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First Virtual Charter School Coming to New Jersey
posted by: Alix | April 12, 2012, 04:56 PM   

For the first time in the state's history, New Jersey is set to welcome their first online public charter school this fall. The New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School (NJVACS), operating in partnership with the online education company, K12 Inc., has already begun to spread the word about their offerings statewide and currently boasts 300 enrolled students for the fall term. The opening of the school marks New Jersey's first big step into full-time online instruction, part of a new trend that has become commonplace in states across the country.

Amazingly, with already over 300 students, school officials have not ruled out the need for a random lottery for potential students. The school seeks to enroll 850 for its first year, kindergarten through 10th grade. NJVACS school officials have led information sessions throughout the state in an effort to let families know about their options via online instruction. As a public charter schools, all students are eligible to enroll.

Based out of Newark, NJVACS will provide classes almost exclusively online, with students working with teachers potentially based hundreds of miles away. Students enrolled will be from throughout the state, with a half-dozen "learning centers" centrally located as hubs for needs such as counseling or extra help.

While classes will be held online, daily interaction with educators will be the standard. At NJVACS, teachers will provide direct instruction, oversight and support, and regularly interact with students through innovative web-based classes and one-on-one sessions. Students in younger grades will also benefit from daily support from a parent or "learning coach" to provide guidance as children progress through their individual education plans. Teachers will also lead school activities, field trips, and other academic and school community events.

Similar online school models have become leaders in technology innovation for public charter schools. The online format of virtual charter schools allows students and teachers alike an option that is flexible, challenging, and customizable to their needs. School Chairman Michael Pallante called the new school a win for the community. "Our board believes strongly in providing high quality public school options to students and choices for families," he stressed. "New Jersey Virtual Academy Charter School will offer personalized education programs, through online and blended learning opportunities, so children that need this option can succeed."

Click here for more information and employment opportunities at NJVACS.

What do you think about the virtual charter school model? Would you be interested in teaching in a similar environment?
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