Delia Goncalves, WUSA
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Students say the virtual learning at Friendship Public Charter school is the best of both worlds: they learn at home at their own speed but still get to socialize through weekly class visits, field trips, sports and clubs.
Zachary Walls, 12, is a 6th grader at Friendship Public Charter School and he attends class in his dining room.
Sure, the school building is about five minutes from his Northeast, D.C. home but his teacher is 47 miles away in Haymarket, Va.
“When they get to the virtual classroom I tell them this is the learning zone, that’s why you’re here,” said Suzanne Conway.
“Here,” virtually. Friendship Public Charter School offers students virtual learning through K12, a free program that send laptops, books, and packages to the student.
Professionals like Suzanne Conway teach so all parents have to do is coach and supervise. If parents get stuck, they get help from the teaching professional.
“I like the freedom it gives me, freedom to move through the lesson the way I want to,” said Zachary who is working on a 7th grade level. “I can skip ahead or review before taking an assessment.”
“Parents want their children to succeed not only academically but socially and this program allows you do that and circumvent the peer pressure,” said his mom and long time K12 coach Anita Walls.
And while there are “no snow days”, students can do work in their PJ’s. Another plus they say, they can take their work with them.
Walls said the family took a week-long ski trip while Zachary never missed a class.
“They (parents) know we’re here to help their children succeed,” said Suzanne Conway.