With years of experience, Texas Virtual School confident in effectiveness of instruction

Updated: Aug. 20, 2020 at 5:32 PM CDT
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HALLSVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - In partnership with Hallsville ISD, the Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville is a tuition-free, online school for third through 12th graders.

Now as more students pivot to virtual learning this school year, school leaders say they’re feeling the pandemic’s effect.

“The volume and the interest and the enrollment has increased drastically for this school year specifically,” Head of School Catherine Groven said.

Christie Stephens teaches high school science. She previously taught in-person classes, but for the last nine years, she’s been teaching her kids from her home.

“A lot of teachers are like well how do you teach this virtually? And you have to be creative. You’ve gotta somehow, some way figure it out and we do. You just take a deep breath and it will be okay,” Stephens said.

In the three years the Texas Virtual Academy has been in operation, they say they’ve found ways to teach students just as effectively as they would in the classroom.

“It’s not just in computer graded assignments. We make sure that all of our courses have teacher graded assignments as well that students actually have to submit and are looked at that couldn’t necessarily be just solved by a Quizlet,” Groven said.

Engaging with students is something some teachers new to the virtual world of instruction may struggle with, but Stephens says there are ways to connect with students, even when miles apart.

“From day one, calling their names out and just making them understand that I see you, I know I don’t see you, but I do see you and that is to me just getting them engaged from day one,” Stephens said.

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