Originally aired on WMC-TV – March 1, 2020
Virtual education can be a better fit for some students’ schedules, while one academy is adding more opportunities for kids online.
The Arkansas Virtual Academy has added the state’s first Virtual FFA chapter for students to join.
Certified teachers and schoolwork curriculum mimic the typical classroom setting. However, this form of education can be taken anywhere.
“Students that are involved in virtual education have the opportunity to be way more flexible in their schedule,” Agri teacher Brittany Lawrence says. “They don’t have to worry about sitting in a classroom.”
Her 10 students in the FFA chapter often join the group chat from various locations. One student shows livestock every weekend.
“Often when she is tuning in to get to an FFA meeting or a classroom, she’s sitting in her truck in a parking lot at a stock show,” Lawrence said.
While this form of education is considered non-traditional, Lawrence says students still receive a quality education.
“Students like that have the opportunity to learn and experience school in the same way, just in a setting that’s more conducive to what their needs are,” she says.
The addition still has kinks to work out, according to Lawrence, but she says it’s worth it.
“We’re all trying to figure out how to make this work more efficiently,” she says. “It’s a learning process, but with that being said, we still have some of the same components that a regular school would have.”
In addition to working on the program, they plan to add hands-on experiences for the kids, including field trips and activities such as competitions and workshops.
To learn more about Arkansas Virtual Academy, visit https://arva.k12.com/