. Local digital academies like GVA keep local dollars local and help prevent a loss of funding as students leave for large, privately managed, public online academies.
Parents are looking for better educational experiences and flexible learning options. Garaway Virtual Academy will achieve both of these goals using Garaway teachers as opposed to computers or distance learning teachers from outside the district or state. If districts like Garaway do not address the growing need for alternative options for students, it is likely that the upward trend of dropouts and shrinking budgets for local districts will continue. Programs are discontinued, and teachers and administrative employees are downsized when budgets are cut, so opportunities to grow enrollment should be supported by the community. Garaway Superintendent James Millet states, “We are working to be proactive to address this issue. It is our duty to serve the students of this district to the best of our ability. We have realized that there is a portion of our students which we could serve that we have not, and through this digital academy, those students will get the flexibility they need. GVA is not meant to push kids from our brick-and-mortar facilities. Instead, we are helping students that are already opting for alternative education to continue receiving support from their local district. The students can also continue to participate in Garaway’s highly respected social and extracurricular activities, which helps them maintain a well-rounded education and thrive.”
Please join us in enhancing our school district in positive, flexible, and innovative ways. Please also join us in our open house on August 4th, 2015 at 6:30PM in the new learning lab at the Garaway 7-12 facility. You can also call to enroll by contacting Chuck Zobel, Virtual Coordinator, at 330-852-2421.