Originally published in the Valdosta Daily Times – January 24, 2018
Gov. Nathan Deal proclaimed Jan. 21-27 as Georgia School Choice Week, coinciding with National School Choice Week.
According to the School Choice Week website, more than 1,000 Georgia events are planned to raise public awareness on school choice.
January was chosen as the month for School Choice Week because it allows parents the time to search for schools before their child needs to be enrolled for the following school year, according to the website.
Valdosta and Lowndes County each provide traditional public schools, but there are more options for students and parents who are interested.
There will be an informational meeting at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at 206 N. Patterson St., regarding homeschooling options in Valdosta and Hahira.
The meeting will be about Classical Conversations, a curriculum used for homeschooling that has a Christian worldview, said Lacy Dixon, foundations and essentials director for Classical Conversations Valdosta.
“We’re just letting parents know that there’s another option: there’s an option of homeschooling,” Dixon said.
Private schools in the area include Georgia Christian School, Valwood School, St. John the Evangelist School, Open Bible Christian School, Victory Christian School, Highland Christian Academy and Crossroads Baptist School.
A charter school in Valdosta is Scintilla Charter Academy, which is a free, public school.
Online learning is another school choice option in Georgia. Among online learning options is Georgia Cyber Academy, which is also a free, public school.
Dr. Andrew Oberg, GCA’s head of school, said motivation and engagement are key characteristics for online students to have, but he said the online school can work for all types of students, such as high achievers, struggling learners and special-needs students.
Oberg said students involved in extracurricular activities can benefit from GCA’s flexibility without sacrificing academic rigor or quality education.
“Online learning can help students become independent, self-motivated learners by giving them a strong foundation and opportunities to explore interests and reach their academic potential,” Oberg said.
He said school choice in itself is important for students.
“Education isn’t one-size-fits-all, and not every student learns in the same way,” he said.
To learn more about Georgia Cyber Academy visit http://gca.k12.com.