IDVA Head of School shares her experience building an online school

Originally aired on CBS BoiseOctober 8, 2020

Schools across Idaho have transitioned to digital learning, but there is one group of Idaho students for which this is nothing new.

Kelly Edginton, Head of School for Idaho Virtual Academy says their school continues to lead the way, online.

“When the pandemic hit, our kids had this unique benefit that everything way falling apart in the world it seemed like, and they had a unique situation where they could consistently school,” explains IDVA Head of School, Kelly Edginton.

An educator in Idaho since 1991, Edginton began her career with Idaho Virtual Academy in it’s infancy, back in 2002.

“I don’t think anyone knew much about virtual education so I really had a unique opportunity to build our program from the ground up,” Edginton explains.

Starting with just 900 students back in 02′, Edginton says she empathizes with teachers and educators across the state right now, because she was once in a similar situation.

“It was very difficult but we started putting it together and working to build together and I’m sure things like that are happening in the brick and mortar schools that were forced into it,” Edginton explains. “So as we went along things were put together and we actually had a lot of fun.”

And she says that during that time, just like now, teachers are leading, thinking outside of the box and problem solving, helping navigate their way through digital learning.

“We need the teacher, and teachers are just such a vital part of any education system and its evolved from teachers teaching in classes live every day and we work really closely with families,” Edginton explains.

She tells me that families choose Idaho Virtual Academy for different reasons, whether that’s a flexible schedule or needing additional guidance for special education or the gifted the talented.

But this year she says has given Idaho Virtual Academy a chance to lead and help other educators.

She shared a few simple tips.

“Be organized, have a plan, I like to have a calendar and block off times and your calendar might get away from you too, if you are working at home, you might look up and its nine at night,

so you have to have personal time for yourself,” Edginton explains.

She also says communicating with families and having a positive mindset, are all intentional and tangible ways for success.

On top of that, she recommends taking ‘brain breaks” which are 10 to 15 minute breaks after prolonged work of (up to a half hour or more), to refresh, reset and refocus.

To learn more about Idaho Virtual Academy, visit idva.k12.com

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