By Roberta Olson
Lakes Area Virtual Academy (LAVA) is up and running, and enrolling its first students, according to Phil Grant, director of the Lakes Area Charter School (LACS) in Osakis.
In addition to the full-time partnership with Advanced Academics for high school and middle school students, the Charter School has students who are enrolled in supplemental on-line classes for their academic programs.
Students from anywhere in the state of Minnesota can enroll in Lakes Area Virtual Academy, and the advantage of enrolling at Osakis is that students can take the required testing locally at the Lakes Area Charter School, and won’t have to drive to the Twin Cities to do the mandatory state testing.
Grant also noted, “If you need special ed. services, you can come in and get help here.”
Lakes Area Virtual Academy can be accessed from any computer in any location that has internet access, whether it be at home, or in a public library, for example.
The virtual school is 100 percent on-line, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instruction is provided by Minnesota-licensed teachers. Students each have their own student achievement coordinator who knows them by name and who can help keep the students on task.
High school students can enroll in language arts, mathematics, science, social science/social studies, world languages, and health education, in addition to electives in: careers and technology, life skills, social science, communications, fine arts, music, and job skills and experience. There are also advanced and college prep programs on-line for high schoolers.
Middle school students can enroll in all the regular classes as above, as well as electives in career and technology, life skills, fine arts, and music. They can also enroll in service learning for alternative credit.
There is no cost to enroll in the LAVA program because it is a public program.
Students can learn at their own pace, getting help 24/7 when needed.
“We are glad we are able to offer this program as it provides another option to meet the varying needs of students,” Grant said.
Work-based learning coming
Another new program at the Lakes Area Charter School is in the works, Grant says. That is work-based learning, where the students attend classes for part of the school day and also work in a partner business, earning school credit for their work experience.
As part of the new work-based learning program, individual students will be assisted with developing their own career plan, which includes the best path to get there. It is expected the work-based program will begin during the second quarter.
An advisory committee will be set up for this program, which will allow for formalized partnerships with area businesses.
Students or parents who have questions about Lakes Area Virtual Academy, or Lakes Area Charter School, and the programs they provide to middle and high schools students can call the school at (320) 859-5302, or (800) 710-4788. Information for Lakes Area Virtual Academy is also available at lakesareavirtualacademy.com or by calling (888) 327-3954.
An Info Session/Open House for LAVA and LACS will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 2-4 p.m. at the school in Osakis.