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Virtual Education and virtual school attendance on the rise in Arizona

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By: Brien  McElhatten?By: Brien McElhatten

PHOENIX, AZ – Class is beginning for more than 4,000 students at Arizona Virtual Academy.?They learn all the same lessons and have the same teachers, but the children are often hundreds of miles apart.?

“This offers flexibility for out students and our parents,” said Megan Henry, Head of School for Arizona Virtual Academy.?Students can “attend” class from anywhere an Internet connection is accessible.?

The academy is a charter school funded by tax dollars and no tuition is paid.?If a family cannot afford a computer with internet access, the school will provide one.?It began in 2003 with only 200 students.?This year, administrators expect enrollment to top 5,000.?The school teaches children from the kindergarten level through twelfth grade.?Interactive lessons replace most textbooks, and assessments are done online as well giving instructors instant feedback on the progress of any particular student.?

“We have a strong policy on academic integrity,” explained Henry. “We can tell if a student is truly doing the work or not.”

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