IUSD Virtual Academies Offer Flexibility and Individualized Learning Opportunities  

IVA Student

Foundational to IUSD’s Continuous Improvement Efforts and the District’s core mission is the belief that we must see learning through the eyes of our students and shape instruction to meet their needs.  In other words, there is no one size fits all approach to teaching and learning.

To this end, IUSD Virtual Academies (IVA) are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of students, who benefit from a non-traditional classroom environment.  Similar to the District’s brick and mortar schools, IVA students have access to IUSD curriculum in a collaborative environment with experienced and talented teachers.  However, through a blend of real-time synchronous (live) and independent asynchronous (offline) learning, IVA students work in a flexible environment that is tailored to meet and support their educational needs from home.

It Starts with the Teachers 

“Like any other program in IUSD, it starts with teachers and serving students, which is why we’re here,” said IVA Elementary Principal Kris Linville.  “Our teachers are experienced with innovative virtual learning practices and strive to create an exceptional online classroom for their students with a focus on community building.”

This high-quality teaching and experience is not going unnoticed.  Families often cite the outstanding teachers and flexibility IVA offers as the reason they are returning. 

IVA parent George Kang said, “It is an honor and privilege to be a part of IVA. We are so fortunate to be a part of Mrs. James' class. It is very clear that her years of experience as a teacher shine through as she teaches students. She is compassionate and kind, but as parents, we are also very impressed with her control of the class and reinforcing good behaviors/the Dragon code. We could not have asked for a better first-grade teacher.”

Flexibility to Meet Students’ Learning Needs

Dr. Rebecca Roberts, Principal for IVA Middle and High School and Director of Alternative Education, says that while some may associate virtual learning with COVID and emergency distance learning, IVA is different in that it is a planned and intentional high-quality curriculum developed by IUSD teachers to meet the District’s high standards.  She also notes that virtual learning is not new to IUSD. 

“IUSD has made significant investments in virtual learning over the last seven years, to support and meet the needs of all IUSD students,” said Dr. Roberts.  “The District is committed to helping all learners achieve at high levels.  IVA provides an important option for students, who may work better independently or who may need more individualized learning for a variety of reasons.”

When surveyed, many parent responses appreciated the IVA option for their children.  One parent wrote:

“As a parent, I have truly enjoyed every bit of the IVA experience this year. Both of my kids have thrived in your program. They have grown tremendously with their time management skills, in addition to independence.”

IVA Offers Similar Experiences to In-Person Schools with the Benefits of Virtual Learning

  • Many experiences and features in IVA mirror those of in-person schools, coupled with benefits for both students and families that are unique to virtual learning.  This includes:
  • Students have daily synchronous learning, access to field trips, and they participate in activities, athletics, performances and more. 
  • Live, online teaching is balanced with independent, offline, learning and work-time to provide structured-flexibility for students and families.
  • Opportunities for in-person learning and activities augment the educational experience.
  • Teachers provide time via “office hours” for small groups and one-to-one support to meet all students where they are. 
  • The use of technology allows for students to collaborate, create and communicate in innovative ways and students are able to develop and practice skills like risk-taking, patience, time management, and self-regulation on a daily basis. 
  • Each IVA school has incredibly engaged PTAs that work closely with administrators in supporting students and families.
  • Both schools are focused on building a strong school-wide community and culture to meet students' social, emotional and learning needs. While classroom teachers create fun opportunities for peer relationships to thrive, IVA also offers support personnel to students and ways for them to connect regularly. 
  • Students who are intrinsically motivated to take responsibility for their learning, benefit greatly in this program. Teachers strive to elevate what they did previously “inside” the traditional classroom to ensure all students are consistently being challenged and working towards exceeding learning goals both on and offline.
  • At the secondary level, it’s beneficial for students who work better independently or who may need different pacing with regard to instruction.  It also supports students who may suffer from social pressures or who need flexible timing and the ability to learn from various locations. It offers consistent access to education that is more difficult with an in-person learning environment to students who may work or for children in unhoused families.  

These are only a handful of the many benefits offered by the IUSD Virtual Academies.  To learn more about IVA Elementary, click here and to learn more about IVA Middle and High School, click here