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More than a Diploma

Updated: Jul 29

Welcome to Drive! I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support and curiosity surrounding our new school. I thought this might be the best forum to address one of the questions we have received:

Will my child earn a high school diploma if they graduate from Drive?


Students who graduate from Drive will most definitely earn a diploma! We are a private school committed to our mission.


Drive seeks to unleash the curiosity and creativity of our students while providing opportunities for students to distinguish themselves as valuable and capable citizens of the world. - Drive Virtual Academy Mission Statement

In addition to a diploma, graduates of Drive will have distinguished themselves from their peers in a number of ways. Students will create portfolios that tell the story of both their learning and of who they are. As colleges move away from using the SAT and ACT as their sole measures of a promising student, portfolios become an excellent way to learn about a student’s hopes, dreams, perseverance, skills, sense of humor, knowledge, talents, and character. The SAT and ACT seem a bit one dimensional in comparison.


Students at Drive will earn their diploma and will also compile a long list of friends, acquaintances, and mentors, both locally and globally along their journey with us. Building relationships and lasting connections with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and professions is invaluable.


Long after our graduates have packed away their diploma, they will exhibit exceptional essential skills, formally known as soft skills, that will always be a part of them. From day one, we will respect the voices of our students and value them as decision makers, in their own paths and the path of our school. For students to be responsible and accountable, we need to give them opportunities. Students will manage projects, work as a team, experience struggle, research, lead, communicate effectively, create, problem solve, negotiate, empathize, and adapt to change. Our students will stretch and grow these skills everyday. They will be challenged regularly. A diploma from Drive will also signify the attainment of these skills.


Lastly, a diploma from Drive will be bolstered by the collective work of Ms. Van Dunk and each student. We all think Ms. Van Dunk has the coolest position at Drive. One facet of her job is to act as the liaison between our students and opportunity. Ms. Van Dunk will get to know our students - their interests, goals, personalities, likes and dislikes. Then, she will discover experiences, mentorships, opportunities, jobs, scholarships, etc. that she can connect with our students. Families can be assured that their child has a dedicated advocate keeping track of deadlines and amazing experiences available worldwide.


So, yes, our students earn diplomas, but it is our job to go well beyond that!


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