Release Date: For Immediate Release
(Release # 0055-2-12)
Henry County Schools to Offer Virtual School in 2012-13
Impact Academy will be a non-traditional school program of choice
HENRY COUNTY, GA – High school students in Henry County will have another option when it comes to learning next school year thanks to a new virtual school program offered by Henry County Schools.
Impact Academy is a non-traditional schooling option, offering the four core subject classes, Advanced Placement courses, and many electives through online coursework. The option provides greater flexibility related to time and place of instruction as community members gave feedback seeking both.
“Over the past few years, online learning options for students have grown dramatically,” said Steve Thompson, Impact Academy administrator. “The growth has occurred nationally, as well as in Georgia and in Henry County.
“Our community continues to express the need for flexible and innovative ways for students to receive an education. One way Henry County Schools is responding to our community’s desire for flexibility is Impact Academy. We believe this opportunity meets the criteria and needs of many students and families.”
The academy will be available for students seeking a full-time learning option but will also provide an option for students to take electives through regular classes at their zoned home school. Dual enrollment courses through local colleges and virtual dual enrollment are also options through Impact Academy and provide more possibilities for students pursuing college credits.
“Impact Academy will have limited capacity the first year and applications will be required for student enrollment,” said Dr. Brian Blanton, Impact Academy co-administrator. “We will serve ninth and tenth grade students during the 2012-13 school year, but we have plans to add eleventh and twelfth grades in 2013-14.”
Students enrolled in Impact Academy will also have the unique opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities at their zoned home school. A few examples of activities virtual school students will be able to be involved in include athletics, clubs, prom, and graduation.
This option is something Blanton feels will create even greater appeal for the program.
Additionally, the academy will offer field study experiences. For this feature, students and teachers will come together to tie real-world experiences with their coursework.
The virtual school will not be void of face-to-face time with instructors. Through the field study experiences, after-hours workshops for college and career guidance, and tutoring with teachers, students will still interact traditionally with members of the academy’s staff.
Thompson shares that the virtual school option is unique, and applying for admittance should be carefully considered. There will be a community information meeting on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at 7 p.m. This meeting at the Board of Education is open to the public for anyone interested in learning more about Impact Academy.
“Students who are well organized and self-motivated will find Impact Academy the best fit,” said Thompson. “We know this option is not for every student, but we know that many students thrive in an online learning environment.”
Dr. Ethan Hildreth, Superintendent of Henry County Schools, knows that Impact Academy will add to the district’s goal of ensuring success for each student.
“We are committed to providing a high-quality education for our students,” said Hildreth. “Because students learn in a variety of ways, we want to meet the educational needs of our families and community by providing multiple learning options. For this reason, we intend to further expand our already existing on-line learning opportunities through the Impact Academy.”
For more information, visit www.henry.k12.ga.us/ia.