There is a tremendous scramble right now to find, choose, and prepare for a new normal this fall. For those parents who are fortunate enough to not need childcare, many are still anxious about choosing the best schooling option for their kids. I have seen many of the concerns and priorities of parents posted on social media in hopes of finding the right fit for each family’s needs. There are many options available that differ greatly in what is being offered and what is believed to be a quality education.
We started designing Drive six years ago with the intent of providing students with educational experiences, instruction, and opportunities that exceed what was currently available in Florida. After March, we adjusted our plan to address present needs without sacrificing the highest academic integrity or the social-emotional needs of our students. I would like to outline the differences between Drive and other options.
Drive Virtual Academy is a registered nonprofit private school in Florida. Students at Drive will fulfill all Florida course requirements for graduation from any Florida public school. Each of our certified teachers has knowledge and experience teaching required subject areas. As public and private school teachers, each of us was well known for engaging lessons, technology integration, and helping students achieve high test scores. We value the teacher-student relationship and work to make the learning experience challenging yet accessible for each student. This includes preparation for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT. I personally tutored students for these tests in one of the most competitive school districts in the country.
Transitioning from in-person teaching and learning to a virtual space required us to learn about what tools and methods facilitate the highest quality online experience. Since March, we have been learning new strategies for both synchronous and asynchronous learning, exploring the best tools to facilitate learning, and practicing how to implement the tools and platforms with ease and efficiency. Drive is a team of teachers that is always looking for ways to improve teaching and learning.
We are accepting only 50 students. Our small size will allow us to take the extra time we need to be there for each student. More time with each student will ensure that their needs are met. Each student will receive thorough and thoughtful feedback on their work and a true plan for improvement. Each student will know that the teachers are truly invested in their success and well being.
Drive students may dual enroll for classes at local colleges or request independent studies in elected areas that interest them. Our teachers will help design and guide students through coursework. Given an area outside of our expertise, we will help connect students with experts that can deepen their understanding of a topic or skill.
Our projects help students learn to work together, manage time and resources, creatively solve problems, interact with the community, and have an authentic impact in the world around them. Students work on an interest driven project as well as a group project which requires them to explore their community.
A recent Gallup survey illustrates what we all know to be true: schools do not prepare students for real life. Recognizing this, we plan to focus on practical knowledge such as financial literacy, digital citizenship, household skills, and how to make informed decisions. We also believe that students should learn about their rights and responsibilities in order to become productive citizens.
It is so important to know our students personally and enjoy time together as a school. We have learned how to implement virtual games and challenges for our students like scavenger hunts, escape rooms, movie nights, service projects, field trips, and hangouts. We will have our own Esports program! We plan on fun games between our house advisory groups and also a competitive team where we can show our school spirit.
There are so many opportunities for students- jobs, apprenticeships, events, workshops, scholarships, contests, trips, and other programs that students can take advantage of. We have a teacher on staff who will regularly connect students with opportunities that further their goals or speak to their interests.
Our students will stand out when they graduate. They will be accustomed to work and life in the real world. Their transcripts will be enhanced by carefully curated portfolios that speak to the whole student and really stress who they are as individuals.
This is our idea of what a quality education should entail. My hope is that you can see how different we are in comparison to the other options for school right now. If you believe education should be more than just following a curriculum guide, filling out worksheets, completing courses, taking tests, and checking boxes, I encourage you to explore whether we are the best fit for your child.
If you are looking for a quality education for your child, click here to contact us right away. Remember that there are a limited amount of students being accepted for the upcoming school year.